Cage-Free Taking Over Breakfast Menus Everywhere, Including at IHOP

By on February 18, 2016 with 3 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Today, there’s a new and very big name pledging to join the cage-free movement: IHOP, the enormous breakfast restaurant chain known for its stacks of pancakes and variety of omelets.

Following discussions between The HSUS and DineEquity – which owns both IHOP and Applebee’s – the company has pledged to phase out all eggs from caged hens in these restaurants’ supply chain in favor of cage-free eggs.  Between them, these food giants operate 3,500 restaurants. In fact, with 1,650 restaurants, we believe that IHOP alone rivals McDonald’s and even Costco, in terms of egg-buying volume.

“We’re committed to sourcing eggs and other ingredients in a responsible manner that meets our guests’ expectations, considers scientific principles and promotes the welfare of animals,” DineEquity CEO Julia Stewart said in a statement released today on the company’s website.

The last few days have seen other major egg users make similar commitments, including Cracker BarrelGolden Corral, and CVS. Again, these are mainstream brands, with big egg-buying programs.

The website Eater this week has an in-depth look with illustrative photos about the rapid movement away from cage confinement. As you can see, cage-free is a significant improvement over cage confinement. It may not be cruelty-free, but it represents important progress that we as a movement welcome for the animals whose suffering these policies will ameliorate.

We are now well past a competitive tipping point on our battery cage campaign, when food retailers realize that it’s simply impossible not to be part of this trend. With so many big companies making pledges to get out of the cage-confinement business, it’s up to the egg industry to dramatically overhaul its production systems to supply this ubiquitous demand for cage-free eggs. Consumers can help push it along by asking every company they patronize when they’ll get only cage-free eggs on the menu or on the shelf. When it’s all done, we’ll have ended one of the most inhumane confinement systems developed in the era of factory farming.

Farm Animals

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  1. Sally Palmer says:

    I actually wept when I saw this new breakthrough for animal beings. Factory farm animals have had a big day in court with this brilliant cage-free strategy and won a victory that will bring many others. And think of it, just as Wayne said, we can help by simply asking businesses up and down the line, “Are your eggs cage-free?”. Wayne gives us a vision of the impact of tens of thousands of us asking that question in person or online even just one or two times in the course of a day every day! Instead of turning away from the eyes of farm animals, more human beings will begin looking into those eyes and making critical connections for more life-changing victories.

  2. Mike Weinberg says:

    As Wayne rightly acknowledges, cage-free isn’t cruelty free. Male layer chicks, economically worthless as they don’t lay eggs, are ground up or suffocated at birth, to the tune of 250 million per year in the U.S. Most cage-free hens still never see the light of day, until their productivity wanes and they are shipped to the slaughterhouse to make nuggets and pot pies. The only way to eliminate these standard industry cruelties is to stop eating egg products altogether. Plenty of plant-based substitutes exist, especially for processed foods.

  3. Sarah West says:

    I am VERY concerned that so called “cage free”is going to mean nothing more than the wire cages may go but the extreme lack of space will remain and chickens will be jammed in wing to wing ,,,on the ground,,,stepping on and over other dead, sick and wounded chickens’?

    Where is state or federal USDA legislation that states and outlines what CAGE FREE me and and must be? I don’t think there is any but would like to know

    To me it just means that these mega egg producers are just in it to get on a bandwagon to use and sell more eggs and save money by not having to have cages built!

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