| A very happy "tweet" went out on Twitter today thanking Wendy's for switching to cage free eggs. It led to a congratulatory press release from the Humane Society that talked about the evils of battery cages and praising Wendys for its bold, ethical move. Except for one detail... when you READ the press release, you find out that Wendy's is only making the switch for TWO PERCENT OF ITS EGGS!!!!!!!
Hens in a battery cage, making 98% of Wendy's eggs.
The other 98% still come from hens in battery cages, described by HSUS as follows:
Arguably the most abused animals in all agribusiness, nearly 280 million laying hens in the United States are confined in barren, wire battery cages so restrictive the birds can't even spread their wings. With no opportunity to engage in many of their natural behaviors, including nesting, dust bathing, perching, and foraging, these birds endure lives wrought with suffering.
Because of animal welfare concerns, countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Austria have banned battery cages. The entire European Union is phasing out conventional cages by 2012.
Battery cages are not only cruel because the hens live in filthy, crowded conditions (sometimes stacked so that birds poop on the birds below them) and can hardly move. When trying to act out natural behaviors like dustbathing, they beat their bodies against the metal bars of their cages. HSUS also provides a video of hens in battery cages, a photo gallery of battery cages (read the caption with each photo), and a comparison between battery cages and cage-free egg production.
Wendy's, this is really disingenuous. It's fantastic that with your large demand you are improving the lives of many chickens, no doubt, but if you truly believe in the cruelty of battery cages and the need to address the issue, why are you only going 2% of the way? Probably to garner press releases like the one that I stumbled upon, without the expense of actually making real change. That's my hunch.