April 5, 2016
Millenial Nonprofit Convinces WalMart to Switch to 100% Cage-Free Eggs
The Humane League paves the road for Walmart to encourage progress in animal welfare
Following close discussions with The Humane League, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has announced it will commit to transitioning to 100% cagefree eggs by 2025. This move comes amidst a wave of major companies announcing plans to convert exclusively to cagefree eggs after campaigns and conversations from The Humane League, including Target, Denny’s, Nestle, General Mills, Food Lion, Aldi, Giant, and one of Walmart’s biggest food competitors, Kroger.
The Humane League, a national nonprofit animal protection organization, approached Walmart at the beginning of 2016 with a firm request that the corporation switch to cagefree sourced eggs. After leading successful campaigns against many large retailers and restaurants including Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain The Humane League worked with Walmart’s Food Sustainability department to create the 2025 timeline commitment. This decision has been supported and praised by many other animal protection groups.
“Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and their decision to switch to cagefree eggs is a major step for animal welfare,” said David ComanHidy, Executive Director at The Humane League. “This is a historic tipping point, and with this commitment it is clear that industry leaders and consumers alike support the notion that cages will soon be completely in the past.”
The decision to switch to cagefree eggs follows in line with Walmart’s announcement in 2015 that the company was committed to improving animal welfare throughout its supply chain. However following last year’s statement that Walmart supports the “Five Freedoms” of animal welfare, their egg supply continued to be sourced from caged hens. Crammed one after another into cruel cages, most egglaying hens are only given space about the size of an iPad on which to live their entire lives. Many hens do not survive these harsh conditions, and those who do may be forced to live for years on top of dead cage mates. These farms also pose a threat to human health, as they increase the risk of exposure to dangerous pathogens such as Salmonella.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the largest retailer in the world, claiming more than 11,527 stores in 27 countries, and operates under a total of 72 banners, including all Walmart Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Clubs. Walmart’s decision to switch to cagefree eggs by 2025 means that each year more than 11 billion eggs will come from 35 million hens that live in far more humane, cagefree systems. These hens will be able to walk, spread their wings, and lay their eggs in nests.
The Humane League has been fighting against battery cages for nearly a decade, perfecting its tactics on individual college campuses, winning change one dining hall at a time. The message of the organization and its young activists has always been clear: cruelty is not good business. And now, a few years later, The Humane League has successfully taken on Walmart, a corporation that reported a $486 billion fiscal revenue last year. With this historic commitment, the tipping point has finally been reached.