Were Baby Male Chicks Killed To Make Your Mayo?


To make mayonnaise, you have to break some eggs. For companies like Hellmann’s and Best Foods, two leading mayo producers, that amounts to millions of eggs every year—the combined effort of an army of laying hens. But to keep the mayonnaise eggs coming, these companies need to hatch more chicks from fertilized eggs.

That’s where there’s a problem: When those eggs hatch male chicks, Hellmann’s and Best Foods toss them like so many empty shells—either gassing, suffocating, or grinding them up while still alive, according to a new campaign from the animal rights group Farm Forward, citing a 2011 study. We reached out to Unilever, which owns both mayo brands, for a comment on the campaign. It did not immediately respond.

Farm Forward is calling on the companies to change this practice and is gathering support from consumers with a genius new video campaign that puts the baby chicks right there in the kitchen. Instead of ending male chickens’ short lives in the industrial equivalent of the garbage disposal, Farm Forward recommends determining the sex of birds before they hatch, raising the male chickens for meat, or moving away from eggs as a base altogether—anything to keep the chicks from being ground up.

Most of us don’t consider the treatment of baby chicks when we purchase mayo.And we shouldn’t have to: we should be able trust companies when it comes to preventing cruelty to animals.

Best Foods and Hellmann’s use millions of eggs each year to create their products. Since only female chickens lay eggs, Best Foods and Hellmann’s don’t have any use for the male birds. Their solution is to treat these chicks like garbage: they’re either ground up alive, gassed, or suffocated in plastic bags.

Nobody wants to see animals suffer, but some of the worst abuses occur where we least expect them. If we care about preventing cruelty to animals, we have to shine a spotlight on abuses that otherwise would be hidden. We’re calling on Best Foods and Hellmann’s to stop treating animals like they’re trash.

Sign  petition and join us in taking a stand against the practice of killing millions of baby chicks shortly after they hatch. You can help end this cruel practice by signing our petition (below) and asking your friends and family to do the same.