Dear Editor,

McDonald's pledge last week to start using cage-free eggs is only a

small step in preventing staggering suffering endured by millions of

birds.

Hatcheries that annually supply 200 million female hens for U.S. egg

production, including cage-free, also kill the same number of male

chicks at birth by grinding them up alive in industrial macerators or

suffocating them slowly in plastic garbage bags. The female laying hens

endure a lifetime of misery, crammed with 5-6 others, in small wire-mesh

cages that cut into their feet and tear out their feathers.

Eggs are common carriers of food-borne bacteria, including Salmonella,

Campylobacter. Listeria, and Staphylococcus. USDA estimates that

Salmonella alone accounts for 1.3 million U.S. illnesses and 500 deaths

annually.

Eggs contain saturated fat and cholesterol, key factors in incidence of

heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. They are a common cause of

allergies in children.

Waste from millions of egg-laying hens ends up in waterways, rendering

vast areas unsuited for recreation or water supply.

The good news for compassionate, health-conscious, eco-friendly

consumers is that our local supermarket offers a number of delicious egg

substitutes and egg-free food products.  Entering "egg-free" in a search

engine returns tons of recipes.

Sincerely,

Bruno Chanley

Baton Rouge