The greatest prisoner release is about to take place this coming year in the United States. It will exponentially eclipse the number of pardons by any President, including the record setting 248 prisoners that President Obama has either commuted sentences or pardoned from their drug convicted incarcerations.
This greatest prisoner release about to take place is not under Presidential order and is not due to the type of crime committed by the inmates. The prisoners actually were being held without any due process. They live in this country but are not American citizens. They are chickens-up to 7 billion of them.
United States corporations such as Kroger and McDonald’s have finally taken “the pledge” to only purchase eggs produced from cage-free chickens –the Kroger and McDonald’s conversion will occur over the next 10 years. Factory farming, as it is known, has for decades caged chickens in battery coups to maximize egg production in order to meet the ever increasing demand of eggs by consumers. This means that your egg McMuffin, some 2 billion sold annually, will soon have some conscience added to it.
Why is this happening? World Animal Protection launched http://choosecagefree.org/take-pledge. Conscience is connected to consciousness. When I became aware of the disgraceful conditions that chickens, who produce eggs for us, “live” in–I took the pledge. Consumer awareness shifted consumer demand—and businesses started to take note. That is, individual consciousness leads to people voicing their conscience and, even if it is far more expensive–for farmers, businesses, and egg eaters, a needed life-enhancing change for our chicken sisters. Taco Bell will be the first major company to go cage free—it pledged to do so by the end of 2016, Burger King and a host of other fast food and restaurant chains will accomplish this by 2017 and Nestle’ Corporation by 2020. Perhaps public pressure can push McDonald’s and Kroger to push up their strategic plan to 2020 or sooner.
It is acknowledged by animal welfare advocates that “cage free” is an important first step—it is still not free range—with its provision (regulation) that insures chickens outdoor access—cage free does not. Cage free is a partial release program on the way to the full release of chickens from our active and complicit disregard for their welfare.
Please let your children and grandchildren know that this big change is happening and that you all want to take the pledge. This step on the part of major corporations is hopefully a harbinger of other measures that need to be implemented to end factory animal farming.
We have for this moment answered the age old question: Which came first? It is the egg and then the chicken. From there we can extend our compassion to other animals and then our compassion to human beings who labor under conditions that we with complicity and without consciousness and conscience continue to support.