''Is this justifiable just for cheap eggs?'' - NYT 9/1/09

Video Shows Chicks Ground Up Alive at Egg Hatchery

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An animal rights group is calling on the nation's largest grocery story chains to post warnings on egg cartons that unwanted male chicks are ground up alive, after videotaping the common industry practice at an Iowa egg hatchery.

In letters sent to the companies this week, Chicago-based Mercy for Animals says its undercover videotape at Hy-Line North America's hatchery in Spencer, Iowa, ''exposes one of the industry's best kept secrets -- that the egg industry tears male chicks' bodies apart in grinding machines while they are still alive.''

The group wants the chains to include a label on egg cartons that says, ''Warning: Male chicks are ground-up alive by the egg industry.'' The letters were sent to 50 chains, including Walmart, Whole Foods, Safeway, Harris Teeter and Trader Joe's.

''The violence that you will see is standard and acceptable within the egg industry, and consumers have a right to know about this cruelty so that they can make informed and compassionate purchasing decisions,'' wrote Mercy for Animals' executive director, Nathan Runkle.

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