Burger King has announced that the company will no longer use caged pigs and hens in its supply chain.
The Miami-based chain’s goal is to serve 100% cage-free eggs in every United States restaurant by 2017, and to only purchase pork products from suppliers with well documented plans to end the use of gestation crates for sows.
Burger king is the third largest hamburger chain in the United States, with 7,200 restaurants in the country alone. That’s about half as many restaurants as McDonald’s, the leading burger chain, who vowed this past February to phase out the use of gestation crates. Wendy’s, the second most popular chain, made a similar vow in March.
Burger King is the first of the three to phase out the use of cages for chickens. McDonald’s and Wendy’s have taken steps toward a cage-free supply chain, but both have yet to make a complete pledge in the United States.
Burger King alone uses tens of millions of eggs and tens of millions of pounds of pork annually, so this move has the ability to provide some major growth in cage-free farming.
These announcements have come at a time where more and more people are becoming aware of where their food is coming from, how it is handled, and how humane the environment is (or isn’t) for pigs, chickens, and cows. Fast food chains have been under intense scrutiny by animal welfare activists around the globe, and it’s pretty likely we’ll start seeing this type of behavior from more chains as it becomes standard protocol, and a basic expectation of customers.
Do moves like this impact whether or not you eat fast food regularly?