My name is Lucy Gavaghan and I am 14 years old. I became interested in poultry after meeting a small flock of hens on a livery yard where my sister’s pony lived. I wasn’t particularly fond of chickens before then, but something about seeing them roaming completely freely opened my eyes to what wonderful animals they really are!
It was after this that I started to research how hens are commercially treated. Caged hens spend 72 weeks cramped in restrictive cages, unable to spread their wings or experience the outside world. After this time, many of the hens are barely feathered and close to death. The space available per hen is marginally larger than an A4 sheet of paper! The fact that hens can lay eggs which provide significant income for supermarkets, doesn’t justify forcing them into a life restricted to a cage. No animal deserves to live like this.
After discovering all of this, I felt as though I needed to do something to change it. So I began to write letters to supermarkets asking them to change their ways and launched my petition ‘End the sale of eggs from caged hens in Tesco’. The overall response has been overwhelmingly positive! Obviously there are always people who may not agree, but that’s to be expected with this kind of issue.
Initially Tesco seemed to be unwilling to move on their policies, but I kept on asking and after the petition gathered more than 280,000 signatures, 750 of my supporters sent letters and I met with Tesco’s head of agriculture, they agreed to go end the sale of eggs from caged hens by 2025! I was amazed when they decided to follow the petitions requests and announced this. However although this is a major step forward, the fight is nowhere near over…
Since then I have set up another petition to ask more supermarkets to change their practises, ‘End the sale of eggs from caged hens in Morrison’s and Asda’. Already after just one week, it has 175,000 signatures and Morrisons have agreed to go cage-free!
Now, I am awaiting a response from Asda. They are the last of the big four British supermarkets who haven’t yet made the commitment to go cage-free. Check out my petition for that here. After that, I plan to continue campaigning for the better treatment of commercial laying hens!
The food industry is so complicated, and so much of what happens is hidden from the public eye. That’s why it is the people who have to seek changes in the industry. These petitions against caged eggs have proven that the power to make change is really in the hands of the customers.
To anyone reading this, I would like to say, if you belief in a fair food industry that allows animals a decent life please join the transition to a free range future and sign my current petition here.