Burger King announced Wednesday that by 2017 all of its eggs and pork will come from cage-free chicken and pigs by 2017, The Associated Press is reporting.
The decision is designed to promote better treatment for animals and is hopefully the beginning of a new trend as according to The Associated Press, the demand for more humanely produced fare is rising.
"So many tens of thousands of animals will now be living in better conditions," said Wayne Parcelle, President of the United States' Humane Society, which the AP reports has been pushing Burger King and other fast food establishments to consider the welfare of animals in its practices, notably the products they buy and use to make their food."Numerically, this is significant because Burger King is such a big purchaser of these products."
Parcelle also commented that Burger King Corp has demonstrated when it comes to America's largest fast food chains, it continues to set the standard," The Gothamist reports.
Burger King's chief brand and operation officer, John Fitzpatrick says the decision is part of the company's "social responsibility policy," USA Today reports.
"We believe this decision will allow us to leverage our purchasing power to ensure the appropriate and proper treatment of animals by our vendors and suppliers," Fitzpatrick said.
According to the AP, 9% of Burger Kings eggs and 20% of the pork they use are already cage-free. In The European Union, all the eggs at Burger King are already cage-free.
CNN reports that while other fast food chains like McDonalds and Wendy's already have agreements with the Humane Society on the proper and humane treatment of pigs, Burger King's announcement Wednesday to switch to cage-free eggs was the first of its kind by any major food chain.
McDonald's did not have an immediate comment on Burger King's announcement. Wendy's spokesman Danny Lynch told CNN that Wendy's does not sell breakfast at most of its locations, so the company is focused more on humane practices in its slaughtering of chickens and less on the treatment of egg producing hens.
According to Forbes, Walmart and Costco have ensured their private label eggs are cage-free and Hellman's, Wolfgang Puck, and Subway have also committed to using 100% cage-free eggs.
I, for one, feel a little bit better about my love for Burger King breakfast. Definitely not something I (nor you) should eat everyday, but now I feel a lot less guilty about the two times a year I choose to consume it. Hopefully McDonald's breakfast is next, though I'm convinced the eggs they use aren't even real, but that's an entirely different story.
It's comforting to know that corporations are finally showing they care about the proper treatment of animals. It certainly took long enough.
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