How the Egg Industry Is Tied to the Bird Flu Outbreak


3 min read

In the same week that 64,000 eggs were rolled on the South Lawn and eaten in the 2024 White House Easter Egg Roll, a human contracted the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus or “bird flu” in Texas and millions of hens used for their eggs were killed due to an outbreak of the disease on an egg mega factory farm. The first family should roll with the times and follow their event’s theme of “EGG-ucation” by teaching compassion and encouraging a healthy lifestyle for U.S. residents, instead of promoting the vile egg industry.

Bird Flu Is Highly Contagious

The 2024 White House Easter Egg Roll took place amid the worst avian flu outbreak in history, during which almost 82 million farmed birds—most of them egg-laying chickens—have been killed. Bird flu is highly contagious, and the severely crowded sheds where most chickens are confined in the egg industry are breeding grounds for a host of deadly pathogens that can easily mutate and spread to humans and other animals.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that highly pathogenic avian influenza has now been detected in cows used for dairy in Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, and Texas. It’s also present in the milk of infected cows and has been transmitted from a cow to a human at least once so far, in the Texas panhandle.

PETA points out that the majority of disease outbreaks in recent years—including AIDS, avian flu, swine flu, SARS, MERS, Ebola, Zika, and COVID-19—originated in animals before being transmitted to humans. Strains of avian flu have already spread, decimating wild bird populations around the globe. In 2023, at least 58 million birds confined on farms were systematically killed for disease control via a number of slow, cruel methods, including the following:

  • Ventilation shutdown plus, a process of shutting off the ventilation fans in a factory farm shed with the animals trapped inside, introducing carbon dioxide, and raising the temperature to as high as 120 degrees
  • Smothering birds with a water-based foam (sometimes taking up to 14 minutes)
  • Mobile gas chambers

The White House Should Roll With the Times: Go Vegan Today!

It can take up to 36 hours in typically hellish conditions for a hen to produce just one of the 64,000 eggs used in the White House Easter Egg Roll. Plus, virtually all U.S. eggs, regardless of “free-range” or “cage-free” labels, come from hens bred at hatcheries where workers kill every male chick—usually by grinding them up while they’re still alive—because they’re considered “useless” to the egg industry.

Baby Chicks Ground Up Alive

Many egg replacements are available for baking, breakfast scrambles, or any other dish that calls for eggs—and there are a number of roll replacers for the White House to employ, too, instead of supporting the horrid egg industry, including using wooden or ceramic eggs or, as PETA recently suggested, good old American-grown potatoes. Plus, promoting healthy, nutritious animal-free foods would jibe with Dr. Jill Biden’s efforts to improve research into women’s health. Studies have shown that going vegan can, among other health benefits, reduce the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

If you’re ready to help end speciesism, spare animals, help protect the environment, and make healthier choices, take PETA’s 3-Week Vegan Challenge. After going vegan for three weeks, you’ll be a pro at finding vegan options at your favorite restaurants, eating vegan on a budget, and meeting all your nutritional needs.



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