Food

One of America's Largest Restaurant Chains Just Committed to Go Cage-Free

Yet another big victory in the campaign to stop the cruel confinement of egg-laying hens.

Photo Credit: CHAIWATPHOTOS/Shutterstock

On January 27, Bob Evans — one of the country’s largest family dining chains based in Ohio, with more than 500 restaurants in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast — announced it will go 100 percent cage-free for the more than 100 million eggs it uses annually.

You’ve lately heard, through this blog, about a cascade of new policies from America’s biggest food corporations to go 100 percent cage-free, mainly in the wake of a McDonald’s announcement in September. This drumbeat of good news never fails to thrill me, and I hope it has the same effect on you.

Saed Mohseni, Bob Evans’ CEO, allowed me to share his thoughts on today’s announcement: “We’re proud to work with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) on our animal welfare efforts, including switching to exclusively cage-free eggs. The organization’s been a tremendous partner who understands how animal welfare and good business go hand in hand.”

I too appreciate our joint efforts. At a time when consumers are alert on animal welfare, it’s the right thing and the right business move to cleanse the supply chain of extreme confinement practices, and Mr. Mohseni shows his own foresight in making this move today.

This announcement is significant for us because Bob Evans is a restaurant chain known especially for breakfasts, and it’s yet another company based in the heartland to join our cause. It was in that state, in 2010, that The HSUS brokered an agreement with the state’s leading animal agribusiness industries, former governor Ted Strickland, and the Ohio Farm Bureau—and one provision in that accord called for no new construction of battery cage facilities for laying hens.

I’ve long believed that thoughtful dialogue can produce better outcomes for animals and the whole of society. We thank Bob Evans, and invite the companies yet to make similar commitments to come along and join our movement.

Wayne Pacelle is the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller  is The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals (William Morrow, 2016).

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