As part of their ‘Cage-free Isn’t Cruelty-free campaign’, the UK animal rights group Animal Justice Project have published the results of a poll they commissioned to YouGov which asks consumers how much they know about the egg industry. The survey has revealed that consumers know very little about the cruelty of this industry but continue to consume eggs regardless. 

In a survey of 2,305 UK adults, 68% purchased eggs regularly and the majority (59%) said animal welfare and free-range was important to them. Millennials were most likely to care about animal welfare, with 63% saying animal welfare is important when buying eggs. The results show that 64% of the respondents erroneously thought that hens had daily access to the outdoors and 82% didn’t know that hens are killed at 18 months old in the egg industry. Unsurprisingly, 57% said that the killing of chicks within 24 hours was unacceptable. Despite this, this practice happens to 29 million chicks a year in the UK.

Animal Justice Project’s Cage-free Isn’t Cruelty-free campaign aims to expose the suffering and mistreatment that egg-laying hens endure regardless of whether they’re caged, barn or free-range. The campaign website states, “Despite all major UK supermarkets and food companies committing to going cage-free for all of their eggs by 2025, we know that moving millions of hens from colony cages into large, crowded barns or free-range farms WILL NOT give them a ‘happy life’.”

The most recent investigation by the group revealed hens being kept inside for up to four days on three separate farms, despite being certified as free-range, and previous investigations found free-range hens being viciously caught and slaughtered at just 18 months old. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.