As Egg Shortage Plagues Nation’s Bakers, PETA Suggests: Go Vegan!

PETA Says That the Cruelty-Free Answer Is Already in Bakers' Pantries

For Immediate Release:
May 28, 2015

Contact:
Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Washington – As bird flu decimates the nation’s egg supply, the American Bakers Association is calling for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow an increase in egg imports—but as PETA notes in a letter sent to the group this morning, there’s a far simpler solution: Bake vegan.

As PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat … or abuse in any other way”—points out, eggs are an entirely unnecessary ingredient in baking. Hampton Creek’s Just Mix plant-based powdered egg substitute has already been incorporated into a variety of General Mills products, and PETA’s baking “cheat sheet” reveals simple ingredients—such as cornstarch, flaxseeds, and vinegar—that can be used for leavening or binding in place of eggs. These inexpensive, easy-to-find ingredients are far kinder to chickens, who often spend their lives crammed into “battery cages” on egg farms—and of course, plant-based ingredients aren’t susceptible to bird flu.

“Disease runs rampant when birds are surrounded by their own waste in tiny wire cages, but you’ll never see cornstarch or flaxseeds catch the flu,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the American Bakers Association to forget the egg cartons and reach instead for healthier, kinder plant-based ingredients.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Robb MacKie, president and CEO of the American Bakers Association, follows.

May 28, 2015

Robb MacKie
President and CEO
American Bakers Association

Dear Mr. MacKie,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters to suggest that the solution to the egg shortage currently threatening your members’ businesses may already be in their refrigerators and cupboards. Not only is the egg supply susceptible to pathogen outbreaks such as bird flu, eggs are also damaging to human health and are the product of a barbaric industry. But there’s no need to unplug the beaters just yet: Eggs are an entirely unnecessary ingredient in baking, as the national and international accolades won by all-vegan bakeries make clear. Hampton Creek’s Just Mix plant-based powdered egg substitute has already been incorporated into a variety of General Mills products.

Walk into most chicken sheds on factory farms, and it’s easy to see why cases of bird flu are cropping up again. One shed may house tens of thousands of birds, crammed five to 10 in a tiny wire “battery cage” in which a hen does not even have enough space to stretch her wing. These sensitive, inquisitive animals are surrounded by their own waste and breathe ammonia-laden air that burns their lungs and damages their immune systems. The conditions in these sheds are ideal for the breeding of dangerous pathogens because birds live amid their own feces from birth to slaughter. When one bird gets sick, the disease can quickly spread to all the other birds in a shed. Once the hens’ egg-production drops, they are sent to a slaughterhouse, where they’re slammed into shackles and have their throats cut while they’re still conscious.

But as PETA’s popular vegan baking “cheat sheet” shows, we really can have our cake and eat it, too. Whether mixing in some apple-cider vinegar for leavening or a bit of potato starch to bind ingredients, egg-free baking is easy as pie. We’d be happy to provide the association and its members with our chefs’ services to ease the transition to vegan baking and avoid a supply crisis. We look forward to your response.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President

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