Someday you may just be able to eat fast food for breakfast in good conscience. The AP reports that fast food powerhouse Burger King announced today that as of 2017, all of its eggs and pork products will come from cage-free animals. The king is dead; long live the king, I guess.
The announcement by the second-largest fast food restaurant chain will, the theory goes, go a long way toward encouraging other companies to follow suit in committing to a more ethical treatment of animals. Burger King began sourcing some of its eggs and pork from cage-free suppliers back in 2007, the first major fast food restaurant chain to do so. Wendy's and McDonald's have now started plans for making their own pork products cage-free, which in the pork industry means the elimination of the use of gestation cages. Companies Smithfield Farms and Hormel have announced an end to such practices by 2017.
According to the AP, Wal-Mart and Costco use all cage-free eggs for their private-label supply. Unilever, which makes Hellmann's mayonnaise, is in the process of switching to cage-free eggs, and the chains Sonic, Subway and Ruby Tuesday also are in the process of transitioning some of their eggs to cage-free.
Are these companies doing all this out of the collective goodness of their corporate hearts? Well, not exactly. Increasing public demand for more humane practices has made a big difference. But the real incentive, at least in California, came in 2008 when voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 2, which will ban gestation crates and chicken cages by 2015. More reasons to actually vote — as if you needed them these days.