NO! A Vegan Doesn’t Eat Eggs.
Fundamentally, a vegan diet is one made up of plants, this means you won’t find vegans eating animal products such as dairy, meat or eggs or using by-products like fur and hide.
As well as being an animal product, eggs often come from farmed chickens which have short and terribly cruel lives; putting money into the pockets of these companies only ensures that this cruelty continues. For these reasons, vegans do not eat eggs.
Whilst there is debate about the ethicality of eating eggs that come from cruelty free environments such as private gardens or sanctuaries that take in ex-factory hens, a true vegan diet does not contain animal products in any form.
But have you ever wondered WHY vegans don’t eat eggs?
Keep reading to find out why vegans abstain from animal products including eggs and discover the growing number of egg substitutes that are now available.
Are Eggs Actually Vegan
By definition, eggs from any animal including those commonly eaten such as chicken, duck and quail eggs are not vegan because they are an animal product.
“In dietary terms veganism denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.” – Definition of Veganism – The Vegan Society
This means that vegans do not eat or utilise anything that contains any animal products, whether that is a direct or by-product of the animal.
Additionally, the cruelty involved in the production of eggs means that egg consumption is not compatible with the ethical values that often motivate a vegan diet.
So, what’s all the fuss about?
As veganism has become more popular, some people have started to adopt a traditional vegan diet with the exception of eggs, defining themselves as veggans. This has led to debate around whether eggs from cruelty-free sources are ethical to eat.
Why Don’t Vegans Eat Eggs
Ok, we know what you’re thinking…
Chickens lay eggs naturally so what’s the harm in using these products?
Whilst it is true that chickens do lay eggs naturally, due to mass commercialisation, modern egg production has become an extremely cruel and industrial practice which harms chickens in many ways.
Vegans abstain from eating eggs as they are an animal product, but the methods used in commercial egg production can often be a factor in why people choose to go vegan:
As part of egg production, male chicks are often killed upon hatching because they can’t produce eggs and so are seen as worthless. The most utilised processes for killing male chicks is suffocation or maceration, both of which are performed whilst the chicks are still alive.
Factory farmed hens are selectively bred to produce more eggs than their body can handle. Kept in confined spaces and poor conditions, these hens often have short and miserable existences.
Hens that are broody can become agitated when their eggs are taken. This behaviour is less common in modern hens that have had this behaviour bred out of them.
Chicks bred by the egg industry are usually born in large incubators, meaning they are never able to interact their mothers as they would naturally.
Due to their poor environments, factory hens often display aggression to each other. To stop them hurting each other, chicks have their beaks cut off.
Those that survive are sent to slaughter when they can no longer produce enough eggs to be profitable.
What’s more, many consumers are unaware of the cruelty involved with egg production and despite claims, much of the advertising for ‘free range’ happiness eggs is misleading; with campaigners exposing the poor conditions that these hens are often kept in.
Please don’t be fooled by ‘clever’ (misleading?) advertising that’s designed to mask the horror of egg production!
Here’s some of the catchphrases that the industry uses.
- Happy Eggs
- Corn Fed
- Barn Eggs
- Free Range
- RSPCA Assured
- Locally Sourced
Do an internet search for egg cruelty and you will see shocking undercover investigations to show the reality of egg production. WARNING! Some very upsetting scenes!!.
What Do You Call a Vegan That Eats Eggs
Because eggs are not vegan, somebody that chooses to eat eggs would not be considered a vegan under the accepted definition.
Whilst there are certain dietary trends which include the consumption of eggs like ‘veggan’, but no other animal products, this would not be technically vegan, as an animal product is being eaten.
If the person ate eggs, but abstained from eating meat or fish, then they would be considered a vegetarian.
Can a Vegan Eat Egg Whites
Egg whites are often used in baking for foods including meringue where the white is separated from the yolk before being whisked.
