Of all the food industries whose practices have been called into question, the egg industry certainly stands out.
Many of the changes the industry has made including the switch to “cage-free” eggs have been panned as being cosmetic only in nature, while businesses that engage in practices like caging hens and even killing male chicks en masse have continue to thrive, away from the spotlight.
One bold move by a grocery store in Australia has many people applauding, however, and it’s a move that’s being hailed as the first of its kind in a nation where caged eggs’ days seem to be numbered.
According to a report from Animals Australia, the supermarket IGA in Victoria has decided to remove all factory farmed eggs, both ‘cage’ and ‘barn (essentially the cage free variety in America),’ from their store shelves, and will now reportedly only carry free range eggs.
While the two chains Coles and Woolworths have made commitments to reduce the number of caged eggs over several years, the new move by IGA has people really taking notice.
Response Better Than Expected
While the chain had been cautious of a potentially negative response from customers, they’ve instead seen the opposite happen — a massive outpouring of support has occurred instead.
“I don’t care what anybody advises me anymore,” IGA owner Julie Quinton said to Animals Australia. “I can’t morally justify supporting that industry.”
The decision came about following a leak of shocking, grotesque pictures of “forgotten” hens in a factory farm that supplies Australia’s largest egg company, living along giant towers of rotting excrement.
Also in these types of cages, hens are given 3 to 20 male mates and only have about the size of an A4 size of paper to roam around in.
This type of “battery cage” system is banned in the European Union and other areas for egg-laying hens but is still allowed in Australia despite mass public opinion against it.
In the video below you can see more about the ban carried out by the Melbourne, Australia-based supermarket.
“I can’t morally justify supporting that industry,” Quinton is quoted as saying in the video.
P.S. You can also see a video below of the Australian “battery hens” that led to this grocery store making the switch (warning: footage is a bit disturbing).