McDonald’s Egg Pledge Is a Small Step
McDonald’s pledge last week to start using cage-free eggs is only a small step in preventing staggering suffering endured by millions of birds.
Hatcheries that annually supply 200 million female hens for U.S. egg production, including cage-free, also kill the same number of male chicks at birth by grinding them up alive in industrial macerators or suffocating them slowly in plastic garbage bags. The female laying hens endure a lifetime of misery, crammed with five to six others, in small wire-mesh cages that cut into their feet and tear out their feathers.
Eggs are common carriers of food-borne bacteria, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria and Staphylococcus. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that Salmonella alone accounts for 1.3 million U.S. illnesses and 500 deaths annually.
Eggs contain saturated fat and cholesterol, key factors in the incidence of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. They are a common cause of allergies in children.
Waste from millions of egg-laying hens ends up in waterways, rendering vast areas unsuited for recreation or water supply.
The good news for compassionate, health-conscious, eco-friendly consumers is that our local supermarket offers a number of delicious egg substitutes and egg-free food products. Entering “egg-free” in a search engine returns tons of recipes.
Maxwell Branset, Montpelier
Female/Male Student Phenomena
Since reading your response to a post I wrote on Front Porch forum about what struck me as the ironic absence of male authorship in the first issue of The Breeze, I’ve been meaning to thank you for the unfortunately discouraging answer and explanation you provided in the issue of The Bridge before the latest one.
Phenomena of the type you describe plus the growing dropout rate among male college students as compared with the impressive rate of females who complete their degrees makes me feel sad. In fact, I’ve fantasized about forming some sort of committee that with the hopeful cooperation of Montpelier High School staff would act in some sort of advisory capacity to brainstorm how to motivate and keep involved male students of today. I already left a message about this with Andy Leader, author of The Breeze editorial that motivated my Front Porch Forum post. Please let me know if for some reason you, too, might be interested in this or know of anyone else who would.
Thanks, also again for publishing my Front Porch Forum post with an answer. I think it’s about time concerned citizens tried to do something about all this.
Ron Merkin, Montpelier
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