What’s Wrong With Eating Eggs and Dairy?

Cute yellow baby chick

In September I had the pleasure of meeting my blogger buddy, Jean, in person. While chatting over a meal at The Plum Bistro, Jean shared how her mom went vegan. I already knew her mom, Carmen, from her blog Fashionable Over 50 and I knew that she was vegan, but I didn’t know why she made the transition. When I heard Carmen’s story I loved it so much that I asked her if she’d be willing to share it on my blog. Here’s the story, and when you’re done, check out her Animal Rights Day post.

What’s Wrong With Eating Eggs and Dairy? By Carmen from Fashionable Over 50

I used to be only a vegetarian until my daughter became vegan, informed me how cruel the dairy and egg industries are, and gave me John Robbin’s Diet for a New America. It was also around this time that my young son was raising a rescued hen. An acquaintance, who is a chicken farmer, offered to sell us feed in bulk. We dropped by the farm and I had a look inside.

To my horror, what I saw was not the worst part – the stench burnt my eyes and I could hardly breathe (my husband walked in and immediately had to leave; it was wicked!). Those poor chickens remain in abominable conditions for their entire lives until they are ‘spent’ (one to two years). There are several hens crammed into each filthy cage with their beaks chopped off, feathers missing and so little space that they are unable to spread their wings. What’s more is that they never even get to walk on the ground.

I witnessed an SUV pull up and some people got out to buy some spent hens. They grabbed them by their legs and mercilessly stuffed them into crates. I’m sure those hens endured more suffering without food or water during transport and then, of course, they were slaughtered. That’s the thanks these little hens get for having laid eggs in these deplorable, painful conditions. This cannot be justified by any means.

For me it was like a dog-lover walking into a puppy mill. I love all animals and cannot contribute to this cruelty. As a vegetarian, I thought eating eggs, and enjoying ice cream and yogurt didn’t hurt animals. However, dairy cows and egg-laying hens have it worse than their “beef”  and “poultry” cousins. They have short, miserable lives and end up being slaughtered in the end. I really wish vegetarians, who are vegetarian for the sake of animals, knew this. Almost everyone I talk to asks me, “What’s wrong with eating eggs and dairy since it doesn’t hurt animals.” Well the truth is that it does!!

As for my health, I am 61 (soon 62) in excellent health: no cancer, no osteoporosis, no heart disease, no arthritis, no diabetes. I have as much energy as I had in my 20s.

I believe that if people (especially vegetarians who already care about animals) learn how cruel the dairy and egg industries are, they will choose compassion. By doing so we will be healthier and contributing to a better world. I encourage everyone to make steps toward a plant-based diet: meatless Mondays, cutting down on animal products and being vegetarian (everything helps).

Together we can stop the misery and suffering of people and animals.
With love and compassion,

Photo courtesy of the Coryell Group.

About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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86 Responses to What’s Wrong With Eating Eggs and Dairy?

  1. I remember thinking that eating eggs didn’t harm the chicken. The male chicks will be gassed if they are ‘lucky’ or alternatively, minced alive. Viva! did an undercover investigation – I hope you don’t mind me posting the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6i2zg-dkOs&list=PLD71ACAC361FBA0FA
    Beware, the footage is tough to watch 😦

    • Thanks for your thoughtful response! I don’t mind that you posted a link at all, I think it’s important for people to be aware. I have to admit that I clicked on the link and then had to stop watching. Anyway, I was completely unaware that dairy cows and laying hens were harmed before I watched the movie Vegucated. It’s so important to know where your food is coming from. Celeste 🙂

  2. This is why I like to support small scale local people who are raising chickens humanely. The eggs are fabulous – you can see and taste the difference.

    • carmen says:

      Hi L.L.

      I appreciate your desire to see hens raised humanely. However, this was a small scale farm, I had no idea that these people treated them the same as large factory farms. I thought they would have better conditions being a small farm. It was a real eye-opener.

      We also know another farm nearby that let their hens forge outside, but they are still slaughtered after they are spent and cannot produce enough eggs to make it profitable. Chickens can live 8 – 10 years but these ones get slaughter after 1 – 2 years, the same as the large factory farms. True, they have a better life before they are killed, but not so for the males who are useless and killed the same as in large farms.

      I loved eggs, but since giving up, my taste-buds and mentality have changed drastically. Now the thought is yucky! There are so many delicious alternatives. Do you like avocados? They have omega 3 and protein.

