There is some confusion on whether eggs are vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Vegans avoid dairy products and eggs. And there are vegetarian eggs too. What are these eggs?
Eggs: vegetarian or non-vegetarian
Eggs are laid by hens. When the eggs hatch, they give rise to chickens. But eggs have no animal flesh in them. Non-vegetarian foods are those that contain animal flesh. And if we take that as the criteria, eggs may be considered vegetarian with no animal flesh. But animal activists and animal lovers put them into the non-vegetarian category. And vegans avoid all foods and cloth fabric of animal origin. Thus they avoid animal milk, eggs, fur, leather etc.
There are different types of eggs available in the market. They differ in size, color of shells, method of production, etc. Some such as free range eggs are laid by hens that are fed a healthy diet with no animal foods or antibiotics, drink adequate potable water and in the daytime roam around outside freely. They are back in the barn only at night time and that too for safety reasons. This saves them from predators.
What are vegetarian eggs?
Vegetarian eggs are not like the conventional eggs that the hens usually lay. There is no hatching and no chickens will come out of them. These eggs are made from plants but after cooking they look, smell, and taste and also feel like the regular eggs. Sounds confusing. But the fact is that they are not from animals. They are 100% from plants.
These eggs are made from plant sources such as legumes, tofu, flax seeds etc. And the amazing thing is that their culinary properties closely resemble a real egg. They taste nice and real.
The whole vegetarian egg in no way resembles a real egg. It is in the form of a liquid mix in plastic bottles or as a powder. But why should one go for these type of eggs in the first place? What’s the need?
Reasons to opt for these eggs
There are various reasons for choosing these vegetarian eggs.
Religious or spiritual causes
Many people are highly religious and will stick to the rules strictly. They cease eating eggs but they still crave for a taste of it. For these people, these plant origin eggs are perfect replacement. They can enjoy them scrambled or as an omelette. The choice is theirs.
Scientists and environmentalists argue that humans should minimize their intake of animal products. This is because these animal foods require a lot of land, forest, and water to produce and they also affect wildlife. These lead to depletion of these resources and heavy carbon footprints. This harm is many times higher compared to plant based foods.
Moreover, the poultry farmers use harmful chemicals and antibiotics on these birds. This pollutes the environment and harms the bird.
Hens are bred in pitiable conditions and injected with antibiotics. This makes them and us at high risk of antibiotics resistant pathogens. This is on the rise in the world and kills a significant number of humans globally every year. Additionally, eggs have cholesterol and saturated fats in them. They have good quality proteins. But plant sources of protein such as soybean, legumes, whole grains can also provide them in adequate quantities.
At many poultry farms, one can witness a lot of animal cruelty. They are caged and force fed. They are not in natural surroundings and are not happy or healthy.
Also, read How to make Flax Eggs (Perfect for Baking)
Hence if we care for ourselves, our planet and animals, try the switch from regular eggs to the vegetarian ones. And make a difference!!!