Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Egg Production: Ethical Issues

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_455-1



Like any human food of animal origin, eggs raise ethical issues with respect to safety and quality for human consumption, environmental impact, and duties regarding the animals themselves and with respect to a cluster of social issues associated with the economic structure of the egg industry. Eggs do have a number of singular features, however. On the one hand, egg production does not strictly require the death of an animal, and eggs are consumed by many people who adopt vegetarian diets for ethical reasons. On the other hand, industrial egg production in the so-called battery cages (discussed below) has been an especially visible target for activists promoting more humane care for farmed animals. Ethical critiques of egg production are also plagued by significant gaps in lay knowledge – the fact that eggs and...


Animal Welfare Ethical Significance Food Animal Production Farm Animal Welfare Feather Pecking 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA