Correcting the misinformation

Hall council meetings need straight facts before debating cage-free egg proposals for University Dining Services.

This Sunday, the Residence Hall Association will vote on whether to recommend that University Dining Services switch to using Certified Humane cage-free eggs or to continue using eggs from a battery-cage facility.

In the interest of supporting a vote based on facts, Compassionate Action for Animals would like to correct some of the misinformation that has been voiced at various venues where this issue has been discussed.

Each of the 11 residence hall councils on campus held hall council meetings where the cage-free egg issue was discussed.

At many of these meetings it was suggested that if UDS switched to cage-free eggs, prices would increase at least $8 per semester per student on a 19 meal-per-week meal plan.

Compassionate Action for Animals has confirmed with Dining and Residential Operations director Karen DeVet that this number is not accurate.

Rather, UDS is standing behind the claim that board rates would increase 0.4 percent per student.

Assuming a 4.3 percent increase in meal plan prices ‘ the price increase by the University ‘ the calculated price increase suggested for the 19 meals-per-week plan is $5.91, or roughly 2 cents per meal.

At the Middlebrook Hall Council meeting last week, those in attendance were supportive of the switch to cage-free eggs until it was announced that such a switch would come at the expense of new continental breakfasts.

Compassionate Action for Animals again has confirmed with UDS that this is, in fact, incorrect information.

Compassionate Action for Animals members in attendance were not allowed to respond to these and several misconceptions about the switch and Certified Humane cage-free eggs voiced at some of the hall council meetings.

Similarly, Compassionate Action for Animals will not be allowed to field questions at the RHA meeting this Sunday. This will prevent the representatives from making the most informed decision.

The University has the potential to follow the European Union; grocers Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Wild Oats; and more than 75 other schools that have recognized the inherent cruelties of battery-cage egg production.

Tufts, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the universities of Connecticut, New Hampshire and Iowa, Georgetown University and American University are just a few of the schools committed to using cage-free eggs.

Compassionate Action for Animals strongly recommends that individuals read the information and view the pictures on our Web site of the facility where UDS currently sources most of its eggs (www.exploreveg.org).

A 17-month life spent entirely in a cramped cage is no life at all for a hen, a heinous practice justifiable only on economic grounds.

In the words of conservative commentator Matthew Scully, let’s recognize the “cost saving” of battery-cage egg production as the “moral shortcut” that it is.

Gil Schwartz is the campaign coordinator for Compassionate Action for Animals. Please send comments to [email protected].