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Controversial vegan billboards spark heated debate 

22/04/2024

On Monday 29th April a vegan billboard campaign will be launched by Animal Justice Project across five major UK cities. The billboards will display eye-catching photos taken from inside British egg farms, challenging viewers to rethink their food choices and consider going vegan.  
 
Spread across Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Hove, and London, these 6x3m billboards are expected to reach an audience of over 1.4 million people. With striking messages like ‘There is no such thing as an ethical egg’, ‘Don’t buy the lie’, and ‘Not an egg machine’, coupled with real-life images of British egg-laying hens, the campaign pulls no punches. 
 
While the industry paints an idyllic picture image of egg farming where happy birds roam free in fields – the reality is far darker. This campaign seeks to expose and share the unsettling truths hidden from British consumers.  
 
The campaign’s artwork made its debut on social media, sparking heated debates. While some questioned the economic implications for farmers, others defended their food choices. 

One person argued “…when all the eggs, meat and fish is so expensive because you have won your campaign…the farms will close and have no income” while someone else complained about feeling criticised for their food choices.  Another commenter raged “I have no sympathy for farmed animals, their sole purpose is to provide food for humans.” 

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With the average consumer eating 200 eggs annually and a whopping 11 billion eggs laid by hens in the UK each year, the egg industry is big business. 
 
Animal Justice Project’s investigations into caged and free-range egg-laying farms have revealed birds dying, dead and decaying. Their recent investigation exposed these issues in ‘high welfare’ RSPCA Assured farms supplying major supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Aldi, raising serious questions about the reliability of welfare labels.    

Free-range eggs may feel like a no brainer for conscientious shoppers because the packaging implies hens have access to the outdoors and a better quality of life. Sadly, free-range eggs aren’t all they are cracked up to be.   
 
A recent YouGov poll, commissioned by AJP revealed that most egg consumers knew very little about how eggs are produced, or the lifelong suffering hens are forced to endure to produce eggs. 
 
Most respondents thought that hens had daily access to the outdoors. On the contrary, Animal Justice Project’s most recent investigation revealed hens being kept inside for up to four days on three separate farms, despite being certified as free-range.  
 
Unsurprisingly, most respondents said that the killing of chicks within 24 hours was unacceptable. All male chicks in the egg industry are killed within 24 hours of being born, this is a disturbingly cruel practice which happens regardless of whether the birds are destined for caged, barn, free-range or organic farms.  
Campaigns Manager at Animal Justice Project, Ayrton Cooper, says “Marketing by the egg industry paints an idyllic image of cage-free farms but the reality is very different. Our undercover work shows frightful abuses, commonplace across several RSPCA Assured egg farms. Our billboards will combat this misinformation and bridge the gap between consumer knowledge and farm truths. When shoppers are inside the supermarket, they can instead choose plant-based products, rather than reaching for eggs, which are responsible for the suffering and killing of millions of hens every year.”  
Generously funded by Phillip Shore from Derbyshire, who funded a similar campaign in his hometown, this campaign aims to inspire others to reconsider their food choices and go vegan.  
 
Despite what the convincing marketing campaigns say, birds are being kept in horrific conditions and suffering is at the heart of the egg industry. Birds endure a miserable existence and are slaughtered at a young age, all for the sake of food. The only way to protect hens is to stop eating eggs and go vegan.   

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