      I welcome your thoughts.
      ♥ carmen

      Here’s more info on the plight of hens used for eggs and a tasty recipe to try from …


      Scrambled ‘Egg’ on Toast

      10 oz (285g) plain tofu

      2 tbsp vegetable oil

      1 tsp turmeric

      1 tsp herbs (chives or parsley)

      salt and pepper to season

      wholemeal toast spread with margarine

      1. Mash the tofu evenly and fry it in the vegetable oil until evenly cooked.

      2. Add the turmeric, herbs and season to taste. Cook a further few minutes. Serve on crispy wholemeal toast spread with margarine.

      You can also add fried mushrooms, sweet or hot peppers, onions, garlic… anything you like… to vary the recipe

      BON APPETITE!!!!

      • For awhile my sister and her partner were talking about raising chickens for eggs. My sister asked me if I’d eat the eggs she raised knowing that the chickens were being well taken care of. I answered, “No.” I said this for several reasons. The first one is health. I’ve read so much about how unhealthful animal products are that I don’t want to put them into my body.

        My second reason is that I don’t want to promote eating animal products because I believe that most of the industry harms animals. While I believe that there are some small farms that treat their animals well, I believe this is the minority. I suppose that eating my sister’s eggs isn’t directly supporting this industry, but it’s easier to just avoid animal products across the board.

        My third reason is that I don’t desire eggs. Sure, I used to like eggs, but since going vegan I haven’t missed them. It’s easy to replace eggs in baking with flax seeds mixed with water and there are so many things I can eat for breakfast instead of eggs. After a few months of eating vegan, I stopped desiring animal products. Like Carmen said above, they actually gross me out now.

        This is how I roll, but I certainly wouldn’t judge anyone if they chose to eat eggs from a source they know is treating their chickens well. Celeste 🙂

  3. I enjoyed our brunch at Plum, Celeste, and I’m glad I could share my mom’s story with you. She tells it better! So thanks for posting it for others to read. Even on small farms, conditions are bad and the hens’ fates (death) is all the same. I’m proud of my mom for opening her mind and heart and doing the right thing. I hope her story inspires others!

  4. Reblogged this on Wolf Is My Soul and commented:
    Informative and interesting as always. Re-blogged with thanks.

  5. Ralph says:

    I totally agree with this post Celeste. The problem is the inhumane treatment of animals and birds by people who like to do these things for money. Chickens are just a product for profit. Nothing else.
    At the other end of the scale are people who keep chickens, give them names and are distraught if one dies.
    I like eggs and a chicken meal. I couldn’t kill a chicken but at the same time enjoy a chicken meal. I wouldn’t stop eating chicken or eggs, but what must be stopped is the inhumanity in this case and in all spheres of life.
    Ralph xox 😀

    • carmen says:

      Hi Ralph! I guess you could say I’m the one at the other end of the scale. 😀 Our hen had a name “Chicky” (my son named her). And yes we were sad when she died as anyone who has had a dog or cat die. These sentient creatures are a joy to have around and our hen was quite amusing. We loved her like anyone who has a parrot or canary would.

      Looking out my kitchen window watching her forge in the garden, always made me smile. She was very useful: eating mosquitoes, ticks and grubs, plus she was a great fertilizer! She was pretty smart too; when I went outside she’d come running to see what treat I would bring her.

      ♥ carmen

    • Thanks so much for reading this post Ralph! I know you’re not vegan or vegetarian, so the fact that you put up with all these “weird vegan” posts is SO cool. Maybe I shouldn’t call my posts “weird vegan”, but to most of the world that’s what they are. I would certainly have thought they were weird before I went vegan anyway.

      I hear where you’re coming from and I don’t judge you. I’ll just say this and then keep my mouth shut – from my understanding, most of the animals raised for food are treated badly. Just saying. 🙂

      • Ralph says:

        Hi Carmen 😀 My aunt used to keep free range geese. Even though they gave her a hard time she loved them and she had to be home before dark to put them to bed in case a fox got to them. R x

        Hi Celeste 😀 “Weird Vegan” No !! I was a companion to a widow for 23 years and her husband was a pure vegan in the 1950’s. He had a top job in hospitals and was given a rough time throughout his life because of this. I was a vegetarian for a while, but not serious. Pseudo-meats such as Quorn mince and bacon we did eat, but fish, poultry and eggs never really left the table. I hate red meat and don’t eat it now. R x

