"'The entire Western world is becoming educated about how the modern egg industry
is treating its birds-which is badly,' said Karen Davis, head of Virginia-based
watchdog group United Poultry Concerns."
-Todd Hartman, "A Fix in the Henhouse," Rocky Mountain News (Colorado), October
A Tad More Cage Space
Under pressure from animal rights advocates, some members of United Egg Producers
(UEP) are responding to UEP's voluntary plan to give battery-caged hens a tad more
space-essentially by putting one less hen in each tiny cage. The new standard will
increase space per bird to 67 square inches for white leghorn hens and 86 square inches
for brown hens (who are slightly larger birds) by 2008. 48 to 54 square inches per hen has
been the standard practice for decades. UEP's standards, to be phased in over a 6 year
period, are weaker than McDonald's' standards requiring the company's suppliers to
provide 72 square inches per caged white hen and a few extra inches for brown hens.
UEP Welfare Seal: "Animal Care Certified."
UEP has developed a "welfare seal" for egg cartons. This is a ruse. Under UEP's new
"Animal Care Certified" Seal, hens may still be:
Camera Doesn't Lie
- Warehoused in stacks of barren wire cages with no room to spread their wings, take
a step, sit or stand normally or comfortably.
- Force molted by food deprivation. UEP merely recommends that producers who
remove all food from hens for a week or 2 or 3 not let their weight drop below 70
percent. In other words, an "Animal Care Certified" producer may still force the hen
to lose nearly a third of her body weight-to be starved from about 3 pounds down to
- Debeaked or "beak trimmed" with a burning guillotine blade that slices through the
beak's sensitive nerve endings.
As reported in The New York Times, National Page, December 4, 2002, the Washington
DC-based animal advocacy organization Compassion Over Killing (COK) conducted
an undercover investigation from August to November 2002 of a battery-hen complex
near Baltimore, Md. At Red Bird Egg Farms, investigators documented "unimaginably
cruel conditions" including:
- Cages with up to 11 hens stuffed inside
- Feathers rubbed away by wire and other hens.
- Swollen eyes, infected skin, and shattered wings entangled in cage wire.
According to COK, Red Bird Egg Farms is "the norm in the egg industry." Similar
investigations at major egg farms in Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, Colorado, and
Maryland have all uncovered the same conditions. For details of COK's investigation and
rescue, go to www.cok.net.
- Please Omit Eggs and Egg Products From Your Diet, including so-called
"substitutes" like Egg Beaters which are made of egg whites. All products with egg
ingredients come from battery-caged hens. Egg whites instead of whole eggs
actually double the number of hens. So-called "uncaged," "free range," and
"organic" eggs are still produced by hens who are overcrowded, typically debeaked,
possibly force molted, and brutally slaughtered often after being trucked hundreds or
thousands of miles with internal injuries, broken bones, and no food or water. They
travel covered in egg slime because, though crushed together in crates, many hens
continue to lay eggs during transport. Still young, they go to poultry markets, poultry
auctions, renderers, and landfills.
In all systems, newborn male chicks, slow hatching chicks, and defective
female chicks are ground up alive or thrown in trashcans or landfills to
suffocate. A North Carolina family farmer told UPC in October that even after you
pour dirt over the chicks and run over them with a truck, "you can still hear them
peeping under the dirt."
- Urge baking companies to include vegan alternatives to eggs in their package
instructions and recipes. For example, 2 Tbsp to ¼ cup of applesauce, apple butter, or
other fruit purees can substitute for 1 egg. Other options are 1 mashed banana for 1 egg; 2
Tbsp soft tofu, potato starch, or cornstarch for 1 egg; a little extra yeast or baking soda
for lightness; a little extra vegetable oil for moisture. In most cases, you can make your
suggestions on the company's website. Always politely request a reply.
| Robert Morrison, CEO
The Quaker Company
PO Box 049003
Chicago, IL 60604
|Steve Sanger, CEO
General Mills, Inc.
PO Box 1113
Minneapolis, MN 55440
|Dale Morrison, CEO
Aurora Foods, Inc.
11432 Lackland Road
St. Louis, MO 63146
|Howard Holmes, CEO
Chelsea Milling Company
PO Box 460
Chelsea, MI 48118
|Ron Wise, CEO
PO Box 88176
Seattle, WA 98138-2176
|International Multifood Corp.
PO Box 580740
Minneapolis, MN 55458-0740
|Ian Grossman, Sr. Vice President
Topco Association Inc.
7711 Gross Point Road
Skokie, IL 60077