Animal rights group Direction Action Everywhere (DxE) released a video on Thursday that exposed cruelty at cage-free egg producer Pleasant Valley Farm—a supplier of Costco’s Kirkland brand. DxE visited the Farmington, CA farm several times and filmed the footage in September and October of this year. “There were birds rotting on the floor, and there was one dead bird that seemed to have lost her head,” DxE founder Wayne Hsiung told the New York Times, which broke the story. “There were birds attacking birds, and the smell was horrible.” Hsiung was motivated to investigate the farm because he believes “consumers have an idyllic vision of what cage-free farming looks like,” and hopes that his organization’s work reveals that “cage-free is far from humane.” Major food corporations such as Costco, Walmart, and Sodexo—the world’s second largest food supplier—have all made commitments to phase out battery cages after numerous undercover investigations revealed cruelty at facilities that confined egg-laying hens. This new investigation moves forward the conversation regarding whether eggs can ever be “humanely” produced. Fortunately, the chicken-free egg replacer industry is growing exponentially and is estimated to surpass $1.5 billion by 2026.
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