Cruelty in the Egg and Dairy Industries

To most people’s surprise, animals raised for food in the US are denied adequate legal protection, resulting in horrific–yet standard–cruelties that would lead to criminal prosecution if the same abuses were inflicted upon the dogs and cats with whom we share our homes.

The Egg Industry

Behind the vast majority of every “incredible edible” egg produced today in the US is a hen so intensively confined inside a wire battery cage, she can barely even move. With just 67 square inches of floor space on which to live — that’s smaller than an iPad — she can’t even spread her wings. This is the miserable day-to-day reality forced upon more than 250 million hens crammed inside cages on today’s egg factories–and it’s the norm on egg factory farms, including those participating in the United Egg Producers Certified Program.

What is United Egg Producers Certified? The United Egg Producers (UEP) is a discredited trade organization with a sordid history of animal abuse and consumer fraud. The “UEP Certified” program permits participating producers to cram hens inside barren wire cages, as shown above. In fact, all three images above–of hens overcrowded in a cage, suffering from untreated illnesses, and dying in cages–were taken by Compassion Over Killing investigators while inside United Egg Producers Certified farms.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) ruled that the UEP’s voluntary program, then called “Animal Care Certified,” was misleading consumers about animal welfare, leading to cases involving the UEP paying $100,000 to settle the claims of 16 state attorneys general offices and the District of Columbia attorney general that it engaged in false advertising. The UEP is currently the defendant in a consolidated class action lawsuit (originally comprised of 20 separate class action lawsuits) for illegal price fixing.

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The Dairy Industry

As with all mammals, cows produce milk for their babies. Because the dairy industry wants to sell their milk for humans to drink, they steal the calves from their mothers usually on the first day of their lives. In order to maximize the amount of milk each produces on today’s factory farms, cows are artificially inseminated every year and their bodies are pumped up with antibiotics and hormones. This constant birthing cycle coupled with a mechanized milking process takes a toll on dairy cows. Their exhausted bodies are often “spent” after just a few years. The natural life of a cow is about 25 years.

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Dunkin’ Responds: Customer Relations Reply Misses Mark

If you’ve written to Dunkin’ Donuts asking the company to stop using eggs & dairy in its donuts, you may have received this standard reply:

“We are currently considering the use of cage-free eggs in our products, exploring quantity of available eggs, feasibility and health issues, among other things. Dunkin’ Brands is committed to actively exploring all animal-friendly alternatives. We have established guidelines that meet or exceed industry standards to ensure the proper treatment of laying hens used for egg production. We purchase eggs from suppliers that support our corporate guidelines related to animal welfare and meet or exceed the United Egg Producers (UEP) guidelines. Thank you and have a great day.”

Of course, it’s encouraging that the company is “committed to actively exploring all animal-friendly alternatives,” but we’re not asking for cage-free eggs, nor are the United Egg Producers (UEP) battery cage guidelines any assurance at all. Why would Dunkin’ Donuts tout that it sources its eggs from factory farms that follow the UEP guidelines? Learn more and see photos from inside UEP certified farms.

That’s why it’s so urgently important to continue contacting the company with your request for vegan menu items and to continue asking your friends and family to do the same.