Eggs are in high demand during the Easter season. Many families enjoy the tradition of decorating eggs with vibrant colours, and eggs are a popular ingredient in many Easter recipes. However, did you know that in B.C., over 75% of the eggs we buy come from hens that have spent their entire lives in small, cramped cages? This Easter, you can help us change that.
When you buy eggs, look for ‘cage-free’, ‘free run’, or ‘free range’ labels
Every time you buy cage-free eggs, you vote with your wallet to tell the egg industry that keeping hens in cages is unacceptable!
You vote for the life you want laying hens to live every time you buy eggs. Most eggs come from hens that live in row upon row of small, cramped cages – called battery cages.
There are four to six hens per cage, with each hen receiving as little as 432 square centimetres of space. That’s smaller than a standard-size piece of notebook paper! Hens don’t even have enough space to spread their wings in these cages, leading them become frustrated and bored. They are left with nothing to do but lay eggs and peck at each other.
You don’t need to support this. You can choose to buy cage-free eggs instead. Every time you buy cage-free eggs, you vote with your wallet to tell the egg industry that keeping hens in cages is unacceptable! Look for labels like ‘cage-free’, ‘free run’, and ‘free range’. Eggs with these labels may come at a slightly higher cost, but you can be sure they were laid by hens that never lived in cages.
Better yet, look for third-party certification
Third-party certification programs – like Certified Organic and SPCA Certified – give you the assurance that hens were not only raised in cage-free housing systems, but that they had plenty of space to move around, spread their wings, and perform their natural behaviours. When you’re grocery shopping, look for Certified Organic eggs from Rabbit River Farms, or SPCA Certified eggs from Rehoboth Farm at Nada – Vancouver’s first package-free grocery store. These eggs can come at a significantly higher cost, but you can rest-assured you are investing in a better life for egg-laying hens when you buy them.
Looking for egg alternatives?
Eggs are the second most common food allergy in infants and young children, and some people choose to follow a diet that excludes meat, dairy, eggs, and/or any other animal products. Luckily, there are plenty of egg alternatives to choose from that will keep your baked goods tasty and moist!
Unsweetened applesauce: This is a great substitute for eggs in most recipes. You can use one-quarter cup (about 65 grams) to replace one egg.
Fruit purée: You can use mashed banana or other fruits like pumpkin and avocado to replace eggs. Use one quarter cup (65 grams) of fruit purée for each egg you want to replace.
Ground flaxseeds and chia seeds: These make great egg substitutes. Mixing 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of either with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water can replace one egg.
Help us create a better life for laying hens
This Easter, remember these simple tips to help the BC SPCA create a better life for Canada’s laying hens:
- Choose eggs with ‘cage-free’, ‘free run’, or ‘free range’ labels. Better yet, choose eggs certified by third-party certification programs like Certified Organic and SPCA Certified.
- Cage-free eggs may be brown, but they can still be used for egg decorating. In fact, most colours show up in beautiful, deep jewel tones on brown eggs. Let the brown eggs sit a bit longer in the dyes to get rich colours.
- When you’re planning your big Easter brunch, consider using cage-free eggs, or even replacing some eggs with an egg alternative like applesauce or ground flaxseed.
Other Easter tips to help animals
- Bunnies are one of the first things we think of when it comes to Easter, but think carefully before adopting a rabbit into the family. It may seem fun at first, but like all pets, rabbits need proper care and housing. As Easter approaches, learn why it’s better to give chocolate bunnies as gifts, rather than real rabbits.
- Many people have a tradition of eating fish and other seafood on Good Friday. When you buy seafood, help contribute to the health of the world’s oceans by choosing seafood that is sustainably caught or farmed. One label you can look for is the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) blue fish label. Seafood with the blue MSC label is always wild, certified sustainable and traceable to a certified fishery.
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