It seems the king is granting more clemency for animals in its supply chain -- Burger King
Burger King informed animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) of its intention through letters, which the organization provided to the Associated Press. The company wrote that it has started purchasing 10% of its pork from suppliers that don't use sow gestation crates. It also said it will start getting 2% of its eggs from cage-free hens. Burger King plans to double the percentage it purchases in both of these areas by the end of this year.
The fast-food chain also has plans to influence suppliers by saying that it will look favorably on cage-free eggs when weighing its purchases, and also give preference to poultry outfits that use controlled atmosphere stunning to kill animals, the method that most animal-rights organizations consider the most humane.
It's easy to dismiss PETA as an organization with an extreme agenda, but on the whole, the concept of food ethics seems to be gaining popularity. More and more consumers are assessing hidden costs, including non-monetary ones, in their food choices.
Burger King is hardly alone in addressing animal welfare trends. Whole Foods Market
There are a lot of angles here, of course. Using organic, natural, and humane food choices may cost companies more money. Those higher costs are often passed along to the consumers who choose to pay more to eat this way. On the other hand, plenty of people don't care about such issues, as long as their food is cheap.
For people who do care, though, new policies like Burger King's may influence their buying decisions. If more consumers start thinking more critically about their food choices, the companies that address these issues will be better off in the long run.
Further free-range Foolishness:
- Smithfield said it will give its pigs a little bit more space.
- Food ethics make interesting food for thought.
- Does capitalism have a social side?