I love nothing more than cracking the head off a soft boiled egg. Watching that golden yolk bulge and drip over the side as you stick in your spoon- that is heaven contained within an beige oval.
Add salt and dip in firm, butter laden toast, and I am anyone’s.
There aren’t many meals that are so easy to make, and so glorious to eat.
A few months ago I didn’t think anything could stop me wanting that golden egg magic.
Ok, so those images of battery farmed hens are horrific, no food is worth that amount of bleak suffering. Its been along a time since I bought caged hen eggs and I pay out for free range without even thinking about it, caged eggs just aren’t an option to me and frankly, shouldn’t be for anyone. I pay over the odds for eggs that I imagine are laid by “happy hens”, hens that frolic in meadows and pushed out their produce on the softest, snuggest straw.
In all my egg obsessed years its never, ever, crossed my mind that only female chickens are needed for this – not once! Which is blindingly idiotic. So, I never ever thought about what happens to male chicks, the utterly unnecessary by product of the egg industry I adored so.
I have vegan friends who regularly post about the dairy and meat industry on social media. It was thanks to one of them that I saw a video montage of what happens to male chicks, and it wasn’t like the fun, uplifting montages you see in movies.
It was horrific.
Usually when I see posts like this I hurriedly scroll past so I don’t see anything I might find upsetting. But recently I have been finding that attitude massively childish, and deeply hypocritical. I always roll my eyes when people order seafood, or fish in general, then fret about whether it will appear on their plate head, eyes, skin and all:
“I don’t like it looking at me! I don’t like it when it looks like fish!!”
I would inwardly groan: “fucking grow up, you ordered fish – fish have fucking eyes“.
But I was being a judgmental wee hypocrite, happily and ignorantly eating my steak without having to deal with a cow’s head being smacked down on the table in front of me. No one was asking me to look into the glazed, dead eyes of the cow I was chowing down on. And if they had, I wouldn’t have been able to take a bite.
If I wanted to consume this stuff I needed face up to where it came from, I needed to look it in eyes. So, I started pressing play on all those videos….
I saw chicks mashed, boiled, suffocated, blended FFS! Proper yellow fluff smoothie action. There is no way those chicks were feeling nothing. They were feeling pain, and lots of it.
This happens every day on a massive scale – crates and crates and crates of chicks and pain.
And I think this is where the kick is.
People can close off their ears and eyes to terrible things when the numbers involved become unfathomable. I think most, none psychopathic people, would wince and feel upset if they witnessed an isolated male chick thrown in a blender, but because we talk (like, when do we talk about it really though?!) in dizzying numbers (about 30-40 million a year), the horrible thing just becomes a meaningless, yellow blur that we can shrug off.
Like climate change – it is so overwhelming to comprehend that we don’t really notice when that occasional empty bean can goes in the normal bin rather than the recycling.
And on a more basic level – we all like our chow! We like our cakes and our burgers and our biscuits and our chocolate and our pizza so fuck it! Pass another slice while I carry on not thinking about anything at all!!
But I can’t have that attitude anymore, its making me queasy. So that’s why I am taking part in Veganuary this year. One month where I don’t eat any meat or dairy. I have so much more to say about why I am doing this, so if you want to carry on not hearing about this stuff, probably come back to the blog in February, but if you are interested thats awesome and I hope you enjoy the next month’s blogging!
If you fancy taking part, or just want more info on Veganuary, please visit their website.