Google stands up for poultry rights

13-05-2006 | |

Google, which makes billions of dollars helping computer users navigate the Internet, has already a lot of eggs in its basket, but now wants them to be cage free. Animal rights groups urged the switch.

In a growing animal welfare trend that is being embraced by natural foods markets, universities and technology companies, Google officials plan to announce their employee cafeterias will no longer serve eggs that come from hens housed in cages.

Google employs roughly 6,000 workers, consumes about 300,000 eggs a year and uses 3,500 kg of liquid egg products in its baking and cooking. By year end, the company will have 12 cafes on its Mountain View, California campus.

“This is a matter of common decency,” said Paul Shapiro, director of the factory-farming campaign at the Humane Society of the United States, in Washington D.C. “These animals are completely at our mercy. It should be a source of shame for us how miserably we treat them.”

The egg campaign, championed by the Humane Society, is the 2006 version of previous efforts by environmental and animal rights groups to steer shoppers toward socially responsible food choices.

Google officials say the decision is part of a wider effort to incorporate environmental and social values into food choices.

“We’re happy to do it,” said John Dickman, Google’s global food services manager. “There’s a ripple effect that I think will happen. Other companies also will want to ensure humane treatment of animals.”