Posted by: cctracker | February 10, 2012

We Need the Eggs

The title of this post comes from a great joke in Woody Allen’s  “Annie Hall.” Take a look at the scene here.

Photo at

Woody Allen uses the joke to make a point about relationships and that’s where I want to end up,  but let’s start with eggs.

Driving into work this morning I heard a story on NPR’s Morning Edition about mortal enemies fighting, nearly to the death, over eggs. Over Industrial Egg farming to be specific. Listen to the story or read it here.

Gene Gregory and Wayne Pacelle were bitter adversaries: one the President of United Egg Producers the other the President of the Humane Society. We’re talking battling titans!  And the war between them had gone on for years. Totally opposite visions of the issue and utterly entrenched rhetoric. Absolutely incompatible bottom lines. And on top of all that, it was personal.

And yet, these days the two are lobbying Congress together to reform the regulations on egg production.

The thaw began with a message from Gregory to Pacelle through an intermediary: “Can the two of us just talk?” They did.

Pacelle says in the piece: “We could fight the United Egg Producers for another 10 or 15 years, and spend millions of dollars on both sides. But the other option is, we could sit down together and figure out a pathway that’s good for industry and better for animals.”

The conversation lead to, you guessed it, a real relationship:

“I found him to be a man of his word,” Gregory now says of Pacelle.

“He helped me understand the daily struggles farmers go through,” Pacelle says of Gregory.

I was smiling in that last stretch to school. We can talk. We can get beyond what looks like hopeless ideological polarization to address real problems with workable strategies. I’m not sure who the intermediaries will be. And we may have to deal with our own and other’s delusions along the way.

But I do know one thing: right now, we need the eggs.


  1. Thanks for the egg reflection. Thanks for taking the time to take us deeper.

    • Tom,
      I’m grateful you stopped by to take a look. Your creativity over the years has been a part of what inspired me to share thoughts like these.


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