The Humane Society is trying to encourage Wendy's to switch to cage-free eggs behind an advertising blitz in Wendy's Corp. hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
That's cool, I suppose. But then I'm more concerned with how eggs taste than how their mothers live. Happily, it turns out that if you demand flavorful eggs with richly colored yolks you will do more for the "happiness" of chickens than the Humane Society could ever hope to accomplish.
The way that the Federal guidelines are written all that a farmer has to do too claim that his chickens are cage free is to not cage them. The birds can still be confined indoors eating funky chicken feed made from stuff like cookie crumbs and other chickens and never see the light of day or a bug for that matter. So if the Humane Society get's it's way all it gets for the chickens is a bigger cage.
However, if you demand that your eggs must fragrant of grass and have yolks whose rich color is a function of a hen who eats lots of pigmented bugs, then you promote the chicken farms where chickens run around outside in the dirt all day long.
I'm not sure that the Humane Society would like this very much though. The barnyard is a pretty dangerous place for chickens who need to be on guard against the hawks, foxes, coyotes, feral dogs et al who like to eat them. But who knows? These animal rights activists are pretty resourceful and dedicated people. Perhaps they could form a special divison that would train and provide "chicken police" to farmers to protect the chickens from abuse by animal predators who have no notion of animal rights.
Humane Society Wants a Cage-Free Wendy's