Making a difference for hens a step at a time

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Sometimes it can seem like an uphill battle campaigning for animals, but what we always stress to people is the difference perseverance can make and that we must never give up!

Dunedin petition

As part of our consumer and retailer campaign against battery cages, SAFE groups all over the country have been gathering signatures on a petition asking their local supermarkets to go cage-free. Last week, the SAFE Dunedin group, run entirely by volunteers, became the first to hand in their petition calling on their local New World to stop selling eggs from battery hens. They were out night and day in the lead-up to the petition handover, managing to collect 1700 signatures, and the handover was featured on Channel 9 – an awesome effort!

So how does a simple petition achieve anything, you might wonder.

Right now the government is considering the law in relation to hens kept for their eggs and SAFE has an e-card you can send to lobby the minister (sign at www.nocages.org.nz). But as consumers, we have a huge role to play in helping hens too, as have retailers, because we can’t rely on politicians to make the right decisions. Ultimately you have the power, because when we all stop buying caged eggs the industry will be forced to change.

Supermarkets and other retailers always want to hear from their customers – it’s how change happens – and will act on what they hear when they feel the good outweighs the potential loss. Already there are other retailers and supermarkets going cage-free, such as New World Metro Willis Street in Wellington, New World in Carterton, New World in Dannevirke and Four Squares in Featherston and Greymouth. And check out the work of Conscious Consumers, listing businesses against cages in NZ. And of course, according to a recent poll eight out of ten New Zealanders say they are opposed to battery cages – times are changing.

Dunedin New World has already indicated they’ll be looking into the issue and are at the moment working on changing the display and labelling of the egg department in their store.

Last word goes to Margaret:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead US anthropologist

What can you do?

  • Why not write to your local supermarket, or drop a note into their suggestion box, asking them to consider phasing out cage eggs? Use SAFE’s handy letter.
  • Send an e-card. Message the Minister directly and call for a ban on all cages.
  • Be careful what you buy. Check out SAFE’s guide to what egg labels really mean.
  • Go Egg Free! Check out the delicious egg-free recipes in SAFE’s recipes section.
  • Donate To Help Hens Your donation to SAFE will ensure SAFE continues to campaign against battery hen cages in New Zealand. Please give generously.

Mandy Carter, SAFE Campaign manager

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