Humane Education
Vegetarian Advocacy
Cage-Free Campaign

Egg-laying hens are some of the most abused animals on the planet, crammed by the hundreds of millions into tiny "battery cages" on conventional egg farms. Battery cages—small wire cages which measure two feet wide and only fifteen inches deep—each hold five to nine hens for the entirety of their lives. The cages are stacked one on top of another in dark, crowded warehouses, and birds often live among the feces of other birds. Hens frequently lose their feathers and suffer sores from constantly rubbing against the cage bars, and their feet are often crippled from the wire mesh flooring. Battery cages have been outlawed in the European Union and recently banned as criminal animal cruelty in several U.S. states. While cage-free does not mean cruelty-free, it does mean a great reduction in suffering for the hens used. On cage-free farms hens are at least able to stretch their wings, walk around, peck at the ground, perch and dust-bathe—important instinctual behaviors denied them in battery cage facilities. Each institution that switches to cage-free eggs spares thousands of hens from a lifetime of the daily misery of battery cages.

Since 2008 the Humane League has succeeded in getting over 60 institutions (primarily colleges and universities but also high schools, corporate cafeterias, and hospitals) to go cage-free. These changes represent real improvements in the lives of many tens of thousands of animals every day, and hasten the time when battery cages will no longer be used in the United States. Virtually every college in Philadelphia, Boston and Washington DC have gone 100% cage-free as a result of our work, and in the coming years we will able to say the same about New York City.

Please note that The Humane League does not encourage individual members of the public to purchase cage-free eggs. While cage-free eggs are a far superior choice for institutions, cage-free production still entails numerous cruelties standard in the egg industry including the killing of all male chicks, debeaking of birds and other issues. The best way that you as an individual consumer can combat cruelty is to simply leave eggs off your plate. For delicious egg-free recipes, please click here.

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The Humane League - 1601 Walnut St. Ste 502- Philadelphia, PA 19102 - (617) 877-3589 - info@thehumaneleague.com