Monday, October 29, 2007

The Next Stage of the Cage Free Campaign

Because of discussions with Greening Princeton and the Princeton Animal Welfare Society, Princeton Dining Services decided last year to serve only cage-free shell eggs. This year, Dining Services has started serving cage-free liquid eggs as well, a great victory considering the difficult pricing and packaging issues they had to overcome. Dining Services has said that they are hoping to be completely cage-free in the next few months.

And that brings us near the end of stage one of our cage-free campaign: getting battery cages out of our dining halls. Now begins stage 2: expanding the circle of compassion for egg-laying hens beyond the Princeton boundaries by reaching out to local schools and businesses.

We believe that like Princeton University students, Princeton town members don’t want to support the cruelty of battery cage egg production. Most of the eggs in this country, about 95%, come from chickens in battery cages – small, wire cages that give each chicken less than the size of a standard sheet of printing paper to spend their entire lives. The cages come in long rows and tall columns that allow tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of birds to fit into one huge shed. The hens cannot walk, cannot spread their wings, and cannot perform any other natural behaviors like foraging or dust-bathing.

The movement away from this inhumane system goes well beyond Princeton, and we want it to keep going. That’s why stage two of our campaign will be to talk to local schools and businesses about the difference between cage-free eggs and battery cage eggs, and encourage them to make the same bold move that Princeton University made in adopting a cage-free egg policy.

Tomorrow at noon, PAWS will have a planning meeting to discuss this next stage of the cage-free egg campaign.

1 comment:

  1. Although we have made great progress with Dining Services with regard to cage-free eggs, I don't think that our campaign has been executed to its potential. For example, if possible it would be nice to have a label indicating which of the deserts and baked items are prepared with cage-free eggs etc. Also, as Alex Barnard has brought to light with his soy/rice ice-cream campaign, there are still other non-cage-free foods that are not labeled as such (dairy products). I think our next step with regard to our dining halls should be for the sources of all foods (vegetables, meats, dairy products, grains etc.) to be indicated when possible. This will reinforce the connection between food and its source, which will inspire students to consider the implications of their dietary choices.