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 worked under as an employee of the Cal-Maine facility located in Lake Wales, Florida. This facility is part of the grand scale corporation of Cal-Maine Foods, Inc – 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 yearly sales. They sold 1.031 billion dozen shell eggs, representing approximately 20 percent of domestic shell egg consumption in the United States. As of the end of the fiscal year, Cal-Maine also reported 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 whom suffer daily abuse, confinement, and torture.
Undercover, ARM’s investigator confirmed extensive evidence that other animal welfare organizations had previously brought to light regarding the inherent cruelty of egg-laying hens. In 2010, HSUS conducted investigations at the Cal-Maine facility in Waelder, Texas. PETA has also conducted investigations within the industry, demonstrating that ARM’s findings are not isolated and show a lack of improvements made to animal welfare standards 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.
While undercover at the Lake Wales (FL) facility, investigators witnessed and documented animal cruelty crimes and atrocities. Battery hens confined in overcrowded cages for their entire lives are trampled, strangled and suffocated to death. On average, nine hens occupy one cage, allocating each hen 67 square inches of the living space.
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 Lake Wales Cal-Maine facility supervisor was arrested and charged for animal cruelty.
Raising awareness to consumers also stands at the forefront of ARM’s investigations. This investigation aimed to expose the hidden realities of factory farm industries and the abuse that the animals amongst production lines suffer to produce supplies for human consumption.
As with dairy products, there are many alternatives to using eggs 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.