As a dedicated oatmeal-eater waking with a desire for a breakfast of old-school nutrition and satisfying heartiness, I happily took a trip down to my local grocery store, dreaming along the way of how I would prepare my morning feast. Something with eggs. I arrived at the glowing wall of the dairy and came to a halt. Looking at the stacks of cartons in front of me, I could only picture mistreated hens staring back with distress in their eyes. Although I am not a full fledged vegan, the thought of thousands of hens being exploited so I can pay 3 dollars to have 12 of their eggs was enough to send me packing. On the one hand, I have to eat and don’t feel that I should have to deny myself simply because I don’t have my own chicken farm, but isn’t there a way to do it that’s better for the planet, for the animals we share this planet with and our wallets? Fortunately, as awareness grows and demand does increase for eggs from happy hens, there are growing numbers of options to make a small change to your supermarket routines that will impact our world positively, and not have to give up this foodsource completely.
So I started analyzing the different brands and their provided information. They were from all different ‘farms’, and ranged greatly in price, just adding to my skepticism. Why is this seemingly identical carton half the price of that one? Do I have to go to the ‘farm’ to find out for myself, or should I trust the print that claims “these hens have access to outdoor pasture.” Hm…
Though I have no proof that any of these companies do or do not partake in ethical practices, I scanned through and found that the ones who looked to be the most sincere and advertised their commitments to all around well-being were, of course, the most expensive. This makes sense, as mass produced items are cheaper for a reason, in contrast to the ones that take more care and time to produce and distribute. Acceptable compromise or not, I still couldn’t deal with the money factor on these couple brands, and moved on. To the next grocery store in the area. Surprisingly, the next one (which is an organic ‘committed to the planet’ place) had the same specific brand I had my eye on, but for way cheaper! I was shocked, and happy (later I looked it up and discovered their claims to be true!). So I treated myself to a carton of them that I didn’t feel awful about buying. Luckily, as a fortunate westerner, I have this luxury. Change to a system doesn’t come easy, and when the way things work is unbalanced, it can lead to a tearing decision between doing what is right and survival.
So hopefully this has helped all you planet loving egg eaters out there, as I myself feel a lot better on the subject for now.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
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