So what does this mean? Well, for one, it means the phasing out of using eggs from hens confined to battery cages. And that, my friends, is a very, very good thing.
Subway® is adding their name to an ever growing list of fast food chains that no longer want to be a part of the filthy, inhumane conditions associated with severely confined animals. If you’ve ever seen photos or footage from the inside of a dark, dingy warehouse where battery cages are housed, you know that “inhumane” doesn’t do the situation justice. Tiny, wire cages are stacked one on top of another in tiers, and side by side for rows and rows. The cages are so small hens cannot spread their wings, let alone turn around. Birds suffer extremely high levels of stress and frustration. Some become trapped and can even be impaled in their cages. And because the wire cages are stacked, urine and feces produced from hens in the above cages, drops down onto all the unsheltered birds below. Many birds die, and those who survive the horrible conditions are often forced to live with their dead and dying cage mates.
SUBWAY’s new animal welfare policy will be ensuring that 4 percent of the eggs used in their new US breakfast menu will come from cage-free hens. And it gets even better, much better. US-based Subways are taking a page out of their UK playbook by moving to completely phase out the use of eggs from battery-caged hens in the future.
And the good news isn’t reserved just for hens, as they’re certainly not the only animals suffering from this kind of factory farm confinement. Subway® will also be giving purchasing preferences to pork and poultry suppliers who opt for more humane methods of housing and slaughter.
“Subway’s new animal welfare policy will help improve conditions for animals within its supply chain and throughout the nation,” says Matthew Prescott, corporate outreach director for The Humane Society of the United States’ factory farming campaign.
Subway® joins Denny’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Quiznos, Sonic, IHOP, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and Red Robin, who have all adopted similar animal welfare policies.
Big, big kudos to Subway® and, of course, HSUS!
photo credit: thanks to davosmith via flickr for the pic