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Egg Industry Broken Wide Open

Written by PETA | September 30, 2010

If anyone still believes that “organic” eggs are a humane choice, please look at these gut-wrenching photos from the Organic Valley farm in Wisconsin: They show birds in stinking, stifling, windowless warehouses, crammed so tightly together that they’re barely able to move—much less spread their wings, scratch in the dirt, or interact normally in any way.

The heartbreaking photos were released by a farm-policy research group called The Cornucopia Institute in a report called “Scrambled Eggs,” which details the entrenched abuse in industrial-scale egg factories.


Like many other facilities that raise pullets (young birds), this house in Southwest Wisconsin confines the animals, granting no outdoor access whatsoever, and provides virtually no natural light in the building. Photo by The Cornucopia Institute.


36,000 birds in an aviary system in Wisconsin, supplying Chino Valley Ranchers. The hens also have access to an outdoor run. Photo by The Cornucopia Institute.


As the pictures attest, “organic” doesn’t mean that birds are allowed to be free. Cage-free does not mean free range, of course, and so the chickens can still be crammed into sheds and forced to suffer through having a part of their beak cut off, just like birds on factory farms. But “organic” does mean that the chickens aren’t fed antibiotics—leaving them all the more susceptible to illness in the filthy, poorly ventilated, crowded conditions.


The outside view of a 60,000 bird “organic” henhouse in Pennsylvania. The other side of the building has a small grassy porch as “outdoor access.” Photo by The Cornucopia Institute.


A two-story henhouse with tens of thousands of organic hens inside. The small, enclosed porch on the first floor provides “outdoor access” for the chickens on the second floor as well—it is accessible via a ramp that leads chickens down, single-file. Photo by The Cornucopia Institute.


Break the cycle of cruelty in your own life by choosing vegan alternatives to eggs, meat, and dairy products. Call 1-888-VEG-FOOD or order a free copy of our vegetarian/vegan starter kit today. 

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

Commenting is closed.
  • sg says:

    so much land there for the chickens to roam free but yet they keep them in a factory!!! one would think they had a bit of common sense

  • Jenn says:

    I never realized that “organic” eggs aren’t any different than regular ones. I was under the understanding that “organic” meant something different. Guess not. It’s so upsetting that people can be so cruel to do this kind of torture to animals. If one human was treated like one animal for a day, it would be all over the news and the person responsible would go to jail, etc. But animals are treated horrifically every day and it’s “ok” apparently.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    What’s the best way to contact the USDA? They really need to get their schmidt together when it comes to regulating all aspects of the food industry. There are too many nationwide “organic” suppliers skirting the little bit of regulation that currently exists in order to make extra money while intentionally keeping consumers unaware of the fact that their food isn’t being produced the way they thought it was. Aside from the animal industry, the USDA also does a terrible job overseeing food safety as well. My wife is a food chemist who is well aware that there are many companies who will send out food samples to multiple labs, and even if 5/6 labs say the food is unsafe, they’ll only report the result saying it’s safe to the FDA. There’s no requirement for the labs to report unsafe products to the FDA. In fact, it’s actually considered a breach of confidentiality if they do…so in the end, it’s up to the companies to report. Also, according to the Cornucopia Institute, this isn’t they typical type of farm in that company–and the farmers who are being responsible, are working diligently to keep these types of farms out of their cooperative.

  • clarice says:

    this is all wrong, dont they know how to handle a farm…!!!!

  • chico says:

    its amazing that this can happened in 2010. Why is it allowed????

  • hannelore says:


  • yvonne says:

    waw my God poor chicken ….we are the animal not them …fight for free chicken …

  • Piggy says:

    I can’t believed that people selling the so called “organic egg” with a ridicular high price while providing all the poor chicken such a “living Hell.” Like Laury said, I always thought the organic eggs came from the running free chickens who eat the best food. I guess I was wrong! We should boycott these organic eggs !!!!!

