Eggs are not required for human health, and increase the risk of chronic disease. They contain such high levels of cholesterol and saturated fat that the US Department of Agriculture have made it illegal to market them as healthy, nutritious or part of a balanced diet.
And the production of eggs is extremely cruel. Caged hens suffer in cramped spaces, restrained from free and natural movement. Cage-free removes the cages but can maintain over crowded sheds. Free range can mean that hens are only given a small opening in the shed wall to go outside. And whilst pasture fed may sound fine for the hens during their egg laying life, there is a wider story.
Before they even get to the farm, egg laying chickens begin life at a hatchery. As they hatch, half of them are male, and as males will never lay eggs, and don't grow meat as fast as broiler chickens, they are considered waste products of the egg industry. They are killed within hours after hatching, often by dropping into a large grinder. Female chicks experience painful debeaking by hot plate or blades, before going to feeding lots, and then to egg farms of varying conditions.
This 4 minute video by Animal Liberation and Aussie Farms shows the mass killing of male chicks. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT.
Modern laying hens have been selectively breed to lay one egg every day. Wild hens lay an egg once every four weeks, as part of their natural menstrual cycle. As a result of daily egg laying, their bodies quickly become exhausted and their bones are weakened, depleted of calcium that goes into the new egg shells. When their egg production declines, they can be forced into stress in order to lay more eggs before they are sent to slaughter.
Their death is painful and commonly involves electric stunning and being hung upside down by their feet to a rack. And then, often while still conscious, they are moved over a spinning saw that cuts their throat and are left to struggle as they bleed out, some staying conscious until they reach the boiler.
Regardless of the conditions on the farm, chickens are subject to cruelty at birth, during their laying life, and at their death.
Considering that eggs are not required by humans, and increase the risk of chronic disease, this cruelty is completely unnecessary. If we purchase eggs, we finance unnecessary animal cruelty.
This 21 minute video by Erin Janus explains common industry practices. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT.
These two videos (6 and 8 minutes) from NutritionFacts.org shows how the egg industry has misled consumers, and how unhealthy eggs are.