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Vegetarians and Fertile Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pgpoultry, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Well, all of my family are veggie. with varying degrees of strictness, my husband and one daughter eating occasional fish.My husband will eat occasional wild game.

    Myself and my other daughter don't eat fish, but we are ovo-lacto-vegetarians and keep chickens. We drink mainly soya rather than dairy milk, check all cheeses are from organic herds and made without animal rennet etc, and eat only our own eggs. These eggs are fertile largely as we keep roosters with our girls. So, our diets are essentially vegan plus our own eggs and occasional dairy vegetarian cheese.

    I wondered what other peoples' take on vegetarians eating fertile eggs.

    Our motives within the family for being vegetarian vary a bit. My husband is suspicious of farming methods. Myself and my daughters are concerned purely for the welfare of animals (and that includes birds and fish), animal husbandry, and animal slaughter. I can therefore keep my chickens with an absolutely clear conscience as my chickens have a free range, utterly spoilt existence.I keep roosters and hatch eggs and spend a large part of my life rehoming excess roos!

    Just interested what others think of eating the fertile eggs under our circumstances? I'm sure that some meat eaters think we're crazy anyway, and some vegetarians may think we are hypocritical,


  2. 8ROYALS

    8ROYALS Songster

    Jul 5, 2010
    Petersburg, Texas
    I think it is fine. but if you have a major problem with it. Seperate your less desireable hens from breeding. Let them free range on spereate days and remove a rooster from there area. Problem sloved...Everyone happy. It also depens on your sense of when life begins...but I am not even going to go there....good luck...
  3. ondreeuh

    ondreeuh In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2010
    I don't think it matters what anyone else thinks - if you are fine with eating fertile eggs, then keep eating them! It doesn't conflict with your reasons for being veg, so you're not hypocritical.

    Someone who has different reasons for being veg may very well be aghast at the idea of eating fertile eggs, but that's their own deal, not yours.
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Myself and my daughters are concerned purely for the welfare of animals (and that includes birds and fish), animal husbandry, and animal slaughter

    I guess that would depend on if you think these eggs have developed a nervous system yet and can feel the pain of being slaughtered for breakfast.​
  5. Mrsfoote

    Mrsfoote Songster

    Jul 19, 2010
    Laurel Montana
    I think that they are fine to eat as long as they've been recently laid and refridgerated to stop development. I don't think I would consider them as being baby chicks yet...since one of the main components is heat...as long as they haven't had that then I would eat them if you feel comfortable in doing so.
  6. mangobingo

    mangobingo In the Brooder

    Aug 18, 2010
    I've been a strict vegetarian for over 20 years now, ever since I got hold of some material about factory farming as a kid. I could never go back now, and I probably would be vegan if we didn't have our own hens and access to milk from a friend's cow. Personally, I don't see a problem with eating fertile eggs. By the time the embryo is developed enough that it could be hurt by being eaten, you probably wouldn't be eating the egg anyway, right? From my point of view it's all about minimising harm and suffering, and eating fertile eggs seems to be consistent with that.

    But I think the main point, as others have pointed out, is that it doesn't matter whether what you're doing fits other people's definition of "vegetarian", as long as you're happy with your choices.
  7. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    I'm a strict vegetarian since birth and a big proponent of animal rights, I've never eaten any meat (including fish) and I never will, and I see no moral problems whatsoever with eating fertile eggs. They simply have the potential for life, they are not life itself. It would be one thing to eat fetuses that have already developed to the point of feeling, but an embryo that isn't even growing? Where the cells haven't even started dividing? It can't feel, it has no nervous system to feel, and if everyone hatched every fertile egg there would be chickens absolutely everywhere! Fertile eggs that haven't been incubated are only slightly different from non-fertile eggs anyway. [​IMG]

    I always strive to do no harm to other living things, but by my definition a fertile egg is not a living thing. So in my opinion, there's nothing morally inconsistent about eating fertile eggs at all. If I'm not going to hatch them, might as well eat them! They'd just go to waste otherwise.

    I hope that helps!

  8. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Thank you all those who have replied so far,

    To clarify, I collect the eggs daily and refrigerate immediately (unless they are for incubation).

    Also to say we keep other animals including a dog and a cat who I consider to be true carnivores (gut type, teeth etc.) and I give them meat, as ethically sourced as possible. True to say, though, that the dog must know he lives in a veggy family as he prefers eggy bread (bread dipped in whisked egg and fried) and cheese on toast to meat!

  9. Chic-Zebo Girl

    Chic-Zebo Girl In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2010
    Delton, MI
    Quote:Pretty darn cute story about your dog. He definitely wants to be part of the human pack. [​IMG] If there was a dancing dog pic, I'd put it here. Warms my heart to hear all the thoughtful responses of committed BYC owners. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    having done a few hatches myself, I see that not all fertile eggs end up being chickens even under optimum conditions! I'm also vegetarian (lacto-ovo) and would have no problem eating fertile eggs, freshly collected of course!

    I also have cats and yes they eat meat. They are carnivores and I will not force them into anything else. I buy the most ethical food I can that they consider edible. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010

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