My name is Jeremy Goldman, and I am a student at Tufts University. I am sure that you will agree with me that when students take the time to speak out for a worthy cause, universities should be proud of them and support their efforts. Unfortunately, my school is not supporting students as we speak up to ask for a simple switch from cruel, unsafe battery cage eggs to cage-free eggs.
Standard battery cage egg-producing facilities are intensive factory farms, so brutal that they have been declared illegal animal cruelty across all European countries and many U.S. states. After being subjected to an extremely painful “debeaking” process in which young chicks’ beaks are seared off with a hot blade, six to eight hens are confined to one wire cage with floor-space per bird no larger than a sheet of notebook paper for their entire lives. Broken bones, respiratory problems, deliberate “starvation periods,” and countless other horrors are extremely common, and “layer hens” are rarely, if ever, offered individual veterinary care.
Not only are these factory farms bad for animals, they are terrible for the environment, for workers, and for food safety. Environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council, labor groups like the United Farm Workers and the Cesar Chavez Foundation, and food safety groups like the Center for Food Safety all support a ban on battery cage eggs and a switch to cage-free. Battery cage eggs offer a much higher risk of salmonella, the most common cause of food poisoning today.
We are saddened to find that Tufts Dining has placed such low priority on student health. Hundreds of colleges across the country, including nearly every other college and university in the Boston area, have already gone cage-free, and Tufts University has received hundreds of letters, calls, and emails from individual alumni, students, and other welfare advocates asking that the switch be made. Hundreds of students have signed a petition calling for the switch, and we have passed a nearly unanimous Student Government Senate resolution in support of the switch as well. Our concerns have fallen on deaf ears, and we Tufts students are devastated to see our school lagging so far behind in standard sustainability and public health efforts.
Despite the overwhelming student support for a progressive change, Tufts has failed to listen to its students and still supports barbaric battery cage facilities. Concerned students and alumni cannot even get a response from dining about this issue. For this reason, we are reaching out to caring consumers like you across the United States, urging you to please use your voice to help Tufts students and alumni by joining us in calling for a change.
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Many Tufts students have joined together and sent petitions, letters, and even passed a student government resolution calling for a switch to using only cage-free eggs. When this happened at other local schools, they listened; nearly every other college and university in the Boston area have already made the switch to cage-free eggs. I am very disappointed that Tufts is not supporting its students in their wish to be served healthy, sustainable food. Tufts should be a leader in these sort of sustainability initiatives, and should be quick to respond when students call out so unanimously for a change.
I look forward to hearing very soon that Tufts Dining has decided to make the smart, ethical decision to switch to 100% cage-free eggs.