If you need eggs but have problems with the manner in which they are produced, go for cage-free eggs. But, as the Humane Society has pointed out, there are still serious problems with the way the hens are treated:
- Cage-free farms typically buy their hens from the same hatcheries that supply battery-cage farms. These hatcheries kill the male chicks upon hatching—more than 200 million each year in the United States alone.
- Most cage-free hens have part of their beaks burned off, a painful mutilation.
- Hens are typically slaughtered at less than two years old, far less than half their normal lifespan. They are often transported long distances to slaughter plants with no food or water.
- While the vast majority of the battery and cage-free egg industry no longer uses starvation to force molt the birds, there are battery and cage-free producers alike who still use this practice.
Also, while I don’t generally have many moral inclinations regarding fish, here are some interesting facts about fish farming.
So if you decide to stop eating meat and want more than just beans and lentils for protein, go for some soy. In moderation, its good for you. Beware of excess soy, especially for infants. But that’s probably more soy than you would ever want to eat anyway.