The burgers at Burger King may be double-stacked, but the pigs and chickens used to produce their products won’t be.
By 2017, Burger King plans to buy all its eggs and pork from cage-free facilities.
“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,” said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, chief brand and operations officer.
Those who push for the humane treatment of animals are pleased that Burger King is raising the bar.
“For every cage-free egg or piece of bacon from a gestation-free pork system that Burger King sells, animals have been spared lifelong confinement in a cage so small they can barely even move,” said Matthew Prescott, the Humane Society of the United States food policy director.
In times past, animals “were going to be slaughtered at some point, but they could have a decent life,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of HSUS. Pacelle believes that the treatment of food animals has worsened in the past 50 years.
Recently, Hellman’s, Sonic, Subway, Ruby Tuesday and Kraft Foods have increased the percentage of cage-free eggs they use in their products.
But not everyone thinks the trend is a positive one. Those who oppose cage-free facilities believe that it causes disease occurrence, as well as prices, to increase.
Pacelle disagrees: “When you are good to animals, there are often good outcomes the rest of the way,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”