Andrea Gil Yes, we consider it wrong. If you, or your son is not vegan, which means *no* animal products, then you are contributing to animal exploitation. There is no third choice.
The fact that your chickens and rooster have a more pleasant existence
than those on commercial farms doesn't change the fact that you're
exploiting them and are supporting a wider system of exploitation. They
didn't appear out of nowhere, did they? Someone profited from breeding
them and you supported that person in breeding them by buying them.
breeder is without a doubt engaging torture and killing in order to
make a profit out of his or her property, regardless of whether the
business is "free range" or conventional. This includes killing
virtually all male chicks at birth by suffocation or grinding them up
while fully conscious and killing chickens after they are spent for the
purpose of laying eggs or breeding: and possibly worse than this,
depending on the facility, such as debeaking with a hot knife, crowded
and filthy conditions and forced moulting through starvation in order to
extract another egg-laying cycle out of exhausted birds prior to
slaughter. By buying chickens, this is what you are supporting.
eggs belong to the chickens, not you. Chickens normally eat some of
their own eggs because they require the nutrition contained in them.
bottom line is that neither you nor your son needs to eat eggs for
health; in fact you would be healthier without them. So there is no
moral justification for owning chickens as property and stealing their
eggs other than that you or your son like the taste, and that is no
moral justification at all. It doesn't matter how well you think you're
treating your chickens--it's not about treatment; it's about use. You
have no right to own them and exploit them and they have a right not to
be owned and used as resources. They have inherent value; their value
does not consist in providing you with eggs. They value their lives and
want to lead them without interference from humans.
owning and using chickens you are reinforcing in your own mind and that
of others, most especially your son, the speciesist prejudice that
animals are things for us to use. You are doing your son no favours by
teaching him this unethical way of thinking. The benefit to him in you
going vegan and teaching him why it's necessary to be vegan would far
outweigh his enjoyment in eating eggs, and more importantly, means that
you cease exploiting animals. Why put indulging your son's wholly
unnecessary pleasure ahead of teaching him how to do the right thing?
So please consider going vegan. It's the morally right thing to do.