Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. (ENRG), announced today a plan to phase in the use of cage-free eggs, starting this summer by switching nearly a half a million eggs.
The Lakewood, Colorado-based company worked with The Humane Society of the U.S. to develop its new policy to address the confinement of hens to battery cages that provide each bird less space than a sheet of paper to spend its entire life.
The HSUS applauded ENRG for phasing in use of cage-free eggs. “Einstein Noah’s decision to phase in cage-free eggs represents an important step,” says Josh Balk, corporate outreach director of the HSUS’ factory farming campaign. “The Humane Society of the United States applauds the company for improving the lives of farm animals.”
“We’re proud to be launching this initiative and believe that moving in this direction will help improve the treatment of hens,” stated James O’Reilly, chief concept officer for ENRG.
National restaurant chains including Burger King, Wendy’s, Subway, Denny’s, Red Robin, Quiznos, Sonic, Hardee’s, and Carl's Jr. have started using cage-free eggs; supermarket chains including Wal-Mart, Costco, Harris Teeter, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Safeway have increased their sales of cage-free eggs; and Hellmann’s mayonnaise will convert 100 percent of the 350 million eggs it uses each year to cage-free.
U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in barren cages so small that they can’t even spread their wings. Extensive scientific research confirms this causes suffering.
Cage-free hens generally have two to three times more space per bird than caged hens. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside and may have parts of their beaks cut off, but they can walk, spread their wings, and lay their eggs in nests—all behaviors permanently denied to hens crammed into battery cages.