The cause of animal protection advances because of determined and strategic action, on many fronts. Corporations have an especially important role to play in helping animals by adopting new, more humane ways of doing business.
Whether it’s pet stores pledging not to sell dogs from cruel puppy mills, designers and retailers going fur-free, or companies making innovations that improve the treatment of farm animals and wildlife, we applaud the businesses that are blazing a path for a more humane marketplace. In my upcoming book, “The Bond,” I argue that the corporate sector can help usher in a new “humane economy.”
This week, The HSUS gave special recognition to six companies with our 2010 Corporate Progress Awards, praising their efforts to advance animal welfare in 2010. The winners include: Burger King; Compass Group; Innolytics; Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines; Subway; and Unilever.
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In 2010, these companies each took action to help reduce the suffering of animals and move animal welfare forward in significant and meaningful ways. As with individuals, our test is not perfection, but forward progress. That’s the direction these companies are moving in.
Burger King doubled its usage of cage-free eggs nationwide, resulting in many thousand fewer hens being crammed inside tiny battery cages.
Compass Group – which operates 8,500 cafeterias in the United States – created a national “Be A Flexitarian” campaign in 2010. This resulted in many more meat-free meals at its clients’ cafeterias—which include corporate and university dining operations. Compass is also providing information promoting plant-based eating at these locations.
Innolytics is the company that makes OvoControl, a compound that safely prevents egg development in wild birds. Instead of shooting or poisoning birds, which are cruel and ineffective in the long term, OvoControl provides a humane and effective way to limit bird population growth. In 2010, OvoControl-P was approved for wide use in pigeons, paving the way for a better future for these often-abused birds.
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Royal Caribbean became the first cruise line company to start using cage-free eggs – leading its top two competitors, Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line, to follow suit.
Subway became the first U.S. fast food chain to commit to ending its usage of battery cage eggs entirely.
Finally, Unilever announced plans to switch all the eggs used in its Hellman’s mayonnaise products to cage-free, the first food manufacturer to make such a commitment.
It was a historic year for The HSUS and for progress on animal welfare issues, and a significant part of the credit for that is owed to these companies for paving the way toward humane-minded reforms in their operations. Kudos to the winners for helping raise the bar on the humane treatment of animals.