  6. stacilys says:

    Wow! Thanks for the informative post Celeste. I live in Brazil and have never seen tofu here (especially where I live -in the north-east and not a capital city). However, my kids go to an Adventist school and the Adventists place a high emphasis on leading a healthy life and steering clear of at least pork. However, a good amount of them are vegetarians. Anyhow, my daughter’s teacher asked me if I made my own tofu. I told her that I had no idea that it was possible. She told me that she was given a pan for making tofu and that it is. Hurray! I’ll be experimenting very soon (when time actually permits). Can’t wait. I’ve already told Sylvia over at ‘Superfoodista’ that I’m going to make the tofu and and one of her recipes will be my first.
    Blessings =)

    • I had no idea that you couldn’t get tofu in Brazil – how interesting! Like you I didn’t know that you could make it either. I look forward to hearing how it turns out and how you like it. To be honest with you, I’m not a big tofu eater. My husband and I get most of our protein needs met through beans and high protein grains like quinoa. I know about the emphasis Adventists place on healthy eating and I think that’s wonderful. Thanks so much for your comment and I hope your tofu experiment goes well. Celeste 🙂

      • stacilys says:

        Actually, I’ve never been a big tofu eater either. But I love experimenting with healthy and vegan deserts. There are a ton of whipped toppings I’d love to experiment with, but they mostly call for tofu.
        In Brazil we eat beans every day. Rice and beans are the staple here. My son all of a sudden doesn’t like brown beans so we almost always eat black beans now.
        blessings =)

    • That’s true about the desserts. I do use silken tofu for pies and puddings and it’s delish!! Avocado can sometimes be used as a replacement for silken tofu, however. My go-to healthy dessert, Orange Chocolate Pudding, for example can be made with either. Here’s a link in case you’re interested: http://honkifyourevegan.com/2013/03/22/dairy-free-orange-chocolate-pudding/
      Celeste 🙂

  7. Hi.
    I am a small scale farmer, and I REALLY have to say that these comments do not apply to the typical small scale farm.
    I very much appreciate your desire to be humane and kind. I just want to bring some clarity to these above conversations.

    I would love to know where the people writing the information above were visiting. That is not true of any farm I’ve ever visited. Most small flocks and herds are raised with love and care, with the majority being free range, if not in a large fenced area with trees and grasses. Many people do not kill the chickens at all. We didn’t. I had hens that were six years old or older that we ended up having to sell the majority due to a move that were still laying when they felt like it. (still have 12)

    Mine could jump over the henhouse fencing and would go to the pasture or in the yard, under bushes, etc. Most small farms have children who pick up the chickens, even the roosters, tote them around, name them, feed them special scraps and many farmers made their own feed. Most of the women and children have to run around with buckets and crawl under things to find the eggs, as the hens go where they want, and the kids love these eggs ‘hunts’. Most times, every chicken has a name, and they are identified by their different colorings or personalities.

    I have visited many farms over the years, as I used to home school and would buy raw dairy from the Amish in PA or MD, and then visited many farms in North Carolina until I started my own farm, which I have since lost, due to extensive flooding about a year ago.

    Being a vegan is a lifestyle, it is a spiritual calling, and not many people can do that to its true extent. I find it very admirable, and have done much research to understand how to minimize the usage of these products.
    That means no leather products – in your car, around your waist, over your shoulder, or on your feet, no butter, no processed snacks or foods (especially fast) – as many contain processed ‘nutrients’ which are things like ground up duck feathers, hog and, yes, human hair – see L-cysteine in the ingredients – http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/03/09/l-cysteine-in-bread-products-still-mostly-sourced-from-human-hair-duck-feathers-hog-hair/. Also, jello or any food containing gelatin, as that comes from horse hooves, and no mayo or ice cream.

    You will also need read the ingredients of most of your shampoos and other cosmetics, as many contain placenta and other materials, either animal or human. How many commercials have you seen advertising younger skin with ‘collagen’ or ‘albumen’ as a ‘must have’ in your products? Collagen is the main structural component of protein found in the connective tissues of animals.

