The company behind Chili’s baby back ribs is planning to use pork from better-treated pigs, joining a long list of restaurant chains already doing the same.
Brinker International, which owns Chili’s, said it will weed so-called gestation crates out of its pork supply.
The cramped cages are used to house pregnant sows and have recently been disavowed by food companies including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Costco and more.
So far, nine states have banned gestation crates for mother pigs, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Earlier this week, Dunkin’ Donuts pledged to start using cage-free eggs and pork raised in more humane conditions.
Brinker owns more than 1,500 Chili’s Grill & Bar locations along with the Maggiano’s Little Italy brand.
“Brinker acknowledges there are various ways to achieve our animal welfare beliefs … including phasing out gestation stalls,” the company said on its website.
“As an industry leader, we have the opportunity to influence the way animals supplied to us are treated, and our ultimate goal is to deal with suppliers who meet our high standards of approval and share our ongoing commitment to animal welfare,” Brinker said.
The company cautioned that working with its pork suppliers to phase out the practice “will take time.” Over the next five to seven years, Brinker said it will aim to buy “a substantial majority” of its pork from vendors opposed to gestation stalls.
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