Eggs – To Egg or not to Egg

Devil Eggs

Vegans don’t eat eggs. There are many reasons why they have eliminated eggs from their diet. The Vegan Society devotes a full-page to the evils of egg consumption, and if you think eating only free range eggs is okay, they have an answer for that, too!

I’m not vegan.  I like eggs, though I do think there is validity to their arguments – starting with battery hens, right down to debeaking free range hens and slaughtering cock chicks. Once you’ve gotten past that argument, they feed you the environmental impact, both from the food-wastage due to the amount of grain it takes to feed laying hens, and the ammonia from animal waste that contributes to acid rain when it’s released into the atmosphere.

Enough already!  Is there nothing we can eat that doesn’t have a detrimental effect on either the life of the creature providing it or the planet we live on?  If we didn’t eat those eggs, there’d be a chicken over-population problem, then what would we do?  Eat chicken? No thanks, I’m a vegetarian!

…Like I said, I like eggs.

Poached Eggs on Muffins Late Brunch

Image by Annie Mole via Flickr

I like them cooked just about any old how: poached, boiled, scrambled, and fried – sunny-side-up, sometimes slipped into a warm bun, so when you bite into it, your tongue dances with the soft yolk as it trickles out from between the layers.

Home made quiche.

Image via Wikipedia

I like eggs in omelets, quiche, tortillas, French toast, eggy bread, and bread pudding.  I like them in pancakes, crepes, cakes and pasta. Yes pasta! Cracked directly into the hot pasta and stirred with lots of garlic, salt and pepper.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Image by David Maddison via Flickr

My daughter made these meringues today.

Image via Wikipedia

I like the whites folded into angel food cake, or whipped into meringue and baked into shells to be filled with strawberries and whipped cream, or spread over the yolks that were blended into lemon pie, the sticky, sweet meringue-topping forming curious, little caramel-like beads as the pie cools.  Careful when you eat it!  It will stick to your fingers, lips, everything it touches!

Eggs Are in Everything!

Back in my meat-eating days I used eggs to bind ground beef when making burgers or meat loaf.  I used them to stick salmon or tuna together to make fish burgers. They’re in the batter for fish’n’chips, the Yorkshire pud for roast beef.  Eggs are in everything! They’re even in noodles in your soup, or dropped directly into egg-drop soup, or broken-up in egg-fried rice.  I can’t imagine life without eggs – but then again, maybe I can.  This week’s trip to the shop resulting in unwittingly buying 6 eggs from caged hens has turned me off store-bought eggs, and I haven’t a garden where I can raise my own hens, nor do I have a neighbor with chickens.

Caged-Hen Egg bought from unscrupulous neighborhood shop-keeper in gullible moment.

I’d Have Egg On My Face

I’m seething about that shop-keeper selling me those code-3 eggs, smiling as he took my money, saying:”They’re good eggs aren’t they?”  Well the first batch were, but not these last ones.

I could go back and give him a piece of my mind, but I’d have egg on my face because I didn’t check the code, nor did I even bother to ask.  I just trusted they were from the same farm, and he didn’t tell me any differently.

I’m annoyed about that. I’m annoyed at myself for being so gullible.  I’m annoyed that he builds trust, then abuses it. I don’t like merchants who do business that way.  Nor do I understand why a small, neighborhood shopkeeper like him would demean himself in such a way as to sell eggs that Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer’s, the Co-operative and even Burger King and Wendy’s won’t sell! They’ll even be illegal in the EU come next year and he has the audacity to sell 6 large, battery-hen eggs for the same price as some shops sell 6, regular free-range!

Oh, for some backyard hens!

Hens DSC00365

Image via Wikipedia


Long gone are the days when we could just run out to the hen house and collect the daily eggs from our family of hens, or stop at a farmer’s driveway and take a dozen eggs from the egg-box and leave money in their place. We are at the mercy of the egg marketeers. But some city-dwellers are beating these unscrupulous, deceiving shop-keepers by raising hens in their backyards (or gardens as they call them here in Britain.)

My first flat in Hove was on a street with hens and a rooster. The rooster would crow all morning and I presumed the hens laid eggs.  I could see the back garden from my flat, and figured out which house it was, then realized it was the vicarage; so one day I asked the vicar if he would sell me some of his eggs.  He told me he needed all the eggs the hens laid to feed his brood of children, and besides, the foxes were always terrorizing his birds and sometimes they even managed to get into the pen and have themselves a nice dinner – then he too was at the mercy of unscrupulous egg dealers

What we need are eggs from heaven. Or how about a Hen Heaven, a place where…

All the birds…are rescued. Most would not be alive, and some would still be in Hell if they were not at Hen Heaven, where they are allowed to live out their natural lives.

HEN HEAVEN! What a great idea! It’s real!

Girls at rest.

Image via Wikipedia

Linda Turvey rescues hens from battery farms and gives them a good home in Henfield, West Sussex where they can run about and lay eggs – wherever they want!  On her website, Linda describes her rescued birds as:

“… “little people” with distinct personalities, likes and dislikes. They do not want to suffer and are entitled to be treated with respect. At Hen Heaven they all receive individual attention and tender loving care. Any profit from selling their eggs pays for their feed, veterinary costs and general upkeep.”

What fellas would call high maintenance birds – these gals’ Happy Eggs eggs sell at £3.00 for a half-dozen. 50 pence an egg! At that price one is not going to use eggs unnecessarily. So today I bought a box of Egg Replacer.  Egg Replacer can be used anytime I need an egg for baking, and who knows maybe it will even work to bind those vegetarian burgers I’m working on.  Not sure if it’ll make meringue.

No, I’m not giving up eggs.  I enjoy my eggs far too much to stop eating them. But I do think I can do my bit for hens and the environment by just eating fewer eggs and being very selective about where I buy the ones I do eat.  Besides, it would be nice to be friends with the birds who lay my eggs.

Zemanta’s not working! Hence the out-of-focus phone-camera pics! Next morning: And today Zemanta’s working, so we’ve got more pics!  

6 Comments

Filed under A-Z Food, Food, Organic, PostADay2011, Vegan, Vegetarian

6 responses to “Eggs – To Egg or not to Egg

  1. Informative post Alison! I learned something.

  2. Excellent Jennifer! Interesting for me to learn that it’s a post that gave you new information. That helps me better understand how to write good posts. I’ve been messing with the images and formatting this morning…I’d rather just write and have experts do all that visual stuff, but I’m a one-woman blog here and I want it to be visually interesting as well! I’ve noticed when visiting your blog that the layout is great and your images are stunning!

  3. Gosh, thanks Alison! I have no idea what I’m diong. I just get in there and play around. I’m a one-woman blog too! ha! I love your page layout with all the colors and pictures of you. Totally retro. It is definitely interesting. You’ve got it together, girl!

  4. Thanks Jennifer, and here’s a link I just found for egg replacement tricks: http://video.about.com/vegetarian/Common-Egg-Substitutes.htm

  5. Pingback: Vegetarianism: Have I got your attention? | Alison Amazed

  6. Brilliant. I’ve got some chicken posts on itchyfeet/roughseas where there are various pictures of my chicks :)

    But the best posts are probably about acquiring our current cockerel.

    I think they start on this one http://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/2007/04/13/mens-talk/

    You’ll need to move forward a few posts to get to the conclusion :D

    I like the eggs from my chickens. I went in the other weekend and was stunned to collect six from darling Jimena. Yes, of course my chickens have names. Apart from the cockerels who are always called El by default.

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