Whataburger, famous, or rather infamous for it’s fat and calorie laden menu options like it’s triple meat burgers and This Dish is Veg reported fried Chocolate Brownie Pie is now making history in a different way. The San Antonio-based chain is joining the national movement away from using eggs from battery-caged hens and will begin switching some eggs in its supply chain in 2011.
There’s been a tremendous movement on this issue over the past five years, especially in the Midwest where there are many battery-cage-free egg suppliers. Virtually all supermarkets now carry battery-cage-free eggs including mega-retailers like Costco and Wal-Mart. The prestigious Sustainability Endowment Institute reports that 64% of U.S. colleges and universities are now using battery-cage-free eggs. The Baltimore-based SAGE Dining Services that supplies more than 165 private schools announced earlier this week that it has switched all of the whole eggs in its supply chain to battery-cage-free.
Over 95% of the chickens raised to lay eggs in the U.S. are forced to live crammed together inside battery cages – small, barren wire cages stacked in rows inside filthy windowless sheds. Battery cages are typically the size of a file drawer and confine five to seven hens, giving each bird only 67 square inches of floor space – an area smaller than a notebook-sized piece of paper. Disease often runs rampant in squalid factory farming conditions.
Although battery-cage-free doesn’t mean cruelty-free, Whataburger’s announced switch is a step in the right direction. The single most important action consumers can take to prevent needless cruelty to animals is adopting a diet free of meat, dairy, and eggs.
Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/icanchangethisright and Mercy For Animals stock