Quantcast
Food

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

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

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate) is a beloved holiday favorite. PETA

8 Festive Vegan Drinks to Keep You Cozy This Winter

By Zachary Toliver

Looking for warm vegan holiday drinks to help you deal with the short days and cold weather? This time of year, we could all use a steamy cup of cheer during the holiday chaos. Have a festive, cozy winter with these delicious options. (Note that you must be 21 to enjoy some of the recipes.)

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Pexels

For a Happier, Healthier World, Live Modestly

By Marlene Cimons

Gibran Vita makes every effort to get rid of the dispensable. He lives in a small home and wears extra layers indoors to cut his heating bills. He eats and drinks in moderation. He spends his leisure time in "contemplation," volunteering or working on art projects. "I like to think more like a gatherer, that is, 'what do I have?' instead of 'what do I want?'" he said.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
An underwater marker in front of Cortada's studio helps predict how many feet of water needs to rise before the area becomes submerged. Xavier Cortada

As Miami Battles Sea-Level Rise, This Artist Makes Waves With His 'Underwater Homeowners Association'

By Patrick Rogers

Miami artist Xavier Cortada lives in a house that stands at six feet above sea level. The Episcopal church down the road is 11 feet above the waterline, and the home of his neighbor, a dentist, has an elevation of 13 feet. If what climate scientists predict about rising sea levels comes true, the Atlantic Ocean could rise two to three feet by the time Cortada pays off his 30-year mortgage. As the polar ice caps melt, the sea is inching ever closer to the land he hopes one day to pass on to the next generation, in the city he has called home since the age of three.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
GMVozd / E+ / Getty Images

How to Ferment Vegetables in Three Easy Steps

By Brian Barth

A mason jar packed with cultured or fermented vegetables at your local urban provisions shop will likely set you back $10 to $15. Given that the time and materials involved are no more than five minutes and $2, respectively, one imagines that the makers of cultured vegetables have spent eight years training with fermentation masters in some stone-age village, or that they've mortgaged their house to pay for high-end fermenting equipment to ensure that the dilly beans come out tasting properly pickled.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Orangutan in Sumatra. Tbachner / Wikimedia Commons

Norway to Ban Deforestation-Linked Palm Oil Biofuels in Historic Vote

The Norwegian parliament voted this week to make Norway the world's first country to bar its biofuel industry from importing deforestation-linked palm oil starting in 2020, The Independent reported.

Environmentalists celebrated the move as a victory for rainforests, the climate and endangered species such as orangutans that have lost their habitats due to palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia. It also sets a major precedent for other nations.

Keep reading... Show less
Oceans
Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Steve Parish/ Lock the Gate Alliance / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Scientists Discover 'Most Diverse Coral Site' on Great Barrier Reef

Australian scientists have found the "most diverse coral site" on the Great Barrier Reef, observing at least 195 different species of corals in space no longer than 500 meters, The Guardian reported.

The non-profit organization Great Barrier Reef Legacy and marine scientist Charlie Veron, a world expert on coral reefs, confirmed the diversity of the site, also known as the "Legacy Super Site" on the outer reef.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Renewable Energy
Buses head out at the Denver Public Schools Hilltop Terminal Nov. 10, 2017. Andy Cross / The Denver Post via Getty Images

Why Aren't School Buses Electric? These Coloradans Are Sick of Diesel

By Corey Binns

Before her two kids returned to school at the end of last summer, Lorena Osorio stood before the Westminster, Colorado, school board and gave heartfelt testimony about raising her asthmatic son, now a student at the local high school. "My son was only three years old when he first suffered from asthma," she said. Like most kids, he rode a diesel school bus. Some afternoons he arrived home struggling to breathe.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
jessicahyde / iStock / Getty Images

Hemp May Soon Be Federally Legal, But Many Will Be Barred From Growing It

By Dan Nosowitz

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has, perhaps unexpectedly to those who find themselves agreeing with only this one position of his, been a major force for legalizing industrial hemp. Industrial hemp differs from marijuana in that it's bred specifically to have extremely low concentrations of THC, the primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana; smoke industrial hemp all you want, it'll just give you sore lungs.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!