Thursday, July 24, 2008

The stem cell research of vegetarianism

I've decided that whether or not to eat eggs while on a vegetarian diet is analogous to the stem cell research debate. Are eggs chickens?

UPDATE: I am (was) hopelessly ignorant of the actual process of chicken egg-laying, as my friend Riin kindly points out below. As this site explains:
An egg is a single cell. Just like in a human, that egg cell must be fertilized by a sperm cell in order to grow into a baby. If there's no sperm present, which there is not in an egg-laying operation, the eggs laid are unfertilized. They are not unfertilized *babies,* they are unfertilized *cells.* This is similiar to when a girl or a woman has her period; the egg she released that month didn't get fertilized, there is no potential baby and the egg is flushed out of her system.

So I guess we can change the question to: are you okay with eating chicken periods?


  1. As you know I'm a vegetarian and going on vegan. I don't think eating eggs and the stem cell research are very analogous. There's a lot of unnecessary cruelty in egg production. The stem cell research is at least used for a good cause (well, most of the times). Even if you eat "free range" eggs you still support the abuse and neglect that all animals used for food must endure. Labels like "free ranged" or "free roaming" aren't regulated by the government, so any product can wear these labels no matter how badly they treat the animals. At least for me the worse thing about eating eggs is the cruelty.
    (Sa kindlasti juba tead kõike seda, aga see on lihtsalt mida mina asjast arvan.)

  2. True, but aside from the ethics of how the chickens are treated, do eggs count as meat? Suppose you had some chickens that you kept as pets so you could let them run free and you could treat them humanely; would you be ok eating their eggs (if you were still just a vegetarian, that is, and not a vegan yet)?

    I too think stem cell research does great things, but unfortunately I also think eggs are delicious. I'm doing a vegetarian week but I'm still eating eggs. I admire your ability to eat so ethically, though!

  3. Commercial eggs are unfertilized. Therefore they could not become a chick. No hen or incubator could turn them into a baby chick. Chicken periods, essentially. I personally wouldn't eat them.
    But good for you that you're experimenting vegetarianism. :)

  4. Ha, well that shows how ignorant I am of the whole process. I had no idea that the eggs we buy are unfertilized. I just googled it and read all about how it works. Well good. Although eating a chicken period is still pretty gross, I guess. Thanks for enlightening me!