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Starbucks' Grande Animal Rights Move

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on December 31, 2014 - 5:42pm

By: Todd Woody

The coffee giant will eliminate the use of eggs, poultry, and pork from livestock raised in gestation crates and subjected to inhumane practices.

Your Starbucks bacon-and-Gouda sandwich and chicken-and-hummus bistro box are about to get kinder and gentler when it comes to the treatment of the animals that you’re eating.

The $61 billion coffee giant said it will phase out the use of eggs, poultry, and pork from animals raised in gestation crates and support the elimination of artificial growth hormones for livestock.

“Our priority is to ensure we offer food made with ingredients such as cage-free eggs, gestation crate-free pork, and poultry processed through more humane systems,” Starbucks said in a policy statement published on its website.

The company also said it would push for the responsible use of antibiotics in farm animals, as well as support ending castration and the practice of cutting the horns off of cattle.

“In the event concerns arise with the practices of a supplier, our approach is to work with them to correct the issues, but there are times when we halt business due to the nature of the issues and until adequate resolution takes place,” Starbucks said in the policy statement. “As one example, we have significantly expanded our cage-free egg offerings since 2008, increasing our purchases year over year, and are committed to continue to do so.”

The Humane Society of the United States, which worked with Starbucks to develop the new policy, hailed the move as a game changer.

“Starbucks animal welfare policy will have a major impact improving the lives of animals within its own supply chain, and potentially inspiring other companies to follow their positive lead,” Josh Balk, the Humane Society’s director of food policy, said in an email. “The biggest impact perhaps is phasing out the use of cages in egg production and shifting to cage-free eggs."

Starbucks isn’t the only multinational corporation to embrace animal rights. In August, Nestlé—the world’s largest food producer—announced it would stop using products from animals raised in gestation crates and support humane livestock practices. 

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