Quantcast

Brad Pitt and Bill Maher Slam Costco for Selling Eggs From Caged Hens

Food

Last week EcoWatch reported that the Humane Society discovered that a Costco egg supplier uses abhorrent factory farming conditions to raise its egg-laying hens despite the fact that Costco made a public commitment eight years ago to eliminate cage confinement of chickens from its supply chain.

The campaign to expose Costco and encourage them to keep their promise, has gotten the support of many high-profile actors. Last month heartthrob actor Ryan Gosling sent an open letter to the CEO of Costco, Craig Jelinek, saying, "So many corporations are meeting public demand for more humane products and transparency in the food chain. I sincerely hope that Costco will set plans now to go completely cage-free for its eggs."

Now, Brad Pitt and Bill Maher are following Gosling's lead, calling out how Costco contributes to animal cruelty by selling eggs from caged hens.

Pitt sent a letter to Costco's CEO Thursday asking the company to "stop selling eggs from hens confined in tiny cages." He said:

Nearly a decade ago, Costco indicated that its next step on this issue would be creating a timeline for getting those cages out of your egg supply, and yet today, you appear to have made no progress at all—even as you have set timelines for getting pigs and calves out of cages.

As you know, these birds producing eggs for your shelves are crammed five or more into cages that are not large enough for even one hen to spread her wings.

In these cruel cages, the animals’ muscles and bones atrophy from years of immobilization. That’s why the cages are illegal in most of Europe, and why California banned the cages by an overwhelming vote years ago.

In short, cramming hens into cages for their entire lives constitutes cruelty to animals, and animals deserve better. As you know, many major corporations, from Burger King to Unilever, are getting rid of cages—and Whole Foods hasn’t sold eggs from caged hens in years.

Maher has also taken a strong stand against Costco by writing a piece, "Free the Hens, Costco!," in the New York Times last week. In the op-ed, Maher said:

I’ve also been impressed by Costco’s support for animal protection. For example, the company mandated that its suppliers stop locking pregnant pigs in cages called gestation crates by 2022. So I don’t understand how Costco can justify its refusal to set a timeline for getting rid of eggs from battery cages, which is the third system, along with pork and veal, in the factory farming cruelty trifecta.

Pitt and Maher spoke out on behalf of Farm Sanctuary, an organization that advocates against the mistreatment of animals and factory farming. The president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, Gene Baur, was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in April, discussing the many benefits of a vegan diet.

Costco has not directly responded to the actors letters, but said in a June statement that there are "vigorous debates about animal welfare and laying hens."

"Some, such as the Humane Society, advocate that hens be 'cage free,' and not confined in cages. Some advocate that cages are safer for hens," the statement reads.

Costco said it is "committed to the ethical treatment of animals" and its code of ethics is part of the company mission statement.

Check out the undercover investigation here:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Ryan Gosling: What Costco Doesn’t Want You to Know About Their Eggs

Urban Farming Hits Major League Baseball Stadiums

4 Best Places to Buy Your Seafood

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be both good and bad.

On one hand, it helps your body defend itself from infection and injury. On the other hand, chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain and disease.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Dan Nosowitz

It's no secret that the past few years have been disastrous for the American farming industry.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and coconut oil are fats that have risen in popularity alongside the ketogenic, or keto, diet.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Bijal Trivedi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.

Read More Show Less
Rool Paap / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be good or bad depending on the situation.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Joe Vukovich

Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.

Read More Show Less

By Emily Moran

If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."

Read More Show Less

By Catherine Davidson

Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.

Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.

Read More Show Less