No Battery Eggs on Campus!
While many of us picture an idyllic Old MacDonald's farm when we think about where our eggs come from, nothing could be further from the truth. Virtually all eggs produced in the United States come from industrialized facilities housing hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of laying hens in overcrowded conditions.
Arguably the most abused animals in all agribusiness, about 95% of the roughly 300 million laying hens in the United States are confined in barren, wire "battery cages" so restrictive the birds don't even have enough space to 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. By reducing the demand for battery-cage eggs, we send a clear message to the egg industry that its current practices are simply too abusive for any humane person to support.
In order to reduce some of the most egregious farmed animal suffering, Compassionate Action for Animals is now working with the University of Minnesota and other schools in the area to only purchase eggs from Certified-Humane cage-free birds. In doing this, the University of Minnesota would join a growing list of schools across the United States that have said "no" to battery eggs. George Washington University, American University, Marist College (New York), Vassar College (New York), University of Arizona, and University of Connecticut have all ended or dramatically reduced their use of battery eggs. Most recently, Bon Appetit Management Company, a California-based food service provider that operates 200 cafeterias in colleges and corporate campuses, announced that it will only buy cage-free eggs.
The No Battery Eggs campaign is crucial for these birds, as no federal laws regulate the treatment of laying hens on egg factory farms. Although each state has its own animal cruelty statute, most of these codes exempt common agricultural practices, no matter how abusive.
Across the Atlantic, battery cages are already being phased out in many countries, including Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland, and by 2012 conventional battery cages will be phased out within the entire European Union.
What You Can Do
- If you have a University Dining Services (UDS) meal plan, please fill out their Residential Restaurant survey cards and indicate your support for cage-free eggs.
- Contact UDS to show your support for this campaign.
- Show your friends pictures of where UDS eggs come from and explain the cage-free alternative to them. More students need to know about the issues surrounding battery eggs before UDS will make the change.
- Send letters to the Minnesota Daily in support of this campaign.
- Reduce your consumption of battery eggs.
- Fill out a volunteer form and let us know that you are interested in working on this campaign.
- Not at the University of Minnesota? Help us bring this campaign to your school. Please contact Greg Oschwald at firstname.lastname@example.org.