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Official Bye Bye Egg Industry Statement.
April 27, 2003 Herrljunga, Sweden
Translated by Sofia Leander

In the early hours of April 27, we made our way into the Gimranäs hatchery outside of Herrljunga, the largest breeder of laying hens in Sweden. Our purpose was to stop the breeding, and in doing so reduce the suffering of the tens of thousands of hens who leave the Gimranäs factory each day. Through our actions, tens of thousands of hens were spared being raised to a life of misery. A life in which they would have been treated as nothing more than egg-machines to make money from, instead of as the feeling individuals they truly are.

The egg industry long ago stopped caring about how chickens feel. This is very obvious when you study the breeding methods being used, which from the hens’ point of view is terrible. The hens are being bred to lay as many eggs, and as large sized, as possible, with the minimum amount of feed and in the shortest possible amount of time.

The intense lighting of many chicken farms manipulate the chickens furthermore into laying more eggs. If you compare todays modern layinghenbreeds to the "original" jungle hens, from which modern day hens are descended, you'll see that they lay eggs at a speed which is over twenty times faster than what would be natural. And nothing indicates that the egg industry will ever be satisfied with the speed of the laying.

All this of course negatively effects the chickens’ health. Diseases of the egg producing organs, such as salpingitis are common. Injuries in the cloaca are also common, which often causes other hens to peck at the wound. A recently published dissertation from SLU (Farming University of Sweden) establishes that the high laying speed means that chickens no longer have enough resources to handle stress. These are only a few examples. Today’s egg industry is in practise incompatible with the paragraphs in the animal protection-laws about how animals "shall be protected against unecessary suffering and disease" (§2) and that they are to be given "possibilities to act naturally" (§4).

We are saying that we can't just stand by and watch this go on. We are also saying, that it's not enough to protest and to try and influence consumers and politicians. It is necessary that we actively intervene on behalf of the chickens, and stop the ongoing animal oppression.

Our actions will be called undemocratic by some. The question we would like to ask then is if the animal farming of today is democratic. Is it democratic decisions which have led to the chickens that today lay eggs at a totally unnatural speed? Is it democratic decisions that have put millions of chickens in cramped cages? The answer is no. These decisions have been made by the animal industry, with one purpose: To make as much money as possible. We are saying that the egg-production of today, is a logical consequence of the economical system we live in, where companies want to maximize their profits no matter what.

But we can get rid of the animal industry if we want to. We can create a world where animals are respected as the feeling individuals they are. We no longer have to eat meat, milk and eggs to survive. It works splendidly to live as a vegetarian. We are also saying that as long as animals are being treated as merchandise, this is an ethical necessity.

By our actions we hope, apart from our main goal to reduce the suffering of the chickens, to shed some light on the oppression of animals in the egg industry, and inspire others to to do something for the animals. We are prepared to deal with any legal consequences that may come from our actions. The situation the animals face is to us such an important issue, that we are ready to go to jail for what we believe in – our suffering would be very small compared to that of the animals. But at the same time, we will always say that we have done nothing wrong and that the animal industry, and not us, should be prosecuted, for its systematic oppression of the animals.

Johan Jaatinen, Hanna Ekegren & Daniel Hedqvist
Bye Bye Egg Industry

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