Before you go ahead and order up that omelette for breakfast, crack open another egg to use as an emulsifier in a baking recipe (Check out these great vegan egg replacements!), or take a sip of eggnog during the holiday season, take a moment to think about the real price of eggs. While eggs have been used as food for thousands of years, nowadays there is no reason to continue this usage which is cruel to animals, taxing on our environment and not all that great for our health either.

Here are some facts about chickens, chicks and eggs, and eye-opening background information that you should know about before you make your next trip to the grocery store to pick up a carton of eggs.

Eggs are SUPER high in cholesterol! Let’s face it, the majority of the people living and eating in this country are not lacking cholesterol, they are consuming way too much. Just one egg alone contains approximately 187 mg of cholesterol.

Chickens are intelligent and emotional creatures. Chickens are capable of forming tight bonds with other animals and as stated in Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, “The University of Bristol in England has shown that in multiple tests of cognitive and behavioral intelligence, chickens outperform dogs, cats, and four-year-old humans.”

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It is common practice for male chicks to be culled in heartbreaking and cruel ways. Male chicks are considered useless in the egg industry and treated like an unwanted commodity so they are usually killed either by suffocation in a garbage bag with hundreds of other chicks or via maceration where they are put through a grinder.

Chickens are the most vulnerable to abuse. Out of the few laws that do protect farmed animals, chickens are not covered under either The Animal Welfare Act or The Humane Slaughter Act.

Female hens are kept in inhumane, uninhabitable conditions. Laying hens are kept in battery cages on factory farms (the places where the majority of our food comes form) where each cage holds 8-10 hens who are given only about as much room as a piece of paper.

More chickens die per year that any other farmed animal. Isn’t it time you gave chickens a break and began to look at them in a new, more accurate light? These guys are descended from Tyrannosauruses for gosh sake!