In October and November of 2017, ARM initiated its first battery cage hen investigation, as a part of its Factory Farm Division. During this time, an ARM operative was employed at the Cal-Maine facility located in Lake Wales, Florida, which is part of a grand scale corporation of Cal-Maine Foods, Inc – a public egg production company that is known to be the largest producer and marketer of shell eggs within the United States.
In its 2017 annual report, Cal-Maine Foods recorded $1,074.5 million dollars in annual sales and sold 1.031 billion dozen shell eggs, representing approximately 20 per cent of domestic shell egg consumption in the United States. As of the end of the fiscal year, Cal-Maine also reported to owning an estimated 36.1 million laying hens and 9.5 million pullets (female chickens under the age of 18 weeks of age), all of who are subjected to daily abuse, confinement and torture.
Whilst undercover, ARM’s investigator confirmed extensive evidence that has previously been bought to light by other animal welfare organizations, regarding the inherent cruelty of egg-laying hens. In 2010, HSUS conducted investigations at the Cal-Maine facility in Waelder, Texas. PETA has also executed its own investigations within the industry. This demonstrates that ARM’s findings are not isolated and clearly demonstrate a lack of improvements made to the standards of animal welfare to battery hens over the last seven years. The widespread issue concerning the animal welfare of battery caged hens continues today with ARM’s continuing evidence of the animals living under appalling, inhumane conditions.
Whilst undercover at the Lake Wales (FL) facility, investigators witnessed and documented animal cruelty crimes and atrocities where battery hens are confined in over crowded cages for their entire lives where they are often trampled, strangled and suffocated to death. On average, nine hens occupy one cage, allocating each hen 67 square inches of living room. Click HERE to learn more about the unsanitary conditions and abuse of battery hens that ARM uncovered in its investigation.
ARM’s immediate goal with its Cal-Maine investigation, lay in enforcing criminal charges upon the animal abusers of the Lake Wales facility who have inflicted daily mistreatment to the hens. At the release of this investigation, the supervisor of the Lake Wales Cal-Maine facility was arrested and charged for animal cruelty.
Raising awareness to consumers, also stands at the forefront of ARM’s investigations. This particular investigation was executed to expose the hidden realities of factory farm industries and the abuse that the animals amongst production lines are subjected to in order to produce supplies for human consumption.
As with dairy products, there are many alternatives of using eggs that are readily available in most supermarkets.
ARM’s message stands to educate and inspire others to adopt plant-based diets, and to lead more compassionate lifestyles.