An investigation by the Humane Society revealed appalling conditions for hens in one of Costco's main egg suppliers, which spurred Gosling to action.
Actor Ryan Gosling has spoken out against Costco, criticizing the second-largest grocery retailer in the United States for not following through with its promise to sell cage-free eggs. Despite promising in 2007 to eliminate caged eggs from its supply chain, new evidence reveals that Costco has failed miserably at achieving its goal and continues to sell eggs that are not only made under horrific conditions, but marketed in a highly misleading way.
In an open letter posted online this past Monday, Gosling expressed his disgust at the discoveries made by undercover investigators from the Humane Society, who managed to sneak into a notorious egg-producing factory called Hillendale, in Pennsylvania.
He wrote: “Video footage revealed abhorrent cruelty including rows upon rows of birds confined in filth-laden cages with the mummified corpses of their cage-mates—eating, sleeping, defecating, and laying eggs on top of dead birds—and hens’ wings, legs, and necks trapped in the corroded wires of their battery cages.”
The video footage truly is horrifying, and will sicken even those people who know a lot about animal cruelty and what goes on behind the scenes to mass-produce cheap food. Here is the three-minute clip. Viewer discretion is advised.
It’s obvious that Costco had no intention of actually cleaning up its act when it made the promise to go cage-free eight years ago. As the Humane Society stated in its initial report on the investigation:
“We understand that companies need time to make major changes, but it’s been nearly a decade and Costco still doesn’t even have a timeline for accomplishing that transition… I am sure that no reasonable observer would expect that company to wait nearly a decade to act on its statement of principles.”
Unfortunately, the old adage applies: “You get what you pay for.” When consumers relentlessly pursue “the better deal,” always seeking the lowest price possible, it is inevitable that sacrifices will be made. In this case, the hens tragically make the sacrifice.
Arguments for veganism and vegetarianism aside, consumers who want better conditions for laying birds and who choose to eat animal products must be willing to pay a fair price for those which are humanely produced. This is likely a very significant increase from what Costco is currently charging for its so-called “Nearby Eggs.” The problem is, not enough people are interested.