Egg-Laying Hens in the News...At Last!

Image courtesy of Farm Sanctuary via Creative Commons.
When Nicholas Kristof, columnist for The New York Times and co-author of Half the Sky, uses his platform to tell the world about institutionalized – and profoundly cruel – egg production, one realizes that things have changed. For the better.  

Half the Sky, which documents the exploitation and abuse of women and girls around the world, is a fantastic and important book – one that’s required reading for the students in our graduate programs at the Institute for Humane Education. But one of my frustrations with the book was the dismissive tone that periodically crept into its pages regarding nonhuman animals. It saddened me that Kristof felt compelled to diminish the plight of animals in a book that was about the oppression of those without power.

But just a couple of years after writing Half the Sky, Kristof is now condemning the abuse of chickens in egg production. Compassion, it seems, can be extended when we acknowledge that pain and abuse is pain and abuse. Comparisons between humans and animals are not necessary. We can address all forms of cruelty and in doing so increase the overall measure of compassion and kindness in the world. Thank you Nicholas Kristof, and thank you to the anonymous worker at Kreider Farms who willingly endured your own hell to bring to light the unimaginable hell endured by those hens whose eggs millions of people eat.

For a humane world,

Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm, Above All, Be Kind, and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDx talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach"

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