Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Some Restaurants Coming Around to Humane Sourcing

After years of pressure by animal welfare groups, some restaurants are committing to get at least some of their meat and dairy from more humane sources. While still a small percentage, I think it's great that companies like Burger King can throw their weight around and demand this.

"If you look at the past three years, it's more [movement] than in the prior three decades," said Paul Shapiro, senior director at the Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States. "It's clear we're seeing a real tidal wave of progress."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has no official definition of "humane." For activists, the definition can be 30 pages long.

But, generally, they would say it means the animal is fed, housed and slaughtered in a way that doesn't inflict unnecessary pain or discomfort.

This year, Miami-based Burger King, the nation's second-largest burger chain, along with regional burger chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, the Cheesecake Factory restaurant chain and celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck made humane sourcing commitments, agreeing to get at least some of their products from humane vendors.

At one end of the spectrum is the whole-hog approach of Wolfgang Puck, who announced in March that throughout his fine dining, fast casual and catering operations, he would use only eggs from cage-free hens and pork and veal from animals not kept in crates.

Photo by Maulleigh

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