Humane Society encourages the support of cage-free eggs

The HSUS plans to launch a campaign to encourage support for cage-free egg production by asking visitors of allcreatures.hsus.org to either only buy eggs that are not produced by caged hens; buy fewer eggs; or replace eggs with some sort of substitute.

Objective: The HSUS plans to launch a campaign to encourage support for cage-free egg production by asking visitors of allcreatures.hsus.org to either only buy eggs that are not produced by caged hens; buy fewer eggs; or replace eggs with some sort of substitute. It is a new component to the Animals and Religion program, which aims to get religious communities to make more humane food choices.

Idea: While cage-free production eggs are widely available in stores, HSUS' program director Christine Gutleben said that asking people to give them up completely and immediately might be too big a step and discourage participation. Thus, the program chose the month of October - which includes St. Francis Day, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan - as the month it is asking participants to take the pledge. "Really, the idea is to foster mindfulness with respect to food choices, so people can start thinking about the implications of the food they buy," Gutleben said.

Tools: A media teleconference is planned for mid-August, featuring religious leaders from a number of faiths. The program has already started to collect endorsements from religious leaders and organizations around the country, and will rely on local congregations to help spread the word. It hopes to spread the campaign's message virally through Facebook and other social networking sites by providing Web site visitors with animation and informative multimedia. Events at the National Cathedral and elsewhere are also planned, as is some advertising.

Measurement: The amount of people taking the pledge and endorsements by religious leaders, scholars, and others will gauge success. Gutleben thinks pledges will total at least in the "high tens of thousands."

Organization: Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
Campaign: All Creatures Great and Small
PR Team: HSUS and Adfero Group
Launch: Mid-August
Budget: Undisclosed

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