  • Mr. Pooqui says:

    I get my eggs from local farmers and friends who let their chickens run free and treat them lovingly. Yummy eggs and happy chickens! Look around your area and see what you can find. There are many people who keep chickens and can’t find enough people to take all the eggs produced.

  • Sue says:

    Humans no longer have human hearts…..They don’t understand the value of a life anymore….. They are worst than any kind of animal or monsters…. They should pay to all the cruelty they are doing to animals…. God bless those poor animals….

  • Michele Fedoro says:

    Are there any good places that we could support by buying eggs from them?

  • Kris says:

    At least the chickens have access to an outdoor run and are not confined to small wire cages. I also didn’t read if they have their beaks cruelly burned off (hopefully not). So even though they’re cramed together it’s definitely better then regular factory farming. Plus if there wasn’t the demand for the eggs they could house less chicken but demand regulates supply.

  • Genevieve Flint says:

    How can be not only tolerated in this country, but legal?

  • umang jain says:

    holyshit… can men hav bcum so selfish n cruel for sum profit

  • Anna says:

    this isnt the case with free range eggs in Britain….there is a label with the rights of the animals and address….hope this catches on in the USA aswell. 🙁

  • Kathleen says:

    We need the proactive animal lovers, activists, to ‘out’ the farmers who claim to be caring animal protectors while gaining an income from them, and ‘twisting the truth’ . We also, as individual consumers, need to do our own research. Organic, it seems can still be cruel, so can ‘free range’, as I believe, in Australia anyway, as long as the chickens’ cage is open for a few hours a day they can be advertised as ‘free range’. Beware, and care…

  • Annie O says:

    @Annie Patenaude That is what humans do. That is why humans need to remember they are / we are animals (not to say we are below them) – the most cruel and stupid lifeform on this precious planet

  • Franci says:

    Organic is just another ambiguous label that takes the guilt out of eating living beings! GO VEGAN!

  • Rara0986 says:

    That is disgusting! There is NO REASON!! How can human beings do something like this. I am more upset when I see an animal hurt or dead (whether in real life or in a movie) then a human being. At least humans can say they are in pain ..and some people are bad and deserve it. Animals are helpless and cannot tell their pain. I agree with Soledad..”I am ashamed to be a human being”!

  • Ivy says:

    It’s totally cruel and very sad to see, just the other day I watched this documentary “Food, Inc”, I highly recommend it.

  • Garwin says:

    This is terrible, this got to stop for the sake of the hens. I’m not eating eggs anymore..

  • katzw says:

    please consider reading: The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, or watching one of his talks: or at Choosing one item of food production is not going to help anything: we need to be educated on the whole system to come up with a way to be kind to ourselves, animals and the planet.

  • Eileen says:

    I think this is discusting. Why is this legal? The people who are doing this and buying ther products will get bad karma.

  • sydney says:

    what a good day to be vegan. if you arent part of the solution, your part of the problem. i’m sorry people do this to you poor little chickens, you dont deserve this kind of treatment.

  • Houndnurse says:

    I thought I was making a good choice when choosing organic and free roaming chicken eggs. I guess I will just have to stop buying them completely now. This is disgusting!

  • Cori says:

    This is just so cruel and mean… People need to do something about this…. This is inhumane… Where is the ASPCA when you need them???

  • Ivana Radicevic says:

    This is disgusting!!! There should be a law banning this kind of exploitation. People, if you are eating eggs look for the FREE-RANGE label.

  • Giorgia Vegan says:

    People! Wake up and go vegan!!!!!!! It’s not that difficult after all!!!!!

