Larry Weger, Director
University Dining Services
The University of Minnesota
116 Food Operations Building
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Dear Mr. Weger:
On behalf of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate treatment of domestic fowl, I am writing to express our vigorous support – and my personal support – for the campaign being waged by Compassionate Action for Animals to get the University of Minnesota to stop purchasing eggs from hens in battery cages and to purchase eggs only from cage-free systems.
Learning about battery-caged hens in the 1980s was a key factor in my decision to focus attention on the plight of chickens, because of all the documentation of the filth and appalling misery of animals on modern factory-farms, the battery-cages in which hens are forced to live in order to mass-produce eggs for human consumption are the most appalling. I have witnessed firsthand, at large, typical battery-hen complexes owned by ISE-America and County Fair Farms in Maryland and elsewhere, the overwhelming filth, toxic air, and animal suffering in these hellholes.
Describing battery-caged systems for hens, chicken physiologist Dr. Lesley Rogers writes in her book The Development of Brain and Behaviour in the Chicken that battery-caged hens are “cramped in overcrowded conditions,” they have “no opportunity to search for food,” they are forced into constant, inescapable physical (“tactile”) contact with each other, they have “no access to dustbathing or nesting material,” and so on. These conditions, Dr. Rogers writes, “are just some examples of the impoverishment of their environment” resulting in a host of abnormal behaviors in the birds.
Please buy eggs from hens in cage-free systems only. While these systems are not perfect, they are infinitely better than battery-cage buildings consisting of thousands of cages, shrieking birds, disease organisms, manure clinging to cage bars, and a kind of total, unnecessary suffering of helpless creatures that no decent person can tolerate.
Thank you very much for your attention. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Karen Davis, PhD, President
This letter is also being sent to Karen DeVet, Dining and Residential Operations Director