Opinion

Coronavirus Causing (Egg) Shell Shock

Netta Ahituv
Netta Ahituv
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An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man carries trays of eggs in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, April 6, 2020.
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man carries trays of eggs in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, April 6, 2020. Credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Netta Ahituv
Netta Ahituv

Police were called to two grocery stores in the central Israeli city of Rishon Letzion after a fight broke out because of a shortage of eggs. Other supermarkets are limiting shoppers to one carton of eggs each. In many store, eggs have sold out. Meanwhile, overnight Sunday, Israel got a shipment from Portugal of no less than 1 million eggs, and that followed previous egg imports from Spain and Ukraine.

Along with toilet paper – a strange matter in itself – eggs have become the symbol of the current distress. But anyone with common sense and some compassion will look at this egg tumult and think, “Guys, are you serious?” Of all consumer products, this is what you’re fighting over?

Cultivating the image of eggs as a healthy and basic food that is required in every home (which is in stark contrast to what eggs actually contain) is the Poultry Growers Board and their lackeys in the Agriculture Ministry, who have successfully brainwashed an entire country into believing this lie – that you can’t live without eggs, and that a holiday meal must include lots of this inferior product. This indoctrination has been so successful that we’re not only abusing Israeli chickens but also those of Portugal, Spain and Ukraine.

Let’s start with the obvious: Eggs are not a healthy food. True, they’re a source of protein, but so are a lot of other foods, which, unlike eggs, are not accompanied by a high cholesterol content and do not come with warnings against consumption by diabetics or heart patients. There have been endless studies showing that animal protein is much less healthy that plant protein.

A policeman walks out of a store - the sign says 'No Eggs.' Bnei Brak, March 30, 2020.
A policeman walks out of a store - the sign says 'No Eggs.' Bnei Brak, March 30, 2020.Credit: Meged Gozani

But the Poultry Growers Board won’t tell you any of this. Nor will it tell you that eggs are a common source of harmful bacteria, including salmonella and e-coli. And if you don’t get these germs directly from your eggs, then we’ll all get them indirectly, because the egg industry is a source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are responsible for the deaths of some 700,000 people worldwide each year. That is more than 10 times the number of lives the coronavirus has claimed so far.

And we still haven’t talked about the way those eggs are produced, which is one of the most brilliant cover-ups by this brutal industry. You get a carton of eggs and they are all clean and white, but a moment before they were packed they were still covered with blood. That’s because the laying of so many eggs (in nature a chicken lays around a dozen eggs a year, but in the battery cages they lay some 300 eggs a year), tears their membranes and every egg is laid in a pool of blood and accompanied by physical and emotional pain that even Satan isn’t cruel enough to devise.

The lives of chickens include confinement without the ability to move, and two weeks of starvation once a year. Male chicks are crushed to death, since there’s nothing to be done with them, and two years later their exhausted and weakened sisters follow them, to be electrocuted on a conveyor belt while hanging from their legs.

So this egg panic puts before us a very unflattering reflection: We are being both pathetic and cruel at the same time. There is no better time than now to display a little compassion and common sense and stop the consumption of these germ capsules.

They’re the last things on earth to fight over.

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