If you typically start your day with a Croissan'wich, go ahead and pat yourself on the back: You'll soon be supporting cage-free farming. Burger King made major fast-food news this morning with the announcement that it will exclusively use eggs and pork from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017. It's the first national chain to vow to do so. The Humane Society, which pressed the move, is, unsurprisingly, thrilled. "So many tens of thousands of animals will now be in better living conditions," says a spokeswoman.
The numbers are actually a lot bigger than that: Burger King uses hundreds of millions of eggs and tens of millions of pounds of pork each year; 9% of the former and 20% of the latter are currently cage-free. The AP points out that with volume like that, the move could be a real game-changer for the egg and pork industry. And for the animals: Conventionally raised eggs come from hens who live their lives in cages that give them about an 8.5-by-11 sheet of paper's worth of space to move; most pork comes from sows that are stuck in narrow crates during their four-month pregnancies.