Facts about Eggs
Jain Meditation International Center, New York
Do you remember as a child your mother telling you not to eat cakes or pastries that had eggs because you are a vegetarian? Many times I have heard people saying, eggs are vegetarian food and are good for health so we eat it. The myth about vegetarian eggs and its health-promoting qualities are misleading. Its consumption by so many vegetarians is really shocking. The ignorance of such matter has spread so far that people resist believing that an egg has potential life and that an egg has an unborn chick within its shell.
Man's desires for food has made him go to extremes and leading him to eat those foods that are colored with violence and pain. Nature has its reason for eggs, not by way of food for man but as an important link in the reproductive system of hens. It is the craving for violent food that actually numbs the feeling and thinking capacity of the human being. He ignores going deep into the subject and shuns the truth of the matter. But how long will he remain in darkness? For facts are facts and they will never change whether he accepts it or not.
Let us look at some facts about eggs and remove the ignorance that prevails in our mind. The facts you are about to read are taken from the book Hundred Facts about Eggs by Dr. Nemi Chand.
Eggs of all birds are structurally alike (See the McDonald Encyclopedia of Birds of the World, Page 30-31). Their internal structure is meant for reproduction of progeny and not for human consumption. By eating eggs, man has reverted to the hunting stage of his civilization. He is meddling both with nature and with the reproductive system.
The egg is totally forbidden for those who believe in non-violence. Right from the rearing of hens to the hatching of their eggs, there is violence all over. A visit to any poultry farm will support this fact. In poultry farms, hens are considered no better than egg-producing machines. They are confined to a narrow space of 15ö x 19ö in the midst of several hardships and tensions that are naturally passed on to the blood and system of those who eat their eggs and turn them into imbalance personalities.
Chickens are housed in small-congested cages known as chicken-havens. Due to shortage of space, they naturally become violent, offensive, obsessed and quarrelsome. They attack one another in a barbarous manner. So they are de-beaked. Due to de-beaking, they are unable even to drink water. Do we not realize the cause of our present widespread complexes, aggressiveness and suffering in the chicken-havens?
As mentioned earlier, hens are de-beaked to prevent them from fighting and wounding one another. The de-beaking is done in brown light, especially during the night when hens become almost blind. The lower beak is cut. If any mistake is made, the hen is deprived of food for the rest of her life. The hen has to starve at least for three days due to the wounded beak. Wouldn't this act of cruelty affect the egg-eater?
Hens are given five kinds of violent-generating foods: bone meal, blood-meal, excreta-food, meat-meal and fish-meal. Can we dare to call eggs vegetarian food even after learning this?
The term vegetarian egg is a first-rate misnomer. The purpose of a fertile egg is to animate life, but an infertile egg has no such purpose and as such should be considered totally inedible. Battery and factory eggs are harmful to health. It is better that we abstain ourselves from eating them.
The egg produced without any contact with the male bird (and thus producing an infertile egg) is also animate because it is born out of the hen’s body with its blood and cells. Therefore, its consumption is 100% non-vegetarian.
According to the famous American scientist Mr. Philip J. Scamble, no egg is without life in it. The scientists at Michigan University in America have proven it beyond doubt that no egg - fertile or infertile - is without life (inanimate).
The hen gives infertile eggs during the absence of the male bird. But it has been observed that she gives an infertile egg before the day of contact with the male bird - and also the next day. In other words, she can give a fertile egg even without contact with a male bird. On the fifth day, again she gives a fertile egg. This means that the semen of the male bird remains lying in her body for a considerable duration. In some cases, this duration has been observed to be as long as even six months.
A fertilized egg is a pre-birth stage of a chicken; unfertilized eggs are the result of the sexual cycle of a hen and very unnatural. Both are non-vegetarian food. Victoria Moran, the author of the book Compassion: The Ultimate Ethics says, to eat fertilized egg is in fact to consume a chicken before its birth (The Ethic on borderline). I was told that an unfertilized egg is the product of a bird's sexual cycle and can hardly be regarded as natural food for Man.
Whether the egg is fertile or infertile, life is essentially there; and it has all the symptoms of life, such as respiration, brain, feeding ability, etc. There are 15,000 porous-breathing holes on the shell, the cover of the egg. The egg begins to rot at a temperature of less than 8^ Celsius, 00^ Fahrenheit. When it begins this process, its rotting manifests itself through evaporation of the water content. The egg becomes infected by germs and thus becomes diseased. The progress of the rotting soon reaches the shell of the egg.
Eggs contain cholesterol in large quantities. The yellow bulk of the egg is the major source of cholesterol. Cholesterol narrows down the arteries and may eventually lead to a heart attack or to paralysis. Eating eggs may also lead to rheumatism and gout that can cause serious and painful joints in old age.
All the above facts lead to prove that eggs are not vegetarian and so let us re-think about the issue of eggs and realize that a balanced vegetarian diet contains an abundance of health-protecting nutrients and fibers without eggs.