    I say these things only to help make people more aware that this is a complicated issue. As an omnivore for now, I daily bless all that I am able to afford for my childrens’ meals, and do my best to educate and make the wisest choices that I can. I love my farm fresh eggs and raw milk, and get grass fed beef as often as I can afford to, while also incorporating flax, quinoa and juices to my lifestyle.
    Just some things to think about…visit your local farm and see what they’re doing. Many are good people who take very good care of their animals. Blessings…

    • Hi thecreaterdeems, very thoughtful response and yes those of us who are vegans do all the things your write about in your response. We do read labels-takes longer to do grocery shopping and yes I have been known to put an item back on the shelf because it was not vegan. I even have vegan dogs. Veganism is a lifestyle practice in which the end goal is to do no harm to sentient beings and to the planet as well. It is a reverence for life that supercedes the human palete. And Celeste great post. Even before I was Vegan or Vegetarian eggs grossed me out–I stopped eating them long time ago……I am very proud of you for saying no to your sister. By the way how was the wedding?

      • Hey there Ivonne! The weddings (I went to two) were great. My sister decided to tone down the presentation Paul and I planned. Instead of a funny skit, it ended up being like a typical wedding which was nice. I’ll be writing a post about the weddings one of these days. Hope all is well in Palmdale chica. Celeste 🙂

    • sf says:

      Wonderful to hear about humanely grown small chicken farms! Whew. Loved reading about how you used to run your own farm and so very sorry to hear about your not having it anymore. Those egg hunts sure sounded like a lotta fun! Bet those chickens layed ’em in all crazy places! Now I’d like to visit an Amish chicken farm in PA or MD someday! (And maybe buy an Amish wooden chair; heard they’re like lifetime guarantee, their homemade furniture.)

    • Thank you so much for this comment! I would like to believe that there are many small farms like you speak of around, but from what I’ve read it seems they are dwindling in number and being replaced by factory farms. And as Carmen says, just because a farm is small doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re humane. That being said, I don’t see anything wrong with the kind of farms you describe. I’m also sorry that you lost your farm.

      I’d also like to say that most of my information comes from reading and from visiting LA’s Farm Sanctuary that rescues farm animals. I like what you say about actually going out and visiting farms to see first-hand what’s going on. And of course, this would mean visiting a lot of farms because each one is different. Please, if anyone reading this has visited small farms I’d love for you to share your experience.

      For myself, I would still choose not to eat animal products if I could get them from a small farm where the animals are humanely raised, but I certainly wouldn’t judge someone else for doing this. My reasons for abstaining are mostly based on health. From what I’ve read I believe that a diet very low or without animal products is helpful in preventing disease. I think that a diet with a low percentage of animal products, up to 5%, is healthful too.

      I also suspect, however; that part of the reason meat and dairy have been shown to cause disease is due to modern farming practices that add things like antibiotics to animal feed. I’m sure that eating farm fresh meat and dairy by humanely raised animals is much healthier than eating what you get at the grocery store. It’s just anecdotal evidence, but my great grandparents had a farm and ate farm fresh milk, eggs and meat and lived healthfully into their 90’s. As you say about veganism being complex, health and nutrition are complex too. There are SO many factors to consider.

      Thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate it. I’m actually thinking about finding a local farm to visit. I want to know and share the truth on my blog, and I owe it to myself and my readers to be as educated as possible.

      Celeste 🙂

      • Thank you, too, for being so aware. I struggle with celiacs and allergy to soy, so a more vegan life style is complex. Limited finances are always an issue as a single mom, as well. You have a gorgeous blog, and I look forward to your future posts. Blessings…

    • carmen says:

      Hello Thecreatordeems!

      I know what I saw and it was a shock, I didn’t expect it. I’m only reporting what I witnessed first-hand.

      It was a Mennonite family farm, and apparently, very typical of the egg farms in our area. The small scale farms that you describe must be very few indeed, and could never supply the demands of billions of eggs needed in the USA and Canada. The sad truth is that 95% of eggs come from factory farms. The little free-range farm I mentioned in a comment, only buy hens from the supplier. They do not have one single rooster in their yard, which means the male chicks have to be destroyed because they are not needed. They only keep the hens till they are spent.

      If everyone would only buy eggs from a free-range farm, it would be somewhat better. But realistically, most people buy their eggs from the supermarket and those eggs are from hens raised in the horrific conditions that I saw.

      Also, hens hide their eggs instinctively to guard them from predators. Although it may seem a like a game – letting children go “egg hunting” – hens are trying to lay several eggs so they can start brooding and hatch them. If there are no roosters around, of course, there are no chicks in the eggs, but hens are still trying to do what is natural for them. Protecting their young is important for any animal and it is not kind to teach children to steal their eggs.

