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Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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Most people would agree that animals are sentient creatures and not simply a meal on the hoof or simply possessions. There’s more and more research – and our own observation – telling us that animals experience pain, as well as joy and contentment, sorrow and fear. In other words, they’re similar to us in many ways.

Consumers care about animal welfare and living conditions

Today there’s growing awareness of animal welfare issues. The number of people turning vegetarian for ethical reasons is rising continuously. Many consumers who don’t want to stop eating meat and other animal products completely are compromising by making sure that they come from animals that are kept according to high welfare standards. Most people completely reject the idea of eating food from animals factory farmed in conditions that cause them suffering.

“Colony cages” not much better

Photos of chickens packed into barren battery cages have been one of the most telling arguments in the campaign for higher animal welfare standards. This type of cage has been illegal in Europe since 2012. The legal alternative is now “colony cages”, but these are in reality not much of an improvement on the battery cages, instead of an area the size of an A4 sheet of paper, each chicken now has the equivalent of one and a half A4 pages.

90% of consumers are against battery cages

Fewer and fewer consumers buy eggs from caged hens, not even from colony cages. If asked – usually in television surveys, not so often in reality – almost no-one can imagine buying or eating this type of egg. In opinion surveys last year up to 90% of consumers said they were in favour of a quick end to keeping chickens in cages. This makes it all the more astounding that every third egg sold in Europe is neither an organic egg nor a free-range or barn-raised egg, but an egg from a caged hen

No labelling for eggs in processed food

So what’s going on? Are people saying they care about animal welfare and then going off and buying battery eggs? The answer is actually pretty simple – most battery eggs aren’t consciously bought, they land in our shopping bags when we buy pasta (if it’s made with eggs) cakes, biscuits and icecream. Our restaurant quiche or dessert is quite likely made with eggs from battery hens. Fresh eggs have to be labelled with the way they were produced, but eggs used in other products or in restaurant food don’t have to be labelled. The food industry has so far resisted all attempts to do this, although judging by a representative opinion survey, around 80% of consumers want these hidden eggs to be labelled too!

Source: www.foodwatch.de