A California woman opened a carton of eggs one morning and was shocked to discover fluffy white feathers stuck to the sides of one egg.
The feathers were a startling reminder that the eggs purchased at grocery stores are not just ingredients but the products of living, feeling animals.
In the egg industry, male chicks are considered worthless and either ground up alive or suffocated in trash bags. The females often have their sensitive beaks burned off with a hot blade and endure lives in barren battery cages, each bird with floor space smaller than the surface of an iPad.
But because of the way eggs, meat, dairy, and other animal products are packaged and sold, it can be easy to forget that they come from animals. Chicken strips, dairy butter, and hamburger meat are visually very removed from the realities of the animals they come from.
But this is not the first time someone has been surprised by an unwelcome addition to their meal. In September 2018, Facebook user Timothy Reeves posted a disturbing image of a chicken heart that he had found in his bucket from KFC, writing, “Uhh KFC can you explain to me why in the world I would be getting what looks like a chicken heart in my food?”
A spokesperson for KFC told the Daily Mail Australia that this was not a one-time incident: “Our chicken is hand-prepared and cooked fresh, but occasionally mistakes happen and organs are not removed when they should have been.”
Also at KFC, a teenager claimed he had been given a meal that included an entire chicken head, beak and all. After Chipotle made a similar error, a diner was horrified to discover a chicken foot in her burrito bowl. And just a few years ago, people around the world were horrified when a Reddit user posted a picture of his bacon with a very clear nipple still attached. The shocking image made the rounds on major news sites, prompting many to declare that they could never eat meat again.