      Perhaps you disagree with me, but these are my views on animals having a right to live and procreate. As human beings, I hope we can have mercy on God’s creatures and be good stewards of this world. Factory farming is devastating to our planet.

      With compassion,
      ♥ carmen

      • I think, too, (as an aside) that we have choices to make every day about how to live our lives, and we must do on an individual basis what we find to be in our highest good. My views are definitely based on my personal experiences as both a farmer and a consumer. I have raised animals for several years, and have never experienced stress in my animals, or at the farms I visited. On the other hand, I have looked at the CAFO scenario, and wrote about it, targeting cattle, but poultry is in the same condition – i.e. horrible beyond measure.

        I just want to add that I feel you have a misconception about chickens. It doesn’t sound like you have ever raised them; is that a correct assumption?

        I am glad you are going to see some farms – the more we can experience the different sides of an argument, the more we come to have compassion for each other. Your typical chicken breed lays about 5 eggs a week, and walks a way from it. There is only one hen that gets ‘broody’ during the season, depending on the size of the flock. The hens then come to lay in the nest once the girl becomes broody, and then the ‘momma’ sits on everyone’s eggs.

        She is the nurse maid. The momma is usually left alone. She will sit on those eggs, and she talks to those eggs, and they communicate to each other. It is a beautiful thing to watch and listen in on this process. If one is too hot, she rolls it to the edge, and vice versa if one is cold. The other hens then lay eggs in different places.
        Understand that I’m not really trying to make anyone want to start eating meat products. I do wish to raise an awareness that there are more and more spiritual types working to create green footprints, working with plant animal medicine, and resonate with a very high vibration of unconditional love.

        Thank you for allowing me to blabber on. Here is a link to start learning about CSA’s, as they can be a valuable resource in finding food options. http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

      • Hmnnn, It seems to me that the most humane and evolved thing to do is to just not consume animals or animal products. It’s really quite simple, especially since we do not need to eat dead flesh, milk, eggs or honey to survive. Why would you want to do anything else?

    • The main problem I have with using chickens for eggs is that the day they’re born, half the population is killed. Males aren’t meaty enough, like their broiler cousins, and they aren’t able to lay eggs like their sisters, so they are gassed or ground up alive. This is true of hatcheries that supply large-scale battery operations, smaller free-range set-ups, and even urban backyard chickens.

      Other than hobby farms, which may keep hens around past their “prime,” I haven’t heard of any commercial farms who have hens past two years or so. The main goal of commercial farms is profit, and they wouldn’t make money waiting for old hens to lay an egg or two a week.

      I doubt hens would survive that long in battery cages anyway. Even free-range farms are often just glorified warehouses stuffed with birds–cageless, but cramped. It’s a stressful life and disease and injury is prevalent.

      Laying eggs every day is stressful on a hen’s body. They’re meant to lay until they have a clutch–enough eggs to sit on. They would then get a rest from laying until their chicks are hatched and big enough to fend for themselves. When people take away their eggs, hens keep laying at the expense of their health. They are often calcium-deprived as a result.

      I don’t eat eggs because I don’t want to exploit animals for profit or “food.” Animals have their own lives and it’s not my right to take from them.

      I find being vegan is easy because I eat whole foods. No labels to read! If I do buy prepackaged food, I’ve noticed a lot will clearly have the V logo on the box or call out that they’re vegan. I buy non-leather clothing and wear cosmetics from all-vegan brands.

      • Great comment Jean! I’ll never forget seeing a conveyor belt full of newly born chicks being ground up alive when I watched Vegucated. This was so disturbing that I had trouble sleeping the night after watching the movie. Everyone should watch the movie Vegucated, it’s such an eye-opener!

        You make a good point about not wanting to exploit animals for profit or “food”. This is something that humans agree is not okay to do to other humans, so why is it okay for us to do this to animals? I’ve heard people use the argument, “it’s just an animal.” But what does that mean? And is that fair? Not only this, but humans only use this argument for “some” animals. Most people would get in a serious huff if dogs were treated the way we treat animals we consume.

      • Thanks Celeste! I’ve seen the conveyor belt footage. Horrible! And I agree with your comparison of “food” animals versus “pets.” If we would be disgusted if something was done to a dog or cat, we shouldn’t allow other animals to be treated that way.

