Maceration, a little known part of egg production, is the mass killing of male chicks-of no use to the industry since they don't lay eggs. Discarded like trash, these baby birds-hundreds of millions of them a year, just in the United States alone-are dumped into massive grinders while fully conscious, or sometimes simply thrown live into trash bags to suffocate, on the first day of their lives.
While no egg company has pledged to address this systemic abuse in the near term, Unilever announced today that it's going to do so, having judged the mass killing of the chicks unacceptable in the long run. The company is now working to make a technology commercially and scientifically viable that would determine the sex of embryos in eggs long before they get out of the egg, so that they don't hatch and create a terrible moral problem. Needless to say, success in this effort would eliminate a vast amount of suffering-chicks endure stressful handling even prior to being killed in hatcheries-for hundreds of millions of animals annually.