Feathers Fly Over Egg Recall

August 27th, 2010 by Webmaster

Hens in intensive agriculture are crammed into tiny battery cages where they are unable to walk or spread their wings.

Hens in intensive agriculture are crammed into tiny battery cages where they are unable to walk or spread their wings.

This month’s massive egg recall is stacking up to be the largest in history with a mind-boggling half a BILLION eggs snatched back from our nation’s shelves.  Over 1,000 people across 14 states have fallen ill. What’s so crazy is that all this is the fallout from one single egg factory. That’s right, just one facility. That is how outrageously conglomerated our food system has become. A billion eggs from one hen house? Can you imagine what kind of life those chickens must have?

This is no isolated incident either. Just this week there was another recall of 380,000 pounds of deli meats with Listiria contamination, another potentially deadly bacteria which causes high fever, severe headache, nausea, neck stiffness and potential death.

The egg facility involved in the recall has a rotten history. The salmonella outbreak can be traced to Wright County Egg, in Galt, Iowa. They have been the target of government regulators for environmental violations, unsafe working conditions, and sexual harassment of workers, according to the New York Times. Wright County Egg is owned by Jack DeCoster, who also happens to own an egg facility in Maine which was the recent target of a Mercy for Animals 2009 undercover investigation.

The undercover video revealed shocking animal abuse in Mr. DeCoster’s egg factory. Birds were video taped suffering from untreated open wounds, infections, and broken bones. Hens were producing eggs for human consumption alongside their dead cage mates, standing in feces. Workers were seen breaking the necks of hens, kicking birds and throwing them live in trash bins.

Mr. DeCoster pleaded guilty to 10 counts of cruelty to animals and paid fines and restitution coming to over $130,000.  However, it appears from this historically massive egg recall and resulting salmonella epidemic that Mr. DeCoster has not cleaned up his act.  Similar appalling conditions are sure to be found at this factory.

When you keep chickens crammed 10 to a cage and a million to a warehouse, contamination is going to easily occur. These facilities are disgusting, dirty, rat-infested places you wouldn’t want to spend even a minute inside and these poor birds have to live their entire short lives in them. Hens in intensive agriculture are crammed into tiny battery cages where they are unable to walk or spread their wings. Workers have to enter the windowless warehouses with masks and goggles because the airborne fecal dust is so thick. The birds are painfully debeaked. They never set foot outside or feel the sun on their feathers. All their natural behaviors like nesting, scratching, pecking, and preening are completely denied.

So how do we keep ourselves and our family safe from contaminated eggs? The same way we help end the suffering of these tortured hens; by going vegan. We can enjoy improved health and well-being on a plant-based diet without the cholesterol and saturated fat-filled egg. In Defense of Animals has the solution not only to the safety issue, but to the cruelty issue, to the obesity issue, to the world hunger issue. It’s truly amazing how many of the world’s problems can be eliminated with a vegan diet. So recall cruelty! Recall global warming! Recall heart disease and go vegan!