Are Backyard & Local Eggs Ethical?

After being diagnosed with Osteoporosis I was considering adding local eggs, (those from local farms) to my diet. The common belief is that backyard chickens or those on local farms were well treated and with love.

While at the 2019 ARC Conference in D.C., I met with Jewel from the Rooster Sanctuary at Danzig’s Roost (follow them on Facebook). She gave me the real scoop on backyard and local eggs.


Are Local Eggs Ethical?



Are Local Eggs Ethical Video Transcript

DEBORAH: I don’t eat eggs I haven’t eaten eggs for years because of ethical reasons. But I heard, and I don’t know if it’s true and that’s why you’re the eggs-pert to tell me. I heard that if I get eggs on real, local farms close to where I live, that they’re treated ethically.

JEWEL: Chickens are so far removed from their heritage breeds that they lay hundreds of eggs a year. So if people are keeping hens to lay eggs to sell eggs, they’re gonna have to make a profit off it. Otherwise the hens are just gonna consume the food and be a drain on their farm. So they’re not going to keep them around unless they’re gonna produce a high number of eggs, which is unnatural.

So what happens to their bodies, as the hens age, is that they begin to break down. You can’t tell from the outside what’s going on, on the inside, see Their muscles become weak because they can’t contract, due to lower calcium levels, because of the high egg output. This means that the shells get softer, because of the lower calcium, because they’re always expelling eggs and the muscles get weaker.

Soon the eggs won’t be expelled. The soft shell, the weak muscles, the eggs will stop coming out. But those eggs will continue to be produced inside their bodies. So they can have over a dozen eggs trapped inside their bodies.

DEBORAH: What happens?

JEWEL: They die, slowly, and without vet interventions. So they don’t even get proper healthcare, none of them will.

So consuming eggs from a farm, even if they only have six hens, something like that. For example, if it’s your neighbor, they take really good care of them. They name them, they love them, they bring them in the house sometimes, whatever, those things are still going on in their bodies.

DEBORAH: Why, because those hens don’t exist anymore? Or because they buy those hens because they need to make a profit?

JEWEL: Those hens that only lay like, 20 eggs a year, really don’t really exist anymore. All the birds now that you can buy at any hatchery are totally unnatural birds.


Are Local Farms Really Happy Places for Chickens to Lay Eggs?


Editor’s Note:
This article was originally published on August 19th, 2019 and has been updated on February 15th, 2020 to include the transcript of the Are Local Eggs Ethical video.



About Deborah

Deborah DiMare is showing the world that no living creature need suffer or die for beautiful furniture. Her company, DiMare Design, is the only 100% cruelty free design firm in the US. Deborah demonstrates how healthier and less toxic, durable and luxurious faux alternatives can easily replace wool, fur, leather & other animal derived materials. Deborah also leads the Council, a community of industry professionals from over 60 countries seeking education and change for all living species within the skins and hides industries. Deborah is a vegan interior design expert, author and influencer for the compassionate design movement.