Thanks for this, Bix--the terminology used on eggs (cage-free, free range, etc.) are so nebulous, with no legal meaning, that this is quite welcome! I may use it (w/ credit to you of course!) in my newsletters.
The Cornucopia Institute deserves the credit. They did an outstanding job.While I think it's important to shine a light on abuse, I think care needs to be taken not to stigmatize those with fewer choices.
Notice that when we say egg, the assumption is a chicken’s egg. Sure, some Westerns eat the occasional goose’s egg or quail’s egg, maybe even an ostrich’s egg, but those need qualifiers in a way that chickens’ eggs don’t. We can make classifications of people who eat eggs produced a certain way but not others. It could be a continuum with some people eating all kinds of eggs on top, and going down as people exclude levels of intensive production.People that eat battery cage eggs.People that eat enriched battery caged eggs. People that eat warehouse cage-free eggs.People that eat free-range eggs.People that eat organic free-range eggs.People that eat small farmer organic free-range eggs.People that eat backyard eggs.Something like:Ova-free-range-organ-a-voreAlso, it’s a bit confounding that eggs are labeled “vegetarian diet” or “fed vegetarian grain” because vegetarianism is associated with an ethical position, a choice a chicken doesn't make (as far as we know). It’s like claiming that all donkeys are Democrats.I do realize that eggs are labeled that way because hens can be fed all sorts of processed animal protein in industrial practices but we have a perfectly good word for animals that don’t eat other animals: herbivores. Or hey, if herbivore is no good, how about "plant-based diet" not to drag the name of vegetarians into bullet-point advertising.The other issue is that chickens are naturally omnivores who eat insects and worms along with plants, so the implied naturalness of a herbivorous diet for hens is misleading.
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