Cage Free Essay

Great Essays
Cage-free or not The Huffington Post article “McDonald’s Plans To Switch To Cage-Free Eggs” addresses McDonald’s plans to complete the transition to cage-free eggs in the U.S. and Canada by 2025.1 The article not only raises concern about cage-free eggs, but also discusses whether hens should be bred in the cage-free system or in the conventional battery cage system. In this essay, I will discuss the cage-free system in two aspects. On one hand, it is morally right to switch to the cage-free system to protect animal welfare. On the other hand, eggs laid by hens raised in such a system ensure better nutrition for humans. However, some may criticize the cage-free system for its huge cost and the high price of cage-free eggs. In spite …show more content…
An overwhelming majority of hens is limited in the conventional cages, where they each can share only 67 square inches of the cage space.2 67 square inches cannot even compare with a piece of letter-size paper which takes up about 93.5 square inches. Such tiny space is not enough for the hens to spread their wings, let alone make nests or perch. Hence, the conventional battery cage system violates animal welfare. Unlike the conventional battery cage system, the cage-free system provides more space for hens, where they are able to walk around within a certain range, to spread their wings, to nest and perch. Freedom of such activities improves the mood and health of hens, and thus increases their quality of life. John Mill’s Greatest Happiness Principle states that “Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.”3 The Greatest Happiness Principle would support the cage-free system, since it takes the welfare of hens into consideration and treats them with more humanity. For hens, the cage-free system is like a “condominium”, whereas the conventional system is more like a “prison”. Therefore, it is morally right to raise hens in the cage-free system rather than in the conventional battery cage …show more content…
Taking into account the high cost of the cage-free system, it is not hard to infer that cage-free eggs will seek higher prices in the market. Chad Gregory points out that people may see a 10-cent increase for every dozen of eggs.7 For those who care about the high price of the cage-free eggs, I argue that it will not be a big problem, given the consumers’ awareness and willingness. In 2009, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) carried out a survey on humane food.12 The result showed that people are becoming more and more aware of the ways how farm animals are raised. WSPA concludes that people are going after humane alternatives and are willing to pay higher prices. In conclusion, the cage-free system should be encouraged and adopted to replace the conventional battery cage system. It is morally right to raise hens in the cage-free system. In return, such hens will provide humans with eggs of better nutrition. However, more policies should be made to regulate the cage-free system if it is practiced on a large scale in the near future. In addition, more scientific research should be done to keep consumers updated. With more efforts being made, the cage-free system seems to have a promising

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