While it's unfathomable that some people still eat eggs, aka chicken menstruation, the current misconceptions about their nutrition facts and ethical aspects are increasingly worrying.
The average American consumes about 247 eggs every year - and not only is this outrageously cruel, it can also have serious health repercussions.
It is still believed by the masses that eggs are healthy, and free-range is a thing.
Spoiler alert: it's not.
So have a look at why consuming eggs is gross, health-damaging, and cruel.
Also known as chick culling, the egg industry kills newly-hatched male chicks for which the hatcheries have no use. They are considered redundant to the egg-laying industries because they don't lay eggs.
This is the case for all industrialized egg production in both the US and UK - regardless of whether it's free-range, organic, or battery cage.
The majority of culling methods don't involve anaesthetic, and include cervical dislocation, asphyxiation by carbon dioxide, and the American industry's favorite: maceration using a high speed grinder.
A spokesman for the British Egg Information Service said the practice of culling male chicks has been in place 'as long as the industry has been there'.
As many as 200 million male chicks are minced up alive annually just by US egg hatcheries.
Egg yolks are loaded with cholesterol - a known risk factor for coronary artery disease and heart attacks.
A medium-sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, which is 62 percent of the recommended intake.
And it makes sense; a whole egg contains all the nutrients needed to turn a single cell into an entire baby chicken.
Experts suggest that consuming even one egg a day may exceed the safe upper limit for cholesterol intake - which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Atherosclerosis Research found that eating one egg per day is just as bad for your heart as smoking five cigarettes a day.
Female chicks survive being minced alive, but instead, they will have their beaks cut off (or burnt off) without anaesthesia or pain relief. This is done in an attempt to prevent the hens from injuring themselves or each other when living in such cramped conditions.
Chickens in battery cages live in such small areas that they are unable to spread their wings - ever.
Even in the best-case scenario, a hen spends her life crowded in a space about the size of a file drawer with several other hens, unable to lift a single wing.
Disease also runs rampant in the cramped sheds, given that the egg-laying hens are forced to urinate and defecate on each other.
After two years of living in these conditions, the birds have suffered from severe bone loss and tens of millions suffer new broken bones as they're ripped from their cages. The hens' bodies become exhausted, and they are shipped to slaughterhouses - where fragile legs are forced into shackles and their throats are cut.
"Consumers should be aware that this is what they are paying for when they buy eggs, regardless of whether they are from caged or free-range hens," said a spokesman for animal rights organization Animal Aid.
Cholesterol consumption was found to be a strong predictor of liver cancer.
Compared with men who rarely eat eggs, men eating even less than one egg a day appear to have twice the risk of prostate cancer progression, according to plant-based physician Dr. Greger.
In addition, choline, a compound found in eggs, is converted into a toxin called trimethylamine by bacteria existing in meat-eaters' guts. The toxin was found to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and premature death.
According to research, chickens outperform both dogs and cats on tests of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral complexity.
Dr. Jane Goodall explains: "Farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear, and pain.
"They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined... they are individuals in their own right."
Research from the University of Bristol also found that "Chickens do not just live in the present but can anticipate the future and demonstrate self-control... something previously attributed only to humans and other primates.''
Many people are probably not aware that they are eating someone's period.
But think about it: female chickens have a menstrual cycle, during which a hen's ovary sends a yolk on its path.
As it moves though the reproductive tract and into the shell gland, the yolk forms into an 'egg white'.
The shell takes about 20 hours to form - and that's your breakfast right there.
Salmonella bacteria in eggs can survive most cooking methods, including scrambled, omelettes, sunny-side-up, and boiled.
This particular bacteria is a leading cause of food poisoning-related hospitalizations, and the top cause of food poisoning-related death, says Dr. Greger.
For instance, more than half a billion eggs were recalled due to Salmonella outbreaks in 2010.
And in more recent news, 700,000 contaminated Dutch eggs were distributed to the UK this summer. The eggs contained the pesticide fipronil, which can harm people's kidneys, liver, and thyroid glands.
But why put yourself at risk?
And tell me about free-range one more time, I dare you.
You should know that 95 percent of U.S. eggs come from caged hens; and 20,000 hens in one barn still counts as 'free-range'.
So stop eating eggs. Period.
Diana is a London-based writer dedicated to bringing you the latest updates in ethical consumerism and plant-based nutrition. She is a recent media graduate with extensive journalistic experience, and writes in hopes of changing the narrative. You can follow Diana on Instagram and Twitter @dianalupica
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
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