Brad Pitt has issued a letter to Costco’s chief executive Craig Jelinek, urging him to stop using battery cages in the company’s farms, as these effectively torture the animals for the entire extent of their lives.
Pitt was of the view, “As you know, these birds producing eggs for your shelves are crammed five or more into cages that are not large enough for even one hen to spread her wings”. “Physically, the animals’ muscles and bones waste away from lack of use, just as yours would if you were unable to move around fortwo years”.
Pitt said he admired Costco’s “integrity” on a range of issues, but hammered the company for dragging its feet on eggs.
The 51-year-old became the latest big name, joining comedian Bill Maher and actor Ryan Gosling, to condemn retail giant Costco and their refusal to stop sourcing eggs from hens kept in battery cages.
Brad Pitt, an actor, humanitarian, and self-declared farmer, is stepping up for caged hens.
Pitt and Maher each spoke out on behalf of Farm Sanctuary, an organization that advocates against the mistreatment of animals and factory farming. “Some advocate that cages are safer for hens”, the statement reads. Maher asks Costco representative to imagine what it would be like if five dogs or cats were crammed inside those small cages and forced to live like that for the rest of their lives.
Pitt’s letter follows a similar one from Ryan Gosling, who also took a hard line on the topic. While the company claimed it is “committed to the ethical treatment of animals”, the statement also noted that there’s “vigorous debates about animal welfare and laying hens” and whether or not going cage-free is truly best for the animals.
“But when you see the way these cages still leave hens crammed in, with barely any space to stretch their wings and the minimal “enrichment” that is legally required, it’s clear that for the hens a cage is still a cage”.
Gosling referred to a video recently released by the Humane Society of the United States, saying it showed “abhorrent cruelty including rows upon rows of birds confined in filth-laden cages with the mummified corpses of their cage-mates”.
Costco representatives also declared that the company does not approve animal cruelty, and its’ code of ethics is an important part of its mission as a company.
It did not specifically address celebrity calls for a ban on caged hens.