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A&W tricks people in to thinking “vegan” chickens make better eggs

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What’s funnier than a fast food chain insisting that feeding chickens a plant-based diet makes better eggs? The fact that there’s a conversation happening about whether or not the byproduct of an animal should be tampered by other animal byproducts.

The Chronicle Herald took a look at A&W’s marketing campaigns to determine whether or not their “higher standards” guarantee for eggs are bunk (spoiler alert: they are). Apparently the Canadian conglomerate has successfully tricked people in to thinking that healthier eggs come from chickens who are given vegetables, grains, vitamins, and enough supplements to offset the insects a chicken in a free-range setting might get ahold of. Basically, they’re having any measure of success with this campaign because people view this as being somehow “cleaner.” I’m not sure where “vegan” came in to the conversation, as it’s not a diet, but maybe the claim that they’re enriched with b12 muddied up the logic further.

In the article, they get Dr. Bruce Rathgeber, a poultry researcher at Dalhousie University, to confirm the nutritional content of an egg doesn’t change when the chicken is force-fed a vegetarian diet. But A&W doesn’t seem to care about facts like that: “Our guests have told us that they prefer eggs fed a vegetarian diet with no animal by-products. We’re proud to meet that standard” the company posts on their website. But why expect an unethical company to suddenly put the health of it’s customers first? And why on earth would people care about getting animal by-products in their animal by-products?

Whether it’s what people really want is questioned again, as A&W paid bloggers to brag about their products, and the timeline suggests that proceeded the demand. People prefer what they’re told is better, otherwise a fast-food egg is probably indistinguishable.

They’re sneaky in more ways than one, though, and show off that they don’t give their hens antibiotics, something that’s been illegal since the 60s. The truth remains that the exploitation of chickens for their eggs is despicable across the board, and that anyone who cares about the quality of a mass produced animal by-product is being blinded by smoke and mirrors, and missing the fact that feed is determined by output (re: healthy chickens, cost, etc.), not customers. A campaign that was honest about eggs would only make vegans, after all.

In the old “what came first” dilemma, chickens, their eggs, and consumers are all exploited by A&W, so it doesn’t matter. 

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