Help Settle This Debate: Are Eggs Meat?

published Mar 4, 2010
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Q: I told a friend over breakfast the other morning that I gave up meat for Lent. I was eating a frittata at the time, and she looked down and asked, “What about those eggs? They’re meat.” So ensued the discussion of whether or not eggs are meat. We argued (nicely) that they’re not really dairy, but unfertilized they are not a chicken either.

Are eggs just a byproduct of a chicken, like milk from a cow? So, if you could please help answer this debate, I’d deeply appreciate it!

Sent by Aimee

Editor: Aimee, this seems like a very subjective question! On the one hand, many vegetarians eat eggs without a second though; unless you are vegan, these usually fall into an otherwise meat-free diet. Unfertilized eggs have no way of becoming a chick, so it’s not like you are eating a baby bird, in utero.

On the other hand, these are indeed coming from a chicken, so some vegetarians aren’t comfortable eating them.

Readers — how would you speak to this debate?

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