Whose Eggs Are They, Anyway?

I got an email from an extreme animal rights person the other day. These people are well-meaning, but so misinformed. They start their arguments with wrong assumptions and then go from there. I’m not going to get sucked into debating him point by point, but I did want to address one of his comments. He said, “the eggs are theirs, aren’t they?”

No, they’re not. We have a symbiotic, mutually beneficial, relationship with our domestic animals. We human caretakers provide food, shelter and a good living environment, and the animal provides something in return; in the case of my hens, they give me eggs.

As far as I can tell, the hens are more than pleased with this arrangement. They don’t want those eggs. Marge lays about 100 eggs a year. She lays them and forgets them. I’m happy to use them in my kitchen. She is pleased to have a home in a cozy coop, safe from predators, and in the company of her friends. She wouldn’t last a few hours loose in the neighborhood (see photo of hawk in the previous blog entry!).

Domestic animals exist because they are useful to humans. I for one, am thankful for their contributions (whether it be meat, milk, wool or eggs.) I’m also grateful for their companionship. I could buy eggs at the market, but I have hens because I like them. If you came here for a visit, I think you’d see that my chickens like me, too.

No doubt, these comments don’t satisfy the animal rights people who don’t believe in the basic concept of domestic animals. These are also the folks who think that positive, enriching dog training is abuse and that all zoos are evil. I know that there’s nothing that I can say that will convince them otherwise. What’s scary is how powerful PETA and other groups are. Keep an eye out for their hidden (and not-so-hidden) agendas. Buy products from farmers who respect the covenant between domestic animal and owner (I buy local, grassfed beef). Encourage small-scale domestic farm animal keeping. The more people have backyard hens and “get” this relationship, the better off we will all be.

(I’ll stop ranting now. Thanks for reading.)

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