We don’t envy the United Egg Producers (UEP), the main egg trade group. HSUS singled the egg industry and spent millions of dollars on propaganda and ballot campaigns to try to ban common hen houses. Facing further threats, the UEP decided to cut a deal with HSUS to pursue federal litigation that would create a mandate for farmers to move from conventional cages to roomier furnished cages over a variable timeframe.
One of the supposed benefits is that the UEP got HSUS, which previously had only advocated for “cage-free” eggs, to agree to take a cage system as acceptable enough. Or did it?
A source in the egg world sent us a flyer, viewable here, that HSUS is sending around to food purchasers. The brochure attacks cage eggs and promotes cage-free eggs as supposedly safer from a food safety point of view, and includes propaganda on Salmonella that we’ve debunked before. (USDA scientists have found that only about 1 in every 20,000 eggs might be contaminated with Salmonella, so the average American might encounter one of those eggs every 84 years.)
So on one hand, HSUS is assuring egg farmers that they can go ahead and spend billions building enriched cage housing. And then it is going behind their backs to push cage-free eggs and trash-talk eggs from caged hens, whether from conventional or enriched systems.
Gee, what a great “partner” the UEP has there.
Even “cage-free” isn’t good enough for HSUS. Corporate campaigner Josh Balk said that “Anyone who says that cage-free is 100% humane, 100% cruelty-free, just know that’s not accurate.” Even if the egg industry was completely cage-free, the vegan agitators at HSUS, PETA, and other groups would just concoct some new anti-egg talking point.
Consider the broiler industry. Chickens raised for meat are already kept in cage-free environments. Yet an HSUS campaigner “tweeted” last month that there were concerns with stocking density.
This particular activist, like so many other HSUS employees, came to HSUS after working for a group of vegan campaigners. That should be a reminder that HSUS will never be satisfied. These zealots will always find something to complain about because they want nothing less than the complete abolition of eggs, dairy, and meat farms. Cutting a deal with HSUS just means you’re choosing to lose the war more slowly.