April 26, 2012

Conscious Consumers Win Again: Burger King pledges reform.

“While vegans and meat-eaters disagree, we can all be united in our fear and hatred for the horror that is factory farming.” ~ Joel Salatin.


Burger King: no more Caged Pigs or Hens by 2017!

Chipotle, Food Inc, Whole Foods, Ben & Jerry’s, Fast Food Nation, Michael Pollan, New York Times…but most of all We the People deserve kudos for all the work and love over the years that has begun to culminate in some real change, in our lifetime.

Announced today (and for all who rightly worry about this amounting to anything, read the comments at bottom of the post itself).

This is the kind of small but huge shift that makes all our work (and play) seem worth it. ~ ed.

“Our attitude is our producers believe in consumer choice and, if that’s what their consumers want to buy, they’ll produce cage-free eggs for the marketplace provided the customer is willing to pay the additional cost,” said Gene Gregory, president of the United Egg Producers.

“Estimates show raising hens cage-free adds 1 cent to the cost of each egg.”

“Even if you’re buying a burger, you want to buy it from someone you like and respect,” said food industry analyst Phil Lempert, who writes a daily industry newsletter. “It’s proven that consumers are willing to pay a little bit more for fairness, whether it’s to humans or animals.”



Coldplay’s haunting classic ‘The Scientist’ is performed by country music legend Willie Nelson for the soundtrack of the short film entitled, “Back to the Start.” Download the song now available on iTunes. Label and proceeds benefit The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation. http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-scientist-single/id458479961

The film, by film-maker Johnny Kelly, depicts the life of a farmer as he slowly turns his family farm into an industrial animal factory before seeing the errors of his ways and opting for a more sustainable future. Both the film and the soundtrack were commissioned by Chipotle to emphasize the importance of developing a sustainable food system.


…Chipotle, with just over 1,200 restaurants, made a splash during the Grammy Awards in February with its viral commercial detailing the company’s commitment to humane treatment of animals and healthy food. After the commercial created so much buzz, other companies were quick to announce new policies, Lempert said.

“Everyone wanted to say: `We all have good intentions,'” he said…read the rest.

In 2007, Burger King became the first major fast-food chain to incorporate animal welfare into its purchasing policies when it began getting at least some of its pork and eggs from cage-free suppliers...

…the landslide passage in 2008 of California’s Proposition 2, which will ban chicken cages and gestation crates by 2015, caused buyers and suppliers nationwide to take notice.

…studies have shown that shoppers are willing to pay more for products they believe are produced to higher animal protection standards. Some estimates show raising hens cage-free adds 1 cent to the cost of each egg…

Burger King is first to Pledge no more Caged Pigs & Hens.

Best news for animals, and for humans acting like feeling humans, in some time. Hopefully McDonald’s and other others will follow suit. This was the result of public pressure—let’s keep making some noise!

The biggest best news in the reduction of suffering of animals in a generation, or two. May more and more fast food companies follow suit, and may leaders like Michael Pollan, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ben & Jerry’s, Joel Salatin, Food Inc, F…ast Food Nation, Whole Foods Market, The New York Times, Mark Bittman continue to raise the bar of what is acceptable, humane, healthy.

One effing cent more per egg.

Please share, the more noise we make in both anger and in encouragement, the faster we may end the crime known as factory farming:

…The announcement comes at a time when U.S. consumers are showing greater interest in agricultural practices after years of remaining largely in the dark about how their food is produced.

At the same time, groups like the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have been pulling back the curtain on farm processes…

…Burger King…has 7,200 restaurants in the United States, about half as many as fast-food industry leader McDonald’s Corp .

McDonald’s, the top U.S. hamburger chain by sales, vowed in February to work with its U.S. pork suppliers to phase out the use of gestation crates…

Wendy’s Co, which recently edged out Burger King to become the No. 2 hamburger chain in the United States, made a similar announcement in March.


Daily What:

“So many tens of thousands of animals will now be in better living conditions,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States. “Numerically this is significant because Burger King is such a big purchaser of these products.”

Two great comments via Reddit:

Man, I grew up on a farm and, of course, knew many other farmers from the area. Every single one simply had a fairly large fenced in area to let the pigs roam around in and even get mud on their skin so they could cool off during the summer–pigs don’t sweat.

Once I left the area, I started to see some farms caging them. Never in my life did I think that happened. I was sickened. I even wondered how they could cool off on the hot days, so I asked the farmers. They simply stated, “They don’t mind. They are pigs. They are going to die anyway.”


Completely shocking. Man, we loved our pigs on the farm. I just can’t imagine people thinking that way about their animals. Yes, it’s a business, and yes, they will eventually die, but seeing people cage animals like that makes me think that they don’t truly love what they do. They simply want profit and not love of their craft.


As an ex-farmer (I grew up on a small family farm where we routinely killed and ate animals we raised) I can say that there’s a world of difference between suffering animals and killing them for food.

In my small, family farm, we raised chickens. (occasionally goats) They were “real” free range chickens, that got lots of land and bugs and weeds that they loved. Chickens often had names, I remember one named “spike” who was a real cuss. The point is that we killed them in a decent, quick sort of way. They had a good life, we made sure they had a warm, comfortable place to sleep, lots of space, and had lots of slop (waste food + weeds + feed) to eat. And when we decided it was time to eat ’em, they died quickly and as painlessly as possible.

There are ethics to raising farm animals. Don’t equate death with suffering, they are very, very different. Death means nothing once you are dead.


This just says they’ll stop using farrowing crates, not really go cage free. Farrowing crates aren’t my problem with most pig facilities. Farrowing crates lower neonatal deaths. It’s the way weaned and finisher pigs are treated which I feel should be the concern.


Not exactly sure how to interpret this, but as far as their pigs go, it sounds like that in 5 years they’ll only be looking for documented plans to fix things?

On Wednesday, the Miami-based chain committed to serving 100 percent cage-free eggs in its U.S. restaurants by 2017 and to buy pork only from suppliers with documented plans to end their use of gestation crates for breeding sows.



Starbucks made a recent move in another area that won it many new fans—including myself.

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