When Compassion Over Killing asked Dunkin' Donuts to offer vegan donuts and to eliminate or reduce their reliance on eggs, they got a less than thrilling response. Mainly, they were told that Dunkin' Donuts sources their eggs from farms that meet or exceed the United Egg Producers (UEP) standards, including Michael Foods.
Here are some of the UEP welfare standards:
Housing: Space allowance should be in the range of 67-86 square inches of usable space. A standard piece of letter paper has 93.5 square inches. The UEP guidelines provides less space than an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper. Spacy!
Beak Trimming (euphemism for de-beaking): The beaks of chicks must be trimmed when chicks are 10 days old or younger. Birds have nerves and blood vessels that run to the tip of their beak. Beaks are vital for preening, eating and interacting with other birds.
Euthanasia (euphemism for killing): Methods currently considered acceptable for euthanasia and on-farm depopulation...include...cervical dislocation.
Michael Foods, by the way, is a $1.4 billion dollar producer of eggs and other products. Seventy-percent of their sales is from the sale of eggs. They are the largest producer of "extended life" egg products. Michael Foods has several farms that house between 12-15 million hens at any given time.
Back to Dunkin' Donuts. After COK received their less than thrilling response, they decided to investigate from where these eggs come. This is what they found:
Animal Place co-founder and board member Dr. Ned Buyukmihci was asked to view the video and had this to say:
As a result of crowded conditions and low height of the cages, the hens could not lie down or walk, spread their wings or rest without causing major disturbance to the rest of the birds in the cage.
The cages contained many dead birds. Many of these had been long dead as evidenced by their mummified state and sometimes being in pieces. This would take weeks to develop.
Even "properly" done cervical dislocation, the industry standard, may not result in a painless and instant death.
You can certainly contact Dunkin' Donuts and ask them to offer vegan alternatives as well as eliminate their use of cruelly produced eggs.
The best thing you can do is to start the process of eliminating animal-based foods from your diet, eggs included. Nearly 98% of all hens in the egg-laying industry are housed in battery cages, like that in the video. The male chicks are all killed. There are no laws defining "free-range" or "cage-free". There just are not any viable, commercially profitable humane egg farms. Not when male chicks are slaughtered. Not when hens are debeaked. Not when birds are denied expression of natural behavior. And certainly not when hens are killed at the young age of two. Be a part of the solution by going vegan.
A big thank you to Compassion Over Killing!