Readers React

Why buy "cage-free" when you can go egg-free?

To the editor: Thank you for reminding readers that California voters decisively backed Proposition 2 in 2008 in order to improve the lives of millions of hens. The key word here is "improve." ("California's egg-laying hens to get their breathing room," Editorial, Dec. 26)

What may not be clear is that the labels used on egg cartons can be very misleading to consumers. Many think that a "cage-free" label means the hens are outside roaming and pecking to their hearts' content, which is far from the truth. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines it as, "The flock was able to freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water."

Some farms cram tens of thousands of hens in dark buildings where the toxic stench is overwhelming, and the hens never see the light of day, let alone "freely roam" since that is more than difficult.

For many of us it's easier to choose "egg-free" than decipher the labels on those egg cartons.

Valerie Belt, Pacific Palisades

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