German scientists pioneer process preventing death of 4-6 billion male chicks per year

I’ve been a vegetarian/pescatarian for a bit more than two years now, owing to a mix of environmental and ethical concerns. I think humans are evolved to be omnivores, but if we can be 99% as healthy without causing suffering or harm to other beings, that’s a tradeoff I’m comfortable making. Not judging or preaching, just how I feel comfortable living my life.

That said, I rely heavily on eggs for protein and other nutrients – I’m still a lazy bachelor and my cooking repertoire is laughable. Throwing eggs into a mealtime displaces a lot of other garbage I could be eating. Throw in some ex-post-facto reasoning about how I find vegans too dogmatic, etc. etc.

So I was sad to discover that egg/poultry production results in the culling (fancy word for killing) of 4-6 billion male chicks per year. Male chickens don’t lay eggs, and male chicks don’t grow fast enough to be raised for meat. Here’s an intense video of Israeli activists shutting down a shredding machine at a poultry farm:

But, I need eggs, or given my otherwise garbage diet, I literally might die. JK. But seriously.

So I was delighted to discover that German scientists have discovered a way to test eggs for gender before they hatch, so only female chicks are incubated and hatch. The dope thing is that the research was funded by the German government, so we should see the technique adopted at wide scale throughout the industry soon.

Raises lots of good questions about how government can shape entire markets in accordance with shared, consensus values. Also raises questions about how our increased biotech know-how will shape the world we live in on a very practical level.

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