Confirmed victory

As a loyal Au Bon Pain customer for years, I couldn’t imagine my morning routine without their coffee and breakfast sandwiches. However, I recently learned that Au Bon Pain is sourcing their eggs and meat from animals kept in deplorable confinement systems—battery cages and gestation crates.

I work as a veterinary technician, and while I am committed to reducing the suffering of animals, it doesn’t take a career in animal welfare to see that battery cages and gestation crates are inhumane and outdated. I can no longer support a restaurant whose products are the result of such bleak and unnecessary living conditions for animals.

“Battery cage” egg farms are 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.

“Gestation crates” are cages for mother pigs that are roughly 2 feet by 7 feet, not even large enough for the pig to turn around which renders them immoblized for months at a time. These confinement systems are a food safety threat, as well as a public health hazard.

Nine states have banned gestation and/or battery cages, while the European Union has outlawed these abuses, as well. Many food producers, like Smithfield and Hormel, and Au Bon Pain’s competitors, including Wendy’s, Burger King, Denny’s, Dunkin Donuts, and McDonald’s, have announced their plans to stop sourcing pork from farms using gestation crates; in announcing their decision, McDonald’s released a statement saying the company “believes gestation stalls are not a sustainable production system for the future. There are alternatives we think are better for the welfare of sows.” Many companies have also decided to stop sourcing their eggs from hens kept in battery cages, not simply in the interest of profits but because it is (as a Burger King spokesperson said) “the right thing to do.”

Please send Au Bon Pain a friendly message urging them to join dozens of other retailers committed to sourcing their eggs and meat from farms that do not use these terrible confinement systems.

Letter to
CEO Sue Morelli
Director of Marketing David Nace
CSO John Billingsley
and 7 others
SVP and CIO Denis Malin
CFO Mike Lynch
Senior VP, Franchising Bernard Platt
VP of Marketing Walter Erwin
Chief Brand Officer Maria Feicht
Guest Services Guest Services
SVP of Food and Beverage Systems Stefano Cordova
I recently learned that Au Bon Pain is still sourcing its eggs and meat from farms that use battery cage and gestation crate systems. These farming practices are unnecessarily cruel and dangerous, and Au Bon Pain should commit to supporting more humane living conditions for farm animals. I want to be able to enjoy your restaurant’s food and know that animals did not suffer needlessly for it. Please join your fellow retailers and announce your plan to move away from these confinement systems.