Hey everybody, Burger King is letting all the animals out of their cages!
We like to mock Burger King a little for its endless struggle to compete with McDonald's -- and now Wendy's, too. But here's one way they're stepping ahead of the fast food pack: They're the first to pledge they'll use only cage-free eggs and crate-free pork by 2017.
It's a brave move. Keeping those chickens and pigs in cages makes them cheap, cheap, cheap. But you know what? I think this change could make their food taste better.
I'm serious. My friends in the meat industry swear you can actually taste stress. And life in those cages? It's stressful.
So great -- this is an important step forward. But it's just a first step. Cage-free (which a lot of people call free-range) is not the highest standard for chickens. Just because there aren't cages doesn't mean the chickens aren't still packed into the same space together, cheek to wattle. It also doesn't meant the egg suppliers will stop other cruel practices like clipping off beak ends.
It's great that we're moving away from keeping pregnant pigs in cramped crates. It's the least we can do -- literally. Another great step would be ditching the antibiotics for pigs who aren't sick.
But I'm hopeful. If a mega-chain like Burger King is willing to make a change like this, maybe others will follow. It's a brave new world for bacon and eggs.
Do you think about animal cruelty when you make food choices?
Image via wattpublishing/Flickr