13 Animal Welfare Victories!
Our campaigns department could not have began the New Year in a better way! Thanks to THL's dedicated supporters and volunteers, thirteen new companies from various corners of the food industry have joined the growing, global boycott of cages used in egg production.
After hearing from The Humane League and other animal protection groups, the 4th largest retailer in the US and direct competitor of Walmart, produced a commitment to end its use of cages for 100% of its whole eggs by 2025. This commitment made Target the second major retailer to announce plans to phase out cages!
In December, The Humane League met with the leadership at Denny's at their Spartanburg, SC headquarters. By mid-January, Denny's became the first major player in the egg-heavy family dining sector to produce a firm timeline to end its support of cages. The company announced it would complete its transition to source only cage-free eggs for its restaurants by 2026. Denny's uses roughly 400 million eggs a year, which means over 1.5 million hens will be spared from a lifetime of suffering extreme confinement in a cage.
Following Denny's announcement, our campaigns department launched a public campaign against competitor Bob Evans. Within a week of the campaign's launch, the breakfast chain announced plans to transition all of their 600+ locations to source eggs from farms that don't use cages by 2025.
Right before the end of 2015, The Humane League launched a campaign against the global snack food company Mondelēz International—maker of globally recognized snack brands like Nabisco, Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, and Toblerone. After THL campaigned along with the Albert Schweitzer Foundation for just under three weeks, Mondelēz produced a commitment to completely phase out cages in its egg supply chains in the U.S. and Canada by 2020 and Europe by 2025, as well as pledging to eliminate cages globally.
Immediately following the Mondelēz news, The Humane League looked toward ConAgra Foods, an American juggernaut in the food manufacturing world and maker of egg-based products such as EggBeaters and Marie Callender's. In less than 48 hours, ConAgra committed to use only cage-free eggs for all of their products in the US by 2025.
In December, our campaigns staff also met with the leadership at Campbell's Soup at their headquarters in Camden, NJ. While Campbell's egg-containing chicken noodle soup is recognized worldwide, they are also the producer of popular brands such as Pepperidge Farms, Milano, Goldfish and SpaghettiOs. After a little over a month of dialogue with The Humane League, Campbell's produced a timeline to source eggs exclusively from cage-less egg production facilities in the US by 2025.
The first announcement of the year came from a fast food behemoth—Wendy's. After hearing from a number of animal protection organizations, including an online petition from Mercy For Animals, Wendy's announced the elimination of cages from its US and Canadian supply chain by 2020.
The fast food chain may be famous on the silver screen, but our campaigns team certainly had to wait a bit before giving them star treatment. After hearing from our supporters on social media and emails to their leadership, White Castle announced it would be joining burger competitors like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and Jack In The Box by ending its support of cage egg farms by 2025.
Upon successfully convincing the largest restaurant on Earth—Subway—to end its support of cages in late 2015, THL turned to Quiznos and ran an aggressive 2-day campaign. This resulted in a policy to source only egg from cage-free farms by 2025.
After a week long social media campaign against the leading Asian-themed casual diner, P.F. Chang's announced a public statement that its over 200 US restaurants will no longer purchase from cage-egg farms by 2025.
California Pizza Kitchen
It took just 2 days for our campaigns team to convince the executives at leading casual dining restaurant chain California Pizza Kitchen to end their support of cages. The company announced they would transition away from cages by 2022, adding that they "believe it is the right thing to do."
Norwegian Cruise Lines
In 2015, The Humane League worked with the top 2 cruise line companies in the world—Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean—to bring them into the fold on the boycott of cages. In 2016, we successfully campaigned against the third largest cruise ship company, Norwegian Cruise Lines, to join the boycott as well. These victories mean that virtually the entire cruise ship industry will be boycotting cages globally.
In 2015, Taco Bell announced it would eliminate cages from its supply chain in just one year—the fastest timeline to date for a major American restaurant chain! Following in the footsteps of its competitor the Wyoming-based Taco John's announced it would eliminate the practice of caging hens for the eggs used in its over 400 locations.
The new year has already brought victories that will spare millions of hens from a lifetime of suffering on cruel cage-farms. So what's next? The biggest victories of all. While Costco and Target have already joined the cage boycott, the remainder of US retailers who account for the lion's share of our nation's overall egg use, have yet to take action on this issue. That's where you come in. The Humane League has launched a campaign against Kroger, the second largest retailer in the US and parent company of a variety of grocery stores, including Harris Teeter, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, and Roundy's. Please join us in a national boycott against Kroger and its subsidiaries and please sign our Change.org to tell their leadership that caging defenseless animals is unacceptable. Together we will make 2016 the year that brought the end of cages.