As a prospective vegan, you may be wondering exactly
why vegans make the dietary choices they make. And you
may also be hesitant to adopt these choices until you
yourself understand and accept them.
In this article, I will explain the two major vegetarian
positions on eating eggs to help you make your decision.
The sub-category of vegetarian I will cover,
ovo-vegetarians, accept the normal consumption of eggs
because they do not believe that doing so conflicts
with an ethical vegetarian diet. They do not see eggs
as living things and subsequently do not make the
connection between consuming eggs and causing animal
suffering or death.
In addition to this, many ovo-vegetarians see complete
veganism as limiting their options unnecessarily,
especially when eggs are an excellent source of complete
protein and a viable nutritional alternative to meat.
Many vegetarians who do consume eggs opt for “free range”
eggs over normal–or “battery”–eggs. This is usually out
of ethical concern for the treatment of egg-laying hens.
Vegans, by contrast, do not consume eggs normally and
generally oppose the institution altogether. They argue
that purchasing “battery hen” eggs supports an institution
that cages up to nine birds together, debeaks them, and
forces them to continually lay eggs until they are calcium
-depleted and on the verge of death–at which point, they
In addition, vegans also go further to disapprove of
“free range” eggs, which do not require a hen to be caged.
They argue that most free range hens are actually packed
into houses, where they have minimal access to the outside.
They also note that even producing “free range” eggs
requires having fertile eggs–half of which will hatch into
male chicks, which will then be slaughtered after birth or
fed to a certain weight only to be culled.
In addition to these two positions, there are also
vegetarians who don’t consume eggs for other reasons. Some
of these vegetarians don’t eat eggs because they are high
in cholesterol; and others do not consume them because they
believe that the animal farming institution contributes to
Take some time to determine where you stand–ethically
and nutritionally–and then make your decision from there.