Egging rights

It’s time for Temple to push for Sodexo to only use cage-free eggs.

It’s time for Temple to push for Sodexo to only use cage-free eggs.

Several student groups on Main Campus have started a movement to persuade Temple’s dining services to use only cage-free eggs, and it’s important for Temple to take heed before the issue becomes an embarrassment to our reputation.

Cage-free eggs are gathered from hens that aren’t kept in small metal cages in stacks of hundreds, the standard for some of the industry’s biggest companies.

The Temple News reports on the movement in Andy Whitlach’s article on page 2. This is an important issue, and Temple officials should urge Sodexo to use only cage-free eggs in its campus meals. The university may only account for a small fraction of Sodexo’s clientele, but Temple can have an impact on the cruel treatment of hens by insisting on eggs from only humanely treated hens.

Temple isn’t on the forefront of the fight for the use of strictly cage-free eggs. California voters recently passed a bill that outlaws the cramped, inhumane cages where hens are often kept. Rowan University and Ursinus University, both of which contract Sodexo for dining services, have gone cage-free. The University of Pennsylvania has done the same.

Nothing can be done about the university’s lack of leadership in the cage-free movement, but Temple has time to avoid becoming a holdout in an indefensible position. No excuse can hold Temple back from joining other institutions and switching to cage-free eggs.

Universities are supposed to educate and teach students how to make an impact, not just through their careers but also in their day-to-day lives. It’s difficult to defend benefiting from the cruel treatment of animals simply because it’s cheaper or easier. Dropping out of college is cheaper and easier, but it’s hard to believe the university would defend that.

Cage-free eggs are more expensive, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to be an indirect participant in enabling animal cruelty. University officials wouldn’t easily agree with the argument that college isn’t worth the high costs, so they cannot hide behind the same argument against cage-free eggs.

The Temple News supports students’ efforts to persuade Temple to strictly use cage-free eggs. Socially and environmentally, it’s the right thing to do. More importantly, though, it is the right thing to do morally.

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