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Are eggs unhealthy?
According to vegan charity Viva!, egg consumption has been linked to heart disease, cancer and food poisoning among other issues.
Many people believe eggs are healthy – and that free-range eggs are ethical. The average American consumes about 279 every year, and the average Brit almost 200.
Spoiler alert: they are not.
So have a look at why consuming eggs can hurt your health – as well as chickens.
Cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and eggs
Egg yolks are loaded with cholesterol. A medium-sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, which is 62 percent of the recommended intake.
This increases your risk of cardiovascular disease.
In fact, Nutritionfacts.org says some experts suggest that eating just one a day may exceed the safe upper limit for cholesterol intake in terms of cardiovascular disease risk.
Can eating dietary cholesterol – which is found in eggs among other animal products – increase cancer risk?
According to nutritionfacts.org: “The largest nationwide population-based case–control study [to date] to assess the association between cholesterol intake and several types of cancer.
“And, they found ‘dietary cholesterol intake was…associated with’ increased risk of cancers of the stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, breast, kidney, bladder and bone marrow—non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
Viva! adds: “There’s a strong link between egg consumption and ovarian cancer – one or two eggs a week increase the risk by 70 percent, more than two and it rises to 80 percent.”
In addition, Viva! says, they also contain choline. “They are by far the richest dietary source. Too much choline has been linked to ovarian and prostate cancer and heart disease.”
According to plant-based physician Dr. Greger, men who eat even less than one egg a day appear to have twice the risk of prostate progression compared to men who rarely eat them.
He adds: “And, men who consume two and a half or more eggs per week—basically an egg every three days—may have an 81 percent increased risk of dying from prostate cancer.”
Dr. Greger also cites choline as the potential culprit behind this increased risk factor.
Food poisoning and eggs
Eggs pose the risk of salmonella poisoning. And salmonella bacteria can survive cooking if the eggs are still runny. In fact, the FDA recommends using eggs that have been treated to destroy salmonella through pasteurization if recipes that require undercooking.
But why put yourself at risk?
This bacteria is a leading cause of food poisoning-related hospitalizations and the top cause of food poisoning-related death, says Dr. Greger.
The industry grinds up millions of male chickens alive
And health isn’t the only issue when it comes to eggs. Many consumers are unaware of the cruelty rife in the industry – including chick culling
The egg industry kills newly-hatched male chicks for which the hatcheries have no use. Male chicks are redundant to the laying industries because they don’t lay.
This is the case for all industrialized egg production in both the U.S and U.K. This is regardless of whether the eggs are free-range, organic, or battery cage.
The majority of culling methods don’t involve anaesthetic. However, they do include cervical dislocation and asphyxiation by carbon dioxide. And in addition, the American industry’s favorite: maceration using a high speed grinder.
A spokesman for the British Egg Information Service has said the practice of culling male chicks has been in place ‘as long as the industry has been there’.
U.S egg hatcheries grind up as many as 200 million male chicks every year.
Female chicks survive being minced alive. However, instead, they will have their beaks cut off (or burnt off) without anaesthesia or pain relief. Producers do this to try and prevent hens from injuring themselves or each other while living in such cramped conditions.
Chickens in battery cages live in such small areas that they are unable to spread their wings – ever.
Even in the best-case scenario, a hen spends her life crowded in a space about the size of a file drawer with several others. She will be unable to lift a single wing.
Disease also runs rampant in the cramped sheds – partly because egg-laying hens are forced to urinate and defecate on each other.
After two years of living in these conditions, the birds have suffered from severe bone loss. In addition, as they’re ripped from their cages, tens of millions suffer new broken bones.
After laying, hens’ bodies become exhausted, farmers then ship them off to the slaughterhouse.
“Consumers should be aware that this is what they are paying for when they buy eggs,” says says Animal Aid. “Regardless of whether they are from caged or free-range hens.”
According to research, chickens outperform both dogs and cats on tests of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral complexity.
Dr. Jane Goodall explains: “Farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear, and pain.
“They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined… they are individuals in their own right.”
Research from the University of Bristol has also demostrated how intelligent chickens are.
It says: “Chickens do not just live in the present but can anticipate the future and demonstrate self-control. [This is] something previously attributed only to humans and other primates.”
Many people are probably not aware that they are eating someone’s period.
But think about it: female chickens have a menstrual cycle, during which a hen’s ovary sends a yolk on its path.
As it moves though the reproductive tract and into the shell gland, then yolk then forms into an ‘egg white’.
The shell takes about 20 hours to form – and that’s your breakfast right there.
And tell me about free-range one more time, I dare you.
You should know that 95 percent of U.S. eggs come from caged hens; and 20,000 hens in one barn still counts as ‘free-range’.
You don’t need eggs – grocery stores sell substitutes. You can even make vegan scramble using something like JUST Egg . Or try tofu scramble.
So stop eating eggs. Period.
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