Yesterday animal welfarists welcomed the announcement that McDonald’s, the nation’s leading fast food company, plans within 10 years to transition to cage-free eggs in the US and Canada.
McDonald’s announcement is certainly a step toward reducing animal suffering and is a sign that consumers don’t want animals to be abused; however, let’s not forget that the term “cage-free’ gives most consumers a misleading belief that these hens are “happy” hens. Cage-free hens are less abused than battery-caged hens but are far from happy. Their male chicks are still ground up alive by the millions, they still cannot exercise most of their God-given instincts, don’t see the sunlight or breathe fresh air, have part of their beaks cut off, and their lives are shortened after being exploited as egg-laying machines.
It’s great to be happy for McDonald’s intentions to be less abusive to hens, but let’s not applaud them as if they were freeing these hens.