  • Eric Prendergast says:

    I’m so sick and tired of people abusing helpless animals, I feel so bad for the, I wish I could do more… 🙁

  • Priscilla says:

    No…… And STOP……. Right now

  • Heather says:

    This is appalling. I truly hope that every person who believes this is wrong will take their conviction to the logical conclusion and choose to stop supporting the animal industries by continuing to eat, wear and use animal products. This kind of abuse will not stop as long as animals like these hens are treated as property and exploited for their bodies. Please, don’t turn a blind eye to this; go vegan. It is not difficult, and it is the only way to ensure that we do not inadvertently support these kinds of practices through our own choices.

  • tigerface says:

    How in the hell can such things be legal, anyone who believe this isn’t animal cruelty, is out of their pigging mind,. People who do this or make money out of it, should be locked up in tiny cages themselves,.

  • Erica Dombrowski says:

    I had a feeling that “organic” wasn’t much different than “non-organic”. How can these people who work in places like this seriously live with themselves? When all this proof is out there, how come the government doesn’t do anything about it? I mean Michelle Obama supposedly loves her organic garden, but does she care about the organic farms and gardens the rest of us have to eat from?

  • Jena M says:

    This is so sad. Most people do not know that their eggs come from places like this. It’s horrific to see these conditions. I think there needs to be more mainstream coverage of this kind of animal cruelty so that the general public can become informed about their part in it. I think most people would refuse to support these factory farms.

  • shanna123 says:

    Organic means that they dont use pesticides to make the chicken grow faster. The happy cage less chicken say cage free on the cartoon.

  • Elaine says:

    Don’t ban eggs-just raise your own chickens! I have my one sweet chicken (who we rescued from the trashcan and nursed her back to health), and she lays us one egg everyday. She is our family pet and we has lots of room to roam and love from our family. We are a family of vegetarians so this is a great way for us to love animals and have guilt-free protein.

  • Egg Eater says:

    You’re ashamed to be humans? Who’s stopping you from turning yourselves in to animal food? Did you really think that “Organic” meant that we pay people to follow chickens around some form of “chicken pasture”? I’m not ashamed to be human, I’m ashamed there are humans who think like you. I simply can’t express my distain…

  • grit engelmann says:

    I have no words left for this horror. 🙁 I live vegan, everybody should join to stop this. Please, people, think and act NOW before it is too late. Poor animals.:((((

  • Monica L says:

    If anyone needed proof that money is the root of all evil, here it is.

  • Susanne Holtz says:

    This is SO discusting! I never purchase eggs, from this type of ranch, the eggs I buy are ecologic eggs, nothing else. Hopefully, the hens are in a better shape then those poor ladies in this terrible horror house.

  • randir21 says:

    first time i saw this kinda farm. its not fair to give this kinda life to animals. most people around the world think animals are just to eat and use for their work.

  • Martina Titlova says:


  • Soledad Konowalskyj says:

    I am ashamed to be a human being!!! God Bless these Chickens! I don’t eat eggs ANYMORE. Human beings are worst than monsters.

  • Julita says:

    What the hell!!!!!! We are so manipulated by all the food companies! I thought that at least “organic” means something… do we have a choice as a consumer or human being?! When all these lies will end? When our government will finally do something about all the animal abuse and rotten food industry? Animals are victims and regular consumers like you and me are victims too! Trust NO ONE!

  • Annie Patenaude says:

    Stop that! Be Human!!!

  • CTT says:

    This is bullsh*t! This is not organic. WTF!

  • Scott says:

    How is this Organic/natural…Im vegetarian and also disgusted that this is allowed….Never would it be in the UK and i thought times had changed and Organic farming had moved on:-)

  • KATERINA says:


  • ute jolley says:

    This is a cruel and horrible way to live. No animals should be subjected to such horror, such abuse!!!!! Think about it next time you order your breakfast sandwich or stuff your face at Denny’s. Switch to Tofu or do without and feel good about yourself and the planet.

  • Laury says:

    This is unbelievable…HOW is it LEGAL!!!??? I always thought organic eggs came from chickens that lived at the Ritz Carlton of farms, running free, eating the best food….what a disgrace!