  8. Thank you for posting this Celeste, your post and the comments above are very interesting and thought provoking x

  9. Great article Celeste!
    You know I’m a vegetarian since I was a baby (2 years old). I refused to eat any kind of meat that my parents gave me. They took me to the doctor to find out what’s the problem. The doctor said there is no problem. Just don’t force her to eat it. So they didn’t. I am here at 20 something and I don’t even know how does meat tastes :). Kinda funny I know, but I grow up like this. At that time nobody even knew what a vegetarian is, they just called me the girl whofdoesn’t eat meat. 🙂
    I just wanted to share this little story of mine with you.
    Have an amazing day Celeste! Hugs!

    • Wow – that’s SO cool! There are probably other people like you out there, but not many. I have to hand it to your doctor for telling your parents not to force you to eat meat. I’m surprised that you didn’t start eating it at some point, however. It seems like it must have been challenging for you to not eat meat in an omnivore family. Your story is really inspirational – thanks so much for sharing it. Celeste 🙂

  10. Mike Lince says:

    As usual, you expand my understanding of the food world. In the agrarian-based societies in which we have lived outside the U.S., people treat animals with more respect. However, I cannot always be sure what the treatment of animals is like since I do not live anywhere near the farms. Thus, I continue to be sensitive to what I eat thanks mostly to your influence. – Mike

    • Hey Mike! I’m expanding your understanding of food and you’re expanding my understanding of the world – I’d say that’s a great trade off. I’m sure that it’s true that people treat animals with more respect in many of the places you have lived. I think the US is one of the worst offenders when it comes to how farmed animals are treated. It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when much of the animal food we ate came from small scale farmers who treated their animals well. Most small farmers in the US have now been replaced by huge factory farms (according to Farm Forward, factory farming now accounts for more than 99 percent of all farmed animals raised and slaughtered in the United States). Here’s the link: http://www.farmforward.com/farming-forward/factory-farming

      As a rule, factory farms, do not treat animals well. It’s not that they want to be cruel, but they cut corners to make a profit. Unfortunately, the corners they cut are very harmful to animals.

      Thanks for reading Mike – I appreciate it! Celeste 🙂

  11. sf says:

    Goodness, it’s almost like there’s not an animal alive that’s not being tortured for their meat (or fur). Just yesterday, I was telling my sis about how the boiled egg on a salad has always been my favorite part of buying ready-made salads. But it looks like now eggs are gonna have to be put on my trying-to-remove-from-my-menu list.

    My sis used to buy some kind of microwavable meal from Trader Joe’s that had lamb’s meat in it. She said it was really good, but I never wanted to try it. (Lamb was on the list of some of the foods that she’s “allowed” to eat, according to a certain illness that she has, which had caused her to start trying it in the first place). Any other meat (besides deer), I might have tried. But just the thought of eating a poor little ‘ole lamb broke my heart (maybe made me think of eating a Bambi-like deer). Well, a few weeks ago, the sis asks me if I knew how lambs get their fur removed. I told her that I thought they always get them shaved off. But she told me that they actually get them pulled off. I said, no way! So she pulled up a video that she had seen of poor little lambs that had their fur pulled off of them. I could only peep through my fingers to watch the video and oh, I couldn’t stand it! The lambs were bleeding – even on their faces! Aaaah! For an already queasy person like me, I was losing it. Now, I’m sure the sis won’t be buying that microwavable lamb meal from Trader Joe’s anymore or ever eating it again, period. Oh, poor poor lambs…sniff.

    Thanks for sharing this story about the ratty treatment that can be given within chicken farms. I can’t believe that chicken farmer wasn’t ashamed to have visitors see the inside of his chicken farm.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment chica! I honestly don’t know why a lamb would have to have his wool yanked off – that’s just downright cruel. I recently heard about the same thing with the fur being pulled off rabbits to make angora sweaters. I don’t get it.

      Anyway, I’m SO happy to hear that you’re adjusting your diet for the sake of animals. That’s such a compassionate act – you rock! I know of great egg substitutes for baking, but I don’t know of anything that can replace a boiled egg.

