Unless the eggs you buy are labelled “Free Run”, “Free Range”, or “Certified Organic” you are unwittingly supporting cruelty to animals.
Ninety-eight percent of Canada’s 26-million laying hens are confined in small wire cages which hold four or more birds each, and give each hen less space than a standard piece of paper. The birds cannot even fully extend their wings.
Every natural instinct of the hen is thwarted, leading to a range of behavioural vices that include pecking out her own feathers and cannibalizing her cage mates.
After enduring this misery for a year or more, the hen’s productivity wanes and she is considered “spent”.
Battery cages are considered so cruel the European Union is banning them.
Manitoba is leading the country in installing furnished cages for laying hens.
By year end, over 42,000 laying hens will be housed in cages which offer them more space to move about, and furnishings that enable hens to express their natural behaviours like perching, scratching and laying their eggs in a private nesting area.
Free-run eggs come from hens who run free indoors and lay their eggs in fabricated nests and are the most widely available cage-free eggs in Manitoba.
Free-range eggs come from hens who have access to the outdoors for part of the day.
‘Organic’ alone on the label without ‘certified’ is no assurance of cage-free production.
If your grocery store doesn't offer cage-free eggs, talk to the manager… or switch stores!
You can find humanely raised eggs at many smaller grocers, and even at some Safeway and Superstore locations.
Here is a list of several locations:
Crampton’s Market, 1765 Waverley St.
Eatit.ca, 603 Wall Street
Fresh Option Organic Delivery, 1338 Clifton St.
Frigs Natural Meats & More, 3515 Main St.
Organza Market, 230 Osborne St.
La Grotta Mediterranean Market, 1360 Taylor Ave.
Foodfare, 905 Portage Ave.
(one of many locations)
Watch for Vita Eggs, Manitoba grown, free-run eggs sold at many Winnipeg locations.