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Tim Hortons, Burger King to Go “Cage-Free,” But how “Free” is it?

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Restaurant Brands International, parent company of chains such as Tim Hortons and Burger King, has announced plans to implement a cage-free egg goal by the year 2025. While consumers and plenty of animal advocates are calling this a massive victory for the chickens, this isn’t a baby step as much as it’s standing stagnant.

“We understand that change can’t happen overnight,” said Sayara Thurston, a campaigner with the Canadian branch of Humane Society International, speaking to the fact that the goal is to be cage free nine years from now.

Cage free hens are just that – cage free. While they are still forced to undergo beak mutilation in order to protect one another in the cramped conditions they are kept in, cage free continues to be touted as a more humane practice. Hens that have ceased egg production will continue to go to slaughter. Simply removing the battery cages that hens are typically forced to live in doesn’t do anything at all to remedy the plight of the exploited birds, other than to fool consumers into thinking this choice is somehow more ethical than abstaining from egg consumption.

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