Are Eggs Vegan? Overview, Ethics, and Plant-Based Alternatives


Still life of organic eggs
The Good Brigade / Getty Images

Veganism tends to draw clear lines between acceptable and unacceptable foods, and eggs often top the list of what to avoid. Whether from birds, lizards, or snakes, eggs are, by definition, animal products, prompting the overwhelming majority of vegans to skip them at the breakfast buffet.

However, a small number of vegans point to their disdain for industrial farming as the issue with eggs, not the animal product itself. These so-calledveggansinclude backyard eggs in their otherwise animal-product-free diet.



鸡蛋是动物的副产品,因此不是素食主义者。此外,大多数素食主义者不会食用各种鸡蛋animal welfarereasons.

鸡蛋行业经营密不可分ltry industry at large, and chickens by far are the most slaughtered land animals. TheWorld Economic Forumestimates that 50 billion chickens are killed each year, and as of 2019, about one-third of all meat eaten worldwide comes from poultry.


除了担心鸡蛋和家禽行业中出生的鸡的灭亡之外,素食主义者认为许多普通的鸡肉养殖做法是不人道的。鸡是食人的,它们经常会互相啄食,吃自己和其他鸡蛋,尤其是在拥挤的条件下。为了避免这种情况,农民夹住喙鸡蛋和鸡饲养的鸡肉。此过程都有短期和长期有害影响on the well-being of chickens, including pain and loss of normal beak function.

Additionally, the living conditions of egg-laying hens are often crowded and filthy, even on farms with free-range or cage-free practices. Chicken feces contains a high amount of, which could have numerous adverse effects in a crowded environment.

Other animal welfare concerns include forced molting to induce egg production (caused by either intentional starvation or giving the chickens zinc), high levels of抗生素, cramped cages, andgenetic engineering for fast growth.


Evaluating the sustainability of eggs is a complex issue involving animal welfare, environmental impact, food safety, worker health, and affordability. In 2015, theSustainable Egg Coalitioncompared the sustainability of three popular hen housing systems: cage-free aviary, enriched colony, and conventional cage. The results revealed the many trade-offs that occur given the different hen housing options. Unfortunately for consumers, this study doesn't point to one system as superior to the other in terms of overall sustainability.

什么是“ Veggan”?

A small minority of vegans who consume eggs have dubbed themselvesveggans. These folks generally follow the other tenets of veganism, but they consume eggs that they (or a friend or family member) have raised outside of the industrial system. Since backyard chickens aren’t subject to the same inhumane living conditions as chickens in commercial farms, many veggans believe that eating backyard eggs still aligns with their vegan values.

Asmall study of egg eaters in Australiamay help explain this rationale: People interested in consuming cage-free eggs pointed toward their dislike of the industrialization of food rather than to the welfare of hens as their primary motivation. Other veggans cite thehigher environmental impactof industrially processed plant-based meat and dairy alternatives as less in alignment with the spirit of veganism than eating eggs from a personally owned and maintained hen house.

然而,主流素食者认为,即使这些more humane and sustainable practices constitute animal exploitation and therefore stand in opposition to veganism. These vegans believe even backyard eggs should be left in the hen house as chickens will often eat their own eggs to replenish calcium and Vitamin D levels. (It’s not uncommon for chicken owners to feed eggs and eggshells to their flock for this reason.)


单独使用Aquafaba或用亚麻餐可以替代烘烤和烹饪。 Kristina Ratobilska / Getty Images



Aquafaba is the nearly clear, odorless liquid in which canned chickpeas are stored. This versatile kitchen staple makes an excellent replacement for egg whites. Aquafaba can be whipped to create meringue, mousse, mayonnaise, marshmallows, souffle, cocktail foams, and washes. You can vigorously shake aquafaba to achieve the proper bubbly texture, but a hand beater works best if you’re aiming for fluffy peaks that rival traditional chicken egg whites.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Egg Replacer


Flax Egg

An excellent choice for baking and cooking, a flax egg is a simple, homemade way to bind baked goods, give them a light and airy texture, and provide the necessary moisture. Replace a single traditional egg with one tablespoon ground flaxseed (also known as flax meal) mixed with three tablespoons of warm water. Stir for about 30 seconds, then let the mixture sit for five minutes while it thickens. If you’ve got aquafaba on hand, you can use it in place of water for extra binding ability.


Tofu with black salt and turmeric makes a great egg substitute in scrambles. Selwa Baroody / Getty Images


BeLeaf Vegan Fried Egg



只是鸡蛋simulates traditional eggs so well you may send your food back to the kitchen thinking they got your order wrong. Sustainably grown mung beans provide the base. Use JUST Egg on its own or in frittatas, quiches, French toast, and other baked goods that require whole eggs (but not just egg whites).


Made in Australia, ORGRAN Vegan Easy Egg is a shelf-stable powder egg replacement made from a base of chickpea and corn flour (and sustainably sourced palm oil). Each pack is equivalent to 15 conventional eggs and makes cooking plant-based quiches, omelets, and scrambled eggs a snap.

Follow Your Heart VeganEgg



A staple in many vegan kitchens, tofu makes a great egg replacement, especially for quiches, scrambles, and sandwiches. Add a dash of black salt to give your vegan eggs that familiar sulfur smell, and add a hint of turmeric for a golden hue. Choose firm tofu for recipes requiring a dryer texture, or opt for silken tofu if you’re looking for a looser, creamier consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • 素食主义者可以吃鸡蛋吗?

    According to the most agreed-upon definition of veganism, no. Vegans abstain from eating or using any animal products. As products of oviparous animals (the scientific term for egg-laying birds, snakes, and lizards), eggs don’t fit the bill.

  • 鸡蛋如何不纯素?


  • What eggs are vegan-friendly?

    An explosion of vegan egg products have recently hit supermarket shelves across the globe. Unlike traditional animal eggs, vegan eggs are made from a combination of plant-based proteins (often in the form of legumes), spices, and oils. Vegans can also make egg substitutes from common kitchen ingredients like flax meal and tofu.