|I received a letter yesterday from a lady in Philadelphia asking why I don’t eat eggs or include them in any of my cookbook recipes.
Here’s my reply:
You ask about eggs.
Well firstly, devotees of Krishna only eat foods that are offerable to God. Eggs cannot be offered to Krishna, along with meat and fish.
Why is this? Well, eggs are a form of flesh and blood – being either an embryo or the chicken’s menstrual period. Menses can be considered dead flesh. It does not matter if the egg is from a chicken raised on a so-called “free-range farm” or not – this fact does not change.
Here are a few medical reasons why you’ll be better off not eating eggs:
Egg yolks are high in cholesterol, a waxy substance that deposits in the liver and blood vessels. This can lead to corrosion and hardening of the arteries.
Chicken diseases are numerous, like the Avian flu. Eggs also may carry T.B. from chickens. If an infected chicken survives, it matures and lays infectious eggs. Chicken leukemia may be transmitted through the eggs also. Hens infected with white diarrhea will lay eggs containing the germs, which can be linked with collitic diseases in human beings.
Eggs are acid forming and they have excess phosphoric acid.
Both the bile and pancreatic juices are indifferent to egg white. From 33% to 50% of the egg white passes through the digestive tract undigested.
Here’s some more information:
In many countries, ‘free-range eggs’ is not a legal industry term; therefore it is essentially meaningless. Farmers use the term to imply that they practice a more humane standard of production of eggs but, in reality, there is no regulation regarding how the word is interpreted or used. Although most consumers imagine free-range hens have access to the outdoors with plenty of sunlight, vegetation, and normal social interaction, to most egg producers, the “range” is simply a bigger cage than those in which battery-caged hens are kept.
Free-range egg farming is, above all else, a business. Consequently, profit surpasses concern for the animals’ comfort, welfare, or behavioral needs. In addition, it is common for free-range layers to be debeaked just like battery-caged layers.
But even if free-range hens were treated with kindness and given all the space they could use, they will still be killed for meat when their egg production wanes, usually after one or two years, even though in a natural environment a hen could live fifteen years. And, like all other animals raised for food, they will be subjected to the horrors and abuses of transportation, handling, and slaughter.
An inherent problem with all egg production, whether free-range or battery-caged, is the disposal of unwanted male chicks at the hatchery. Because male chicks don’t lay eggs and do not grow fast enough to be raised profitably for meat, they are deemed a financial liability, except for the few used as rooster studs. On average, one rooster is used to service ten hens. Hence, nine out of ten male chicks are considered virtually useless and will be killed by the cheapest means available, including suffocation and being ground up alive.
No matter what words or systems are used to ‘sugar-coat’ animal production, when we treat sentient beings as commodities we invariably invite abuse. The use of animals for human profit, food or gain, regardless of how they are raised or treated, is incompatible with the practice of compassionate living.
Let me leave you with a famous poem, from ‘Living Graves’, written by a famous vegetarian, the playwright George Bernard Shaw, in 1951.
We are the living graves of murdered beasts,
Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.
We never pause to wonder at our feasts,
If animals, like men, can possibly have rights.
We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
To guide our footsteps on the path we tread.
We’re sick of war, we do not want to fight –
The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread,
And yet – we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
Like carrion crows, we live and feed on meat,
Regardless of the suffering and pain
We cause by doing so, if thus we treat
Defenceless animals for sport or gain,
How can we hope in this world to attain
The PEACE we say we are so anxious for.
We pray for it, o’er hecatombs of slain,
To God, while outraging the moral law
Thus cruelty begets its offspring – WAR.
Posted by Kurma on 19/7/05; 3:17:36 PM from the Travel dept.