Forget for a moment the argument over whether fast food is bad for your health and think for a minute about the health of the animals that wind up in the middle of your sandwich.
Burger King says it's trying to make life a bit more pleasant, if not longer, for the critters who are, after all, its products. The company says it will eliminate the practices of confining breeding pigs in gestation crates and egg-laying hens in battery cages from its U.S. supply chain, a move supported by The Humane Society of the United States.
According to its new policy, Burger King will transition to 100 percent cage-free eggs for all U.S. locations within five years, and only purchase pork from suppliers that have documented plans to end their use of gestation crates for breeding pigs.
"Burger King Corp. has demonstrated when it comes to America's largest fast food chains, it continues to set the standard," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society. "These changes by Burger King Corp. will improve life for countless farm animals and encourage other companies to abide by animal welfare principles up and down their supply chain."
In 2007, following discussions with HSUS, Burger King Corp. became the nation's first major restaurant company to begin phasing in cage-free products. Today's announcement stems from the company's work on this issue over the past five years.
Burger King Corp. operates more than 12,500 locations worldwide. It has recently slipped to third place in the Burger Wars, behind McDonald's and Wendy's.