Target: Bill Gray, President of Gray Ridge Egg Farms
Goal: Improve the living conditions of Gray Ridge’s egg-laying hens, starting by eliminating battery cages.
The latest investigation from animal welfare group Mercy for Animals has revealed horrific living conditions at Canadian egg factory farm, Gray Ridge Egg Farms. The undercover footage shows chickens crammed tightly into bare wire cages in what appears to be a large, dark shed. There is no sunlight, no grass, and no relief from the noise and smell of thousands of other chickens. Some show signs of eye infections, presumably from the unsanitary living conditions, and many are missing feathers. Others lie lifeless on the bottom of their cages as other chickens step on them.
The conditions in which these chickens were reportedly discovered are highly unethical and would make anyone miserable. It is Gray Ridge’s responsibility to ensure that these hens are taken care of; if this investigation is any indication of how this business is run, it would appear that it is failing to do its duty. While it is not plausible to ask one of Canada’s largest egg farms to close its doors permanently, it is not unreasonable to ask Gray Ridge to improve the living conditions of its chickens. One of the most concrete ways to do this is to eliminate the wire cages that allegedly confine these hens and switch to a cage-free business model. The very least these animals deserve is solid ground beneath their feet and enough space to spread their wings. Urge Gray Ridge’s president to consider making a compassionate change for the sake of his company’s publicity and, more importantly, for the sake of the hens’ well-being by signing below.
Dear Mr. Gray,
As you may be aware by now, your company was recently the subject of an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals. Their video exposé shows hens, allegedly on Gray Ridge property, in tiny metal cages where they hardly have enough room to move. Many are missing most of their feathers; others are dead. They are kept in the dark, with no fresh air and no sunlight.
If any part of this investigation even remotely represents the way that Gray Ridge conducts business, I must strongly urge you to take drastic steps to improve the welfare of your company’s chickens. They are more than commodities or units of production. Just like the dog or cat that you may share your home with, these animals are individuals and they feel pain and fear. That is why I ask that you consider going cage-free as soon as possible. Getting rid of cruel battery cages is an important step toward providing a better life for the animals that provide us with food. Making this change would set an example to consumers and your competitors, and would show that your company strives to be as ethical as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mercy for Animals