• Petitioned Drew Gilpin Faust

This petition was delivered to:

Drew Gilpin Faust
Harvard Sustainability
Sustainability Office
Asst. VP, Communications
John Longbrake
Interim Director, HUHDS
David Davidson

Harvard University: Go Cage-Free!

    1. Petition by

      Marina Bolotnikova

      Cambridge, MA

October 2011


Although Harvard University used some cage-free eggs, students and alumni wanted more humane dining halls serving 100% cage-free eggs. For months, Harvard University Dining Services defended its decision to continue serving battery cage eggs. Then Harvard students started a Change.org petition, and gathered more than 7,000 signatures. They enlisted the support of major donors who pledged to withhold donations from the university unless they went cage-free. The students even talked to the university president, who expressed his support for their campaign. On October 17, HUDS acknowledged that "customers have expressed a strong interest in this change" and announced that by the end of October, all of Harvard's eggs - both shell and liquid - would be cage-free, the equivalent of 1.8 million eggs.

Harvard University currently buys eggs from cruel and unsustainable "battery cage" egg farms—massive warehouses where hens are confined to cages so small they cannot spread their wings and can barely turn around. Hens live among the feces and waste of other birds, and their feathers are often torn off due to constant rubbing against the cage bars. Battery cages are so cruel that they have been banned in California, Michigan, Ohio and throughout the European Union. There is currently a bill in the Massachusetts state house that will make battery cages illegal to use, and the Cambridge city council passed a resolution asking Cambridge residents and business to use only cage-free eggs.

The Center for Food Safety and the Consumer Federation of America have both supported a ban on battery cages due to the drastically increased risk of salmonella contamination and other human health risks. Groups like the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the US. Battery cage farms have also been condemned as unsustainable by environmental organizations like the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council because of their serious impact on air and water quality.

Hundreds of other colleges and universities have already made a switch to cage-free, including local schools like Brandeis, Emerson, Lesley, and Bay State, as well as Yale and hundreds of other universities across the country.  It's time for Harvard University to make the committment to go cage-free just like these many schools have already done! Please sign the petition asking Harvard University to go cage-free! Sharing this petition on your Facebook would also be extremely helpful!


Recent signatures


    1. Harvard's 375th Birthday

      Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      Help encourage Harvard to celebrate with compassion by tweeting: Will @Harvard's 375th birthday cake be made with cage-free eggs? http://chn.ge/nDF8XF #harvard375

    2. Reached 7,000 signatures
    3. Harvard Students Bring Cage-Free Campaign to University President

      Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      Nearly 7,000 people have signed on to student Marina Bolotnikova's petition asking Harvard University to switch to 100 percent cage-free eggs.
      Although she started the petition on Change.org, Bolotnikova says she can't take credit for how far the...

    4. Harvard students push for all cage-free eggs

      Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      Boston Environmental News Examiner covers the cage-free movement at Harvard.

    5. Reached 6,000 signatures
    6. Colleges across the U.S. are adopting cage-free policies

      Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      Yale, Princeton, and University of Pennsylvania are all 100% cage-free. Now it's Harvard's turn.

    7. Reached 2,500 signatures
    8. Harvard Donors Push for Cage Free Eggs

      Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      21 Harvard donors have pledged to withhold further donations until Harvard goes cage-free.

    9. Reached 2,000 signatures
    10. Harvard Students Demand Cage-Free Eggs in Dining Halls

      Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      No one ever said Harvard students were bird brains.
      For years, Harvard students have campaigned for cage-free eggs in the dining halls. And this year the campaign has really taken flight: volunteers gathered over 7,000 signatures on a petition for...

    11. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • mayllet paz SWANTON, VT
      • about 3 years ago

      I learned not too long ago that cage free is not the solution... we need to consume FREE RANGE EGGS... a cage free chicken may not see sun light ever, they could be steeping on one other bc it is over populated. Check youtube about this. the truth of C.free eggs...\

      • about 3 years ago

      I'm so completely disgusted that anyone allows such cruelty in the 21st century.

    • Francine Moise PANAMá, PANAMA
      • about 3 years ago

      The suffering of mistreated animals creates chemical information that makes sick. Also, slavery was abolished for Jews, then for colored people, then for all people: let´s make it for all earthlings!

    • Douglas Headland ACT, AUSTRALIA
      • about 3 years ago

      There is absolutely no reason for an institution of Harvard's calibre to continue using cage eggs. This is literally a matter of spending just a few more dollars on the ethical option; that we actually need to petition them on the matter is mildly disappointing, really.

      • about 3 years ago

      I hope that this will be a start to a cage-free campaign, that is gonna be spread throughout the world, and affect my country too.


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