alive logo

What's Good for the Hen


Not all egg production methods are created equal

Not all egg production methods are created equal. The battery cage method, which supplies the majority of eggs on the Canadian market, has been criticized for housing hens in such small spaces that the birds suffer physical and behavioural distress.

Many consumers would like to forgo the side of guilt with their eggs. A 2004 study by the Vancouver Humane Society found that the majority of shoppers believe battery cages should be banned. Even so, the hunt for a more kindly produced egg can be a challenge. The humane society’s study found that grocery chains devoted only 16 percent of their total egg shelf space to cage-free eggs.

Here’s what you can do to ensure the humane treatment of egg-laying hens:

  • Read the label carefully to ensure you are purchasing cage-free eggs.
  • Ask your grocer to stock eggs from cage-free sources.
  • Consider using an egg substitute, available in health food stores.

Cage-Free Egg Alternatives

  • Free-run: hens are not caged and are kept inside.
  • Free-range: hens are not caged and may go outside.
  • Certified organic: hens are given the most space of all production systems. Organic egg producers are audited to verify that they adhere to organic industry standards.


Hollywood Balancing Act

Hollywood Balancing Act

Drawing on martial arts philosophy, Peter Jang finds mind-body balance in a decade-plus career

Shawn RadcliffeShawn Radcliffe