There are apparently a group of people called Veggan ‘s, who believe that the consumption of eggs fits within vegan guidelines, because the eggs were not “unethically” taken from the hen.
And to be honest, they have a point. Yes, veganism IS strictly defined as having NO animal products at all. None. No honey, no lanolin derived D3, no shoes made from leather. But that is not the only definition of veganism. The most common one comes from the Vegan Society, which states:
“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
Keywords being “exploitation of, and cruelty to.” When you base veganism around a strict moral viewpoint, you will find many loopholes inside it that make the consumption of animal foods perfectly OK as long as it does not inflict or endorse exploitation and cruelty to animals.
Ethical Honey for example. Is honey vegan? There is a wide amount of debate going around, with many people saying honey is not vegan because honey is an animal product, while others are saying honey helps bees, regardless of it being an animal product. Or the case for Mollusks/Sponges. These bivalves are animals per-se, but they have no sentience at all and are basically a plant, but they are still technically in the animal kingdom, so… not vegan on a technicality?
Another good one is Freeganism. This is where you take food from the dumpster, and consume that instead of buying food from the store. This way, if you consume candy with dairy in it, or tossed out meat products, the food, even the meat, is TECHNICALLY vegan because it does not inflict cruelty or endorse exploitation of animals, as the food eaten is simply waste.
So what about people who call themselves Vegan, but they eat eggs laid by rescued hens/pet hens? They are going to lay eggs anyways regardless of if they want to or not, because laying eggs to chickens is the same as Ovulation is to women, it happens whether we like it or not. So if veganism is based on morals, and not strict guidelines, wouldn’t eating these eggs be ok?
There is an argument that can be made that keeping the rescued chickens and selling their eggs IS exploitation, but if it is, it’s a rather dull version of it. It’s like keeping a rabbit as a pet, but using their droppings as compost to grow and sell fresh vegetables; or brushing your cats fur and using the shed hair to card and twist into yarn for cat’s hair scarves. it’s literally that low in terms of exploitation.
I often get flack about how I am more likely to drop veganism because I am a more health-based vegan, but scientific consensus proves that diets high in beans, nuts, and vegetables are good for you. In terms of Ethical Veganism, it seems that you can eat Bivalves, Honey, Eggs, Dairy, and even Meat (including roadkill) and still be considered vegan as long as no exploitation or harm is caused to the animal. While you don’t NEED to be vegan to be healthy, at least I am not fooling myself.
As vegans, we need to be aware of these loopholes, as they exist, and they exist entirely because of us.