      Have a lovely weekend! Celeste 🙂

    • carmen says:

      Thank you SF for caring!!! ♥

  12. Pamela Lima says:

    Hi Celeste!
    The mother Jean’s history is so cute and inspiring! I would be so lucky in my family … But in Brazil the culture of meat still very strong, unfortunately. They don’t understand my thoughts very well and strive to change some habits. They greatly reduced meat consumption, but remain in darkness.=(

    Well…I can’t complain much because my husband is a vegetarian and almost vegan! (“work in process”). Thanks for sharing this story and many others. I love your blog 🙂

    This is another inspiring story (Anne’ history)
    “Veganism is a way to align my beliefs with my actions”

    • That’s wonderful that your husband is almost vegan!!! (you can’t hear it, but I’m cheering loudly) I’m so glad my hubby is vegan – I can’t imagine how I’d manage if he was a meat and potatoes kind of guy. It’s also more fun because we get to explore vegan restaurants together. Are there any vegan restaurants in Brazil?

      I hear you about the culture of meat in South America. My sister-in-law is from Paraguay and she says the same thing. What’s cool, however; is that my sister-in-law reads my blog so maybe one day she’ll consider giving up meat. We’ll see.

      Thanks for the link – I’ll check it out. Have a lovely weekend! Celeste 🙂

  13. Rachel in Veganland says:

    Thanks for the share! I love hearing people’s “going vegan” stories!

  14. A lovely post from Carmen! Her health and energy give testimony to the benefits of a plant-based diet. Along with trips to chicken “farms,” every one should have to get up close and personal to feed lots. Acres and acres of cattle in horrible conditions – the filth and stench and disease. Yes, that’s where your food comes from – enjoy!

    • I know I should go see these things up close and personal, but it doesn’t sound like fun. And I’m sure that the worst offenders won’t let me anywhere near the site with my camera in hand. On a happier note, I hope your holidays were happy chica. Have a great weekend! Celeste 🙂

    • carmen says:

      Thank you! It was a Mennonite family farm, and apparently, very typical of the egg farms in our area. I wish everyone had to see this before buying eggs. It was so sad and VERY disgusting!

  15. diahannreyes says:

    Wow… definitely a harsh reality check. Thank you for this, Celeste.

  16. Wow. Thank you SO much for sharing!

    • Thank you for reading!! This is info that I was completely unaware of two years ago and I want to get the word out so that people can make informed choices about the food they eat. I really appreciate that you follow and read my blog – it means a lot!! Celeste 🙂

  17. Thank you for sharing Carmen’s story!
    I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the versatile blogger award.

  18. Michael Lane says:

    Great post, so many people do not know about what happens to egg laying chickens and dairy cows, thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • carmen says:

      Thank you Michael! I was in ignorance for many years. Not eating meat because I don’t want to harm animals, yet eating eggs and cheese every day without really thinking about it. Ignorance may be bliss, but not for the chickens and cows!

      ♥ carmen

  19. Becky says:

    This was beautiful. I wish more people knew how cruel the egg and dairy industries are.

  20. findingmyinnercourage says:

    Absolutely excellent article! Always knew about this but put it in the back of my mind as it literally makes me sick!

    • I like to forget about these things too. I suppose one of the reasons I started this blog was to continually remind myself (and others) of these things. Have a lovely week! Celeste 🙂

      • findingmyinnercourage says:

        Bravo to you Celeste! I am blessed with your blogging about things I am so adamant about!

  21. Great post, Celeste and Carmen! It seems many vegetarians don’t realize (or even care and turn a cheek) to the fact that the egg and milk industry are just as cruel, disgusting, and as damaging to the environment as the meat industry is. Many think their precious cheese is vegetarian, when in fact, most cheese contains rennet (the lining of a calf’s stomach). Even Vegetarian Times magazine refuses to acknowledge this to their readers. The dairy industry is downright cruel. How do people think cows produce milk?! They are kept perpetually pregnant, pumped with hormones and antibiotics, and when they give birth to their baby, it’s taken away and killed for either veal, leather and/or rennet. Then the cow itself if eventually sent to slaughter when it fails to become pregnant for the umpteenth time. Newborn calves are dumped into wheel barrels or crates and ignored until it’s dead or shipped off to a processing plant. It’s a dirty, nasty business.

    • Thank you for your thoughts! I’ve been vegan for two years I until I read your comment I didn’t know what rennet was. You must be right that this is something that is not often spoke of in the veg world. I first learned of the cruelty of the dairy industry from the movie Vegucated. It really is sad that more people aren’t aware of what goes on in this industry. Have a lovely week chica! Celeste 🙂

      • carmen says:

        Thank you both! I would rather eat beef and chicken (though I will NOT) than milk and eggs. Dairy cows and hens have a much worse life and I shudder that I supported this evil industry for so many years, while thinking I was a compassionate person by not eating meat.

