UCI Misleads on Cage-Free Eggs
For more than a year, students and faculty involved in the UC Irvine cage-free-egg initiative have been asking UCI Dining Services to do the right thing. Our request is simple: UCI should switch to buying only cage-free eggs.
UCI currently buys nearly one million eggs per year from factory farms that intensively confine hens inside battery cages. Egg producers cram hens into battery cages so tightly that they cannot stretch their wings or walk for their entire lives; each caged hen has less space than the size of a single sheet of paper in which to live out her life. The use of battery cages is one of the cruelest and most inhumane practices in modern American farming. Battery-cage factory farms also generate more pollution and environmental damage than cage-free egg farms, which is why so many environmental groups, including the California Student Sustainability Coalition, advocate switching to cage-free eggs. By purchasing large numbers of battery-cage eggs, UCI supports unnecessary animal cruelty and environmental degradation. By switching to the exclusive use of cage-free eggs, UCI could instead use its purchasing power to promote more humane and sustainable farming practices.
The UCI cage-free egg initiative has picked up tremendous momentum in recent weeks. Just this quarter, more than 3,500 students signed a petition urging Dining Services to switch to the exclusive use of cage-free eggs. The newly elected president of Associated Students of UCI, Mo Eldessouky, signed the petition. The president of Associated Graduate Students, Brook Haley, has written a letter supporting the initiative, citing the ‘enthusiastic support’ expressed by AGS councilmembers on this issue. In addition Beth Krom, the mayor of Irvine, wrote a letter of support for the initiative in which she cites the ‘compelling reasons’ why UCI Dining Services should do the ‘socially and environmentally responsible thing’ and switch to cage-free eggs. News of our initiative has even spread to Hollywood. Actress Alicia Silverstone wrote a commentary for the New University last week in which she, too, urged UCI Dining Services to do the right thing.
Yet UCI Dining Services continues to do nothing