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Hollywood Food Activism Goes Mainstream: Brad Pitt Has a Special Message for Costco


Food activism has suddenly become hip in Hollywood, and even Brad Pitt is now getting in on the act.

Recently, Pitt reached out to the supermarket giant Costco, which was expected to become the number one seller of organic food in the United States, asking them to change something very important about their operations.

In 2007, Costco made a major promise to its consumers about its egg industry that could have made a serious change in the animal welfare department in this country, and yet Pitt and others are accusing the retail giant of not living up to it.

According to this article from the website TakePart, Bill Maher, Ryan Gosling and others are among those who have called out Costco on the promise to source its eggs from cage-free suppliers.

Costco Mistreatment? 

Prior to the Pitt announcement, the Humane Society allegedly showed hens being badly treated at a Costco supplier in June.

Pitt had the following to say: “As you know, these birds producing eggs for your shelves are crammed five or more into cages that are not large enough for even one hen to spread her wings,” Pitt wrote in a letter addressed to Costco CEO Craig Jelinek. “In these cruel cages, the animals’ muscles and bones atrophy from years of immobilization. That’s why the cages are illegal in most of Europe, and why California banned the cages by an overwhelming vote years ago.”

(As the Takepart article noted the California law outlaws battery cages but in effect gives the birds more room).

Pitt hasn’t been satisfied with the explanations of Costco to date.

“I admire Costco’s many positive social commitments. You’ve shown great courage and integrity on a range of issues,” he wrote in his letter. “Won’t you please extend that sensibility—and basic decency—to chickens?”

For more on this story visit the TakePart page here. It’s also worth knowing that cage-free and organic are far from the same and organic, pastured eggs are always best, preferably from small farmers and not large-scale industrial operations. Most chickens are fed GMO soy and corn feed but are naturally designed to roam free and eat from the yard.