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January 8, 2009

In the Wake of Prop 2, San Francisco Restaurants Improve Animal Welfare

The Humane Society of the United States

Following Proposition 2's landmark passage this past Election Day, San Francisco restaurants are already making life better for egg-laying hens. Triptych Restaurant, Catering and Art Gallery just announced that it's become the first establishment to switch to cage-free eggs in 2009.

Triptych owner David Kittredge says, "This year Triptych upholds a long-standing resolution to do our part in moving towards a sustainable world. As a first step for 2009 we proudly announce that our kitchen now uses only 100 percent cage-free eggs."

Triptych's switch comes just two months after Californians approved Prop 2, which makes it a criminal offense (with a phase-out period) to confine hens in battery cages, pigs in gestation crates and calves in veal crates. Prop 2 was the most popular citizen initiative in the state's history, with more than eight million Californians—63.5 percent of the electorate—voting in favor of it.

Growing Trend

Triptych is in good company. Popular San Francisco restaurants Pacific Catch, Incanto and Mission Pie café worked with The HSUS to end their use of eggs from caged hens too. San Francisco universities like San Francisco State University and University of San Francisco use cage-free eggs in their cafeterias, and local retailers like Rainbow Foods and Andronico's have stopped selling eggs from caged hens.

"The Humane Society of the United States is delighted that Triptych and other San Francisco businesses are joining the national movement away from selling eggs from caged hens," states Karin Olsson, San Francisco resident and outreach manager for The HSUS's factory farming campaign. "Californians spoke against battery cage confinement of laying hens on Election Day, and California retailers are beginning to respond."

A Good Resolution

These institutions have good reason to stop using eggs from caged hens. California factory farms cram about 19 million hens in barren battery cages so small, they can't even spread their wings. Each bird has less space than a single sheet of paper on which to spend her entire life.

While cage-free doesn't mean cruelty-free, cage-free hens generally have two to three times more space per bird. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside and may have parts of their beaks cut off, but they can walk, spread their wings, and lay their eggs in nests—all behaviors permanently denied to hens crammed into battery cages.

What You Can Do

Want to work with your local restaurants on switching from eggs from caged hens? Just let us know! We'll be happy to get you started.  

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