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http://www.hsus.org/farm/news/ournew...g.html?print=t

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Burger King Sets Precedent in Fast Food Sector

March 28, 2007

©iStockphoto

Burger King's new policies will ease the suffering of thousands of farm animals.

In a move sure to send shock waves through animal agribusiness, fast-food giant Burger King is implementing a set of animal welfare policies aimed at reducing its support for some of the worst factory farm abuses.

"With its new policy changes, Burger King is signaling to agribusiness that the most inhumane factory farming practices are on the way out," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "As a result of this decision, large numbers of farm animals across the nation will be spared much needless suffering."

After extensive dialogue with The HSUS and independent discussions with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Burger King spelled out details of its decision:

It has begun purchasing 2 percent of its eggs from producers that do not confine laying hens in battery cages. It will more than double the percentage of cage-free eggs it's using to 5 percent by the end of the year.

It has implemented a purchasing preference for cage-free eggs. Such a preference is intended to favor producers that convert away from battery-cage confinement systems.

It has started purchasing 10 percent of its pork from producers that do not confine breeding pigs in gestation crates, which are too small to allow even ordinary movement. The volume of pork purchases coming from gestation crate-free producers will double to 20 percent by the end of the year.

It has also implemented a purchasing preference for pork from producers that do not confine breeding sows in gestation crates.

It has implemented a preference for producers that use controlled atmosphere killing of chickens used for meat. This has been shown to cause significantly less suffering than the conventional method of slaughter used by most of the nation's poultry slaughterers.

"The more consumers learn about factory farming cruelties, the more they insist upon better treatment for animals," said Pacelle. "There is a long way to go before we end farm animal abuse, but today's announcement sets the country on a clear trajectory on factory farming issues."

A Trend Away from The Most Intensive Confinement

Burger King's announcement comes at a time when a snowballing number of major corporations are moving away from supporting factory farm abuses. Just last week, Wolfgang Puck announced a wide-ranging plan to improve animal welfare in his supply chain. Earlier this year, the world's largest pig producer, Smithfield Foods, shocked the pig industry by committing to phasing out its use of gestation crates over the next decade. Restaurant chains such as Chipotle refuse to use pork from producers that use crates. Florida and Arizona voters have overwhelmingly passed ballot initiativesspearheaded by The HSUSbanning the use of crates to confine breeding pigs.

And companies such as Whole Foods Market, Wild Oats Natural Marketplace and Ben & Jerry's have moved away from cage eggs. More than 100 schools have eliminated or greatly reduced their use of cage eggs.

Burger King's commitment to begin moving away from these abuses confirms a clear vision of the future: one where practices such as intensive confinement in tiny crates has no place.

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I guess small steps ought to be considered better than nothing at all, but

Quote:
will more than double the percentage of cage-free eggs it's using to 5 percent by the end of the year.
means will still be using 95 percent battery-cage eggs and

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The volume of pork purchases coming from gestation crate-free producers will double to 20 percent by the end of the year.
is still 80 percent of pork purchases coming from producers using gestation crates.

I wonder if customers will be asked at the counter gestation-crate pork or non-gestation-crate-pork?

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controlled atmosphere killing of chickens used for meat to cause significantly less suffering than the conventional method of slaughter
Controlled atmosphere killing is a really sickening term for murder.

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Burger King's commitment to begin moving away from these abuses confirms a clear vision of the future: one where practices such as intensive confinement in tiny crates has no place.
Amen.

I wonder why I dont buy their commitment, or that any (meat) burger chain would care about animal welfare at all. Thats like the tobacco industry pushing anti-smoking regulations. Its just PR, and if it were meant to lead to any real (major) changes, then burger chains should better start putting more and better veg*n options on their menu now.

Educating people about their food (i. e., its ingredients and origins!) might effect more changes. But somehow, I don't picture any burger chain handing out Earthlings or Fast Food Nation DVDs with their happy meals

(what a rant, sorry
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Hmmm, I am sorry to say this, okay actually I am not sorry but the first thing it came to my mind was:

THEY ARE STILL SELLING DEAD ANIMALS! THEY ARE STILL CONTRIBUTING TO SLAUGHTER, THEY ARE STILL USING 95% BATTERY-CAGED EGGS.

The bottom line is: They make huge profit and money off slaughtered animals (burgers=dead meat)!
 

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Let me stray from the previous two posters. I think its a great thing. THey are showing an interest in testing the economic viability of less-cruel animal food product sources. How can anyone complain about that? >95% of people eat meat, and are always gonna eat meat. If they can reduce the suffering of animals in any way I think thats a very positive step.
 

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I applaud these changes, and I think they show that concern for animals is now significant enough to be a real factor in the business plans of large companies.

Quinoa, the reason these changes seem small is that chains like BK are huge and they can't just wave a wand and start buying all their chickens from cage-free suppliers, say - they just don't exist in sufficient numbers. Something like this is policy change is needed first, so that the supplier market can respond and make large-scale changes in their methods.

Yes, folks, the meat industry still exists. Surprised? That's not going to change until the mentality of consumers undergoes truly radical change. Is BK doing this because of a deep concern for animal rights? No, of course not. Why should anyone expect that? They are in business to make money, and making money requires a certain level of responsiveness to consumer preferences.

What we are seeing is that there is enough interest in the animals to sway the purchasing decisions of a major corporation, and that is a most welcome development from where I sit.
 

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You know, as soon as I started reading this, I knew that there would be more negative than positive responses here on VB. After all, they're still killing animals and selling them as food.

Once again, it's all about baby steps. You have to change the way people think before you can change the way they act. See my response in this thread: http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=68949

This is why I see this as good news, even though BK is only doing it for the positive press, and it only affects a small percentage of the animals they abuse.

--Fromper

 

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They can do much, much better, but I'm encouraged to see that this issue is high-profile enough that it's on their radar and the PR from this alone might cause a few people to take a closer look at where their food comes from. The fast food giants have a huge impact on the food supply chain, so this type of pressure could possibly bring some positive change.

OTOH, enough people still only care about the dollar menu vs. humane treatment of the animals before they end up on the dollar menu, and fast food places are in business to turn a profit, so the math isn't quite as encouraging.

But, I'll take what I can get. Something is better than nothing and despite their motives or the pathetic percentages we're looking at here, I think it's a step in the right direction.
 
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