However, eating any part of an egg including the whites, yolk or shell would not be considered vegan because the product has been derived from an animal.
Fortunately, there are several vegan egg substitutes available which can be used in the same way as traditional egg whites to create cakes, Yorkshire pudding, scrambled eggs and more!
Can Vegans Eat Cheese
Because traditional cheese is made from milk, it is not a vegan.
Whilst alternatives were scarce in the early days of veganism, there is now a huge selection of high-quality substitutes for dairy cheese available.
Whether you’re a sucker for cheddar or prefer something a little more refined, there is now an alternative for just about any type of cheese you can imagine.
Can Vegans Eat Honey
Honey is another food which has been the source of much debate as veganism has grown.
Because there is high demand for products from bees including honey and candles, bees are often intensively farmed using unnatural methods which can harm the bees.
Whilst there are farmers who still use traditional methods which are slightly less disruptive to bees, a person would not be considered vegan if they ate honey as it’s an animal by-product.
If you’re looking for a sweet kick, there are several delicious vegan honey alternatives available.
Can Vegetarians Eat Eggs and Milk
A vegetarian diet means abstaining from meat and fish and so technically, vegetarians eat eggs and drink animal-derived milk.
There are also branches of vegetarianism including ovo vegetarianism which allows for the consumption of eggs but not dairy and lacto vegetarianism which allows for the consumption of dairy products but not eggs.
Can Vegans Eat Fish
Again, because fish is a direct animal product, it is not vegan.
Many people also choose to avoid or limit their consumption of fish due to the considerable damage that large scale fishing practices such as bottom trawling have on the oceans.
If you’re looking for a plant based fish alternative, there is a growing range of fillets, fingers, steaks, fish cakes and goujons available.
Can a Vegan Eat Eggs from Their Own Chickens
Eating eggs from chickens that have been raised in your own garden has been the subject of much debate, with supporters arguing that this means of sourcing eggs causes no harm to the animal and many of the eggs would simply rot anyway.
Here’s the truth
Whilst it is true that this way of getting eggs is slightly less cruel than the industrial process that is used for most supermarket eggs, the act of eating eggs is still not-vegan.
Therefore, somebody who ate eggs from their own chickens would not technically be considered vegan.
Also, one has to consider what happens to the hen when they can no longer produce eggs. Is the hen cared for until it’s natural end of life, or is it killed prematurely? If so, how is it killed?
What Do Vegans Eat
If you are not vegan, it can be difficult to imagine what exactly a vegan eats at first. However, much of the food you eat already is likely to be vegan such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and even your favourite snacks.
And the upside doesn’t stop there.
A vegan diet can be extremely varied based on your preferences and with so many substitutes available, you won’t be missing out.
Here are just some of the foods you can enjoy as part of a vegan diet which are readily available at supermarkets and online shops:
- Meat substitutes including burgers, sausages and plant based fish
- Milks derived from soy, rice, coconut, almond and lots more
- Fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, grains and pulses
- Veganised fast food favourites like burgers, hotdogs and pizza
- Biscuits, chocolate and sweets
- Condiments and sauces
- Dried pasta and rice
- Almost every type of bread
- High protein foods including tofu, seitan, lentils and even protein powder
To sum it up
A vegan diet can contain all the nutrients you need to keep your body healthy and you’ll be contributing to a happier planet whilst minimising animal cruelty in your diet – what’s not to like!
Shop a Complete Vegan Range at Vegan Supermarket
So there you have it!
Whilst eggs are certainly not vegan, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy the foods you love without using animal products.
If you are considering making the switch to veganism, or are simply looking for a place to get hold of all your plant based favourites, we have everything you need at Vegan Supermarket.
From eggs, cheeses and milks to meat and fish, there is a vegan alternative for just about any food imaginable.
And it doesn’t just stop at food, cruelty free goods such as clothing, makeup, perfumes, pet care and cleaning products are also available at our online vegan shopping centre.