Subway® to Phase In Cage-Free Eggs: Victory for Hens Everywhere

The Humane Society of the United States announced fast food bigwig, Subway®, will begin the process of phasing in the use of cage-free eggs for their US establishments.

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
Nicole Nuss


William C
William C1 years ago


W. C
W. C1 years ago

Interesting article and comments, thank you.

Jenna Miles
Jenna Miles2 years ago

No, it really isn't. Watch these investigations:,,,

Don't buy the humane lie.

sara taylor
Sara Veit6 years ago

What a great step! Now if only we could set up real standards to ensure "cage free" means an ideal farm life like the one pictured above! (It doesn't.)

Susan Griffiths
Susan Griffiths6 years ago

You bring up a very good point Jessie. Subway and all organisations/companies dealing with animals need to be under constant monitoring. This is yet another case of why animal investigators are so important to our struggle to protect and help animals. In particular undercover investigators that go into puppy breeding mills, questionable shelters, animal testing companies and slaughterhouses are our true heroes. These people risk their personal, financial and professional well being for the sake of the animals and at great cost to their emotions: often having to quietly (for the better good) witness horific cruelty which must haunt them forever. We must urgently and continuously focus on protecting these people's right to do so because it is the information that these people gather that arms the rest of us with evidence to argue a case and take remedial action.

Jessie R.
Susan Zitzler6 years ago

Now I would like to ask----who is really going to checkup on these companies that "they are using" as they specified animals being treated, killed, in production - it is being done more humanly and how will they know? Who in these companies is taking this responsibility it would be good to know so we can write them and they can say (should we believe them just because they say so) that they are doing what they promised. I have my doubts here and just that many restaurants and such are joining in as being "humane" as they do not want to appear to their customers as selling products that have not been humanely produced for our consumption. Should we "really believe them". I am curious on this answer and how will it be obtained.

Ana P Martinez
Ana Martinez6 years ago

A big hand for Subway, I'll be buying more Footlongs from now on!

Stephan B.
Stephan B7 years ago

What good is it to put an egg in a cage? I thought they couldn't walk

Aoife O Mahony
Aoife O Mahony7 years ago


Hayley Wells
Hayley Wells7 years ago

4% is better than 0% but it's still pretty measly. Good to know they have plans to only use cage-free eggs in the future though.