General Mills announced this week that its US operations are adopting a cage-free egg policy, joining companies such as Kellogg’s, Nestlé, Walmart, and Starbucks that have made similar commitments. This new approach, based off the UK’s Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, will affect hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of chickens whose eggs are used in General Mills brands such as Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and Progresso soups. General Mills’ recent revelation follows a June announcement in which the company declared its cereals would no longer use artificial colors and flavors. Both moves, spokeswoman Shannon Heine says, is a response to consumer demands. The company did not set a deadline for complete adherence to the cage-free policy, but with so many chickens’ lives affected, the change cannot come fast enough. Still, the Humane Society of the United States reminds us that “cage-free does not necessarily mean cruelty-free … The ability to lay their eggs in nests, run, and spread their wings are tangible benefits that shouldn’t be underestimated.”
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