        I had the fantasy-farm-syndrome (apparently, some vegetarians have this condition), which creates an illusion in our minds that cows are happy in a meadow all day and come home in the evening to enjoy being milked, and that hens are happily forging in a yard and sleep peacefully in a cozy henhouse at night while they lay little eggs for us.

        Compassion is growing as we find out the truth.
        ♥ carmen

  22. Thank you for this post. Since going plant-based, I’ve grown to believe that it would be more ethical to eat meat than it would be to eat dairy & eggs – at least the animals who are raised purely for meat are given the mercy of a younger death.

    My brother-in-law’s family used to own an egg farm before they retired. I helped out one night, moving the chickens from an open barn to the egg-laying cages. This was long before I made food choices based on ethics, but it did leave a lasting impression on me. And this was a small family farm. No one was unusually cruel to any of the animals, but the purpose of their existence and the cages where they lived out their life was cruel enough. I asked my brother-in-law if they sold the chickens for food after they were done, and he said no. The meat wasn’t good enough for human consumption after they had been confined to the cages for a year (three to a small cage, no room to stand, spread wings, or really move around). The chickens went to a dog food manufacturer, as that’s about all their meat was good for.

    • Thank you for this thoughtful comment Jesse! I’m sure, like you said, that your brother-in-law and many other egg farmers don’t mean to be cruel. It’s just that when you’re in the business of selling eggs, you do what you have to do to make money. And in today’s market, this usually means a very, very poor life for hens.

      I’ve often wondered how farmers feel about the animals in their care. I’m sure it varies from farmer to farmer, but I wonder how many of them question what they’re doing.

      Have a wonderful day Jesse! Celeste 🙂

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  25. Always great to hear first hand accounts of the cruelties in factory farming (dairy and eggs). Spread the word!

  26. Yes, that is very true, we should live in harmony with all of nature.
    I am of Native America heritage, and we communicate with both plants and animals. Plants also have an energy and life force that is destroyed, just as animals. There is a need for sacred understanding when we collect and gather any food source. Love must always be involved, which is why urban permaculture is so crucial to the future of the American people.

    I have already mentioned that I have celiac’s and allergy to soy, as well, however. Many of our plant sources are altered via GMO’s, which make many autistic people sick.

    We are very sensitive to processed foods, of any kind, which is what led me to start the micro-dairy with goats, with bees, chickens and organic gardening, combining permaculture, bio-dynamics, prayer, blessings and reiki in my farming.

    Do you have any suggestions for someone like me, and there are 1 in 88 with autism and huge allergy issues , to eat a completely animal free diet? I would love to be able to find a way to do this. I’m glad it is so easy for you; many others are not so lucky. Any advice for transition is greatly appreciated…blessings…

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  28. I was one of them too, thinking that eating eggs and dairy was okay because “They didn’t kill the animals for their dairy or eggs”. Then I found a film on Netflix called “Vegucated”, which educated me about the reality of the egg and dairy industries. I was angry, I was sad, but most importantly I was determined to go vegan for the rest of my life! And here I am 🙂 hopefully more people can get “vegucated” too.

    • I learned about the reality of the egg and dairy industries from the movie Vegucated too!! I love that movie and think everyone should watch it. Thanks so much for your comment – I appreciate it! Celeste 🙂

  29. There is so much we don’t know or one has to dig to find out about the food industry and most of us don’t have the time or inclination to do so, because we are busy, lazy, arrogant or brainwashed.

    In the UK we have a brand of something or other – don’t know ‘cos I don’t buy it – but I see it all the time on TV – called The Laughing Cow. These ridiculous brands are made to program people into thinking that the cows are happy and loving life. The ad has laughing cartoon cows dancing about providing milk. So the brain washing starts at kiddie levels.
    Then there’s the absurd idea that buying organic is somehow gracious of us to allow an animal to live a relatively ‘natural’ life before we slit its throat. Laughable.

    • Great comment!! We have The Laughing Cow brand here too and in addition to that we have advertising from another company that tells us that good quality cheese and milk come from “happy” cows and that “happy” cows come from California. So that’s why we’re supposed to buy Real California cheese, because it comes from happy cows. Oh come on!!!! Still, this is what many people believe and I even bought into it for the longest time. I only learned about the suffering of dairy cows when I watched the movie, Vegucated. Thanks so much for reading and following – I appreciate it! Celeste 🙂

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