Anyone who has seen the heartbreaking photos of egg laying chickens in tiny cages might give up eggs for moral reasons. The conditions look miserable and unsanitary. However there is another choice and one that I think may ultimately reduce the number of crated chickens. A company called Vital Farms specializes in eggs laid by chickens that live naturally. These are 100% outdoor chickens who go into the traveling coop for the night but spend their days roaming fields and eating bugs and grasses and being chickens.
The unfertilized eggs are then gathered and shipped to Whole Foods which is the only national chain I know of that reliably carries this type of egg which is known as a pastured egg. Pastured eggs are available from small local farmers often at farmers markets but this is the only way I know to reliably buy them at a big store.
Chicken poop makes great fertilizer, and chickens allowed to roam naturally control the bug population. In addition by eating their unfertilized eggs you are not hurting the chickens. You are making it profitable to treat chickens humanely.
Everyone must decide what is right for them, but I wanted to let you know that you can indeed buy eggs from happy chickens who are having a good life on a farm where they are outside in the sunshine eating a more natural diet.
And no, I have not gotten any free eggs or any other form of compensation for this post.