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June 26, 2010

Food Network Star Guy Fieri Joins Growing Cage-Free Movement

The Humane Society of the United States is praising Food Network star Guy Fieri for taking an important step to decrease animal cruelty and increase food sustainability at his two California restaurant companies. The popular "culinary rock star," as he is often called, will phase in the exclusive use of cage-free eggs at his two restaurant companies. Fieri's Johnny Garlic's restaurant has locations in Windsor, Santa Rosa and Roseville, and his Tex Wasabi's restaurant has locations in Sacramento and Santa Rosa.

Prompted in part by recent books and films—like Food Inc., Fast Food Nation, The Omnivore's Dilemma and Animal Factory—more Americans are examining where their food comes from. A critical part of their concern is factory farming production methods, like the extreme confinement of hens in cages so small each bird has less space than a sheet of paper on which to spend her entire life.

"The Humane Society of the United States is delighted that Guy Fieri and his two restaurant companies have joined the national movement away from eggs from caged hens, which improves animal welfare, sustainability, and food safety," said Karin Olsson, outreach manager for The HSUS' factory farming campaign.

Johnny Garlic's and Tex Wasabi's join restaurant companies in California and across the country—from Wolfgang Puck to Burger King—that have also implemented policies either reducing or eliminating their use of battery cage eggs.

"We're pleased to switch to cage-free eggs," said Fieri's Corporate Executive Chef Davin Vculek. "This new policy fits perfectly with our guests' concern for animal welfare and sustainability."

In a landslide 2008 vote, nearly 64 percent of California voters passed the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, phasing out cages for laying hens. And last fall, Michigan's governor signed similar legislation into law.

Facts

  • U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in barren battery cages  so small, they can't even spread their wings. Extensive scientific research confirms this causes suffering.
  • Cage-free hens generally have two to three times more space per bird than caged hens. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside and may, like caged hens, 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.
  • The fact that caged birds can be concentrated in such enormous numbers, environmental degradation—especially manure-related pollution—is a major reason so many environmental and sustainability organizations are in favor of the egg industry switching to cage-free systems.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization—backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty—on the web at humanesociety.org.

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