Cage-Free Eggs sign now

The use of battery cages for egg laying hens is an unnatural and inhumane system. This practice involves packing chickens into barren, wire cages which frustrate their ability to express their natural behaviors. A growing number of universities and colleges across the country have pledged to end their support for battery cages. We the students of the University of Notre Dame would like to support the University in switching to a cage-free egg supplier.

Reasons Why the University of Notre Dame Should Serve Cage-Free Eggs

1. A fundamental principle of the Catholic faith is to show mercy to those who are powerless. The hens in battery cages have no control over their fate, and therefore it is our duty to show them compassion. In a 2002 interview Pope Benedict XVI was quoted as saying, "Hens live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds, this degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible." We are called to be stewards of all creation, and this includes the animals that become our food. We should be doing everything that we can to ensure the humane treatment of God's creatures.

2. There are moral reasons to object to battery cages. We all agree that
suffering is intrinsically bad, and it follows that increasing the amount of
needless suffering is morally objectionable. The natural behavior of chickens is to roam, but the eggs that Notre Dame currently purchases come from hens who are confined and frustrated in small battery cages. By purchasing eggs from battery hens Notre Dame is increasing the amount of needless suffering in the world, and is, thus, doing something that is morally objectionable.

3. The University of Notre Dame is a premier, Christian university. As such, we should be setting an example on issues of ethics and morality. Many other colleges and universities have already decided to purchase only cage-free eggs. George Washington University, Grinnell College, Marist College, University of Arizona, University of Connecticut, University of Rochester, and Vassar College have all either gone completely cage-free, or are phasing out their usage of battery cage eggs. We should also be leading the way in this humane movement, not falling behind.

4. Since Notre Dame Food Services is concerned about the well-being of the
student population, cage-free eggs are a better choice than battery cage eggs because of the higher quality of the cage-free eggs. Many cage-free facilities chose cage-free not only for the animals sake, but also because they wanted to sell only high quality eggs. A study carried out at the Institute for Science Application in Agriculture concluded that eggs produced in a cage-free system had significantly better performance than those produced in a caged system(i).

5. Notre Dame's current eggs supplier's assurance for the treatment of their hens is in the animal care certified label, but the animal care certified program has been ruled against as misleading consumers by the Better Business Bureau and its use must be discontinued by March 31, 2006.

i. Pavlovski, Zlatica. The Effect of Production Mode and Market Conditions on the Quality of Eggs in Yugoslavia. Institute for Science Application in Agriculture. Belgrade. 1990.

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Estela ChristensenBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
Notre Dame Food Services

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