Pets

An American Icon is Being Called Out for Extreme Animal Cruelty


Today, Animal Equality launches its latest campaign in the fight to spare pigs from the extreme suffering that comes from being confined to a cage. 

Denny’s, the American diner-style restaurant chain known for always being open, promised to end the use of crates for mother pigs 10 years ago. Instead of fulfilling its commitment, Denny’s has reported little progress in reducing and removing gestation crates from their supply chain, and now refuses to be transparent about further plans to stop forcing mother pigs to be locked in crates that are so cruel, they are banned in ten US states as well as in the United Kingdom and Sweden.

Major companies across all sectors are on track to seriously reduce the use of gestation crates in their supply chains, as a step to eliminating crates entirely, by 2025 or 2026, including Jack in the Box, Burger King, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s. Other prominent companies, like Chipotle and Shake Shack, have been crate-free for years.

There is no excuse for Denny’s to continue authorizing such horrific animal cruelty.

Gestation Crates for Mother Pigs

Confined to a 7-by-2-foot gestation crate, the majority of the 6 million mother pigs in the US live in a space barely bigger than their own bodies. They are unable to turn around or exhibit any natural behaviors for most of their lives. Many resort to biting the metal bars of the crates and banging their heads against them from stress. It’s a physically and emotionally devastating existence for these intelligent animals.

Extensive academic research has demonstrated that gestation crates cause both physical harm and psychological distress. Prominent animal behavior experts like Dr. Temple Grandin, have been critical of gestation crates, with Grandin plainly stating that “[Confinement is] not life…the way I look at it is: How would you like to live in an airline seat?”

Animal Equality’s Work to Help Pigs

Animal Equality’s advocacy for pigs used in the food industry started in the earliest days of the organization, 16 years ago. We’ve gone undercover inside pig farms time and time again to document and expose the cruel treatment pigs are forced to endure. In one investigation into a pig farm in Lombardy, Italy in 2021, which we carried out in collaboration with a local Italian television station, footage revealed disgusting conditions and animals with large umbilical cysts, wounds, and hernias. We even found mummified and worm-filled carcasses of dead pigs abandoned in the corridors of the farm, a clear violation of animal disposal laws. This farm was affiliated with the Bompieri Group, whose products are known through a marketing slogan to be the “Excellence of Made in Italy.”

Another investigation carried out in Spain that same year, exposed pigs living amongst excrement, as well as eating food and drinking water contaminated with feces. We found several injured pigs, some only able to crawl, while others who didn’t have the strength to move were left to die.

We are dedicated to raising awareness so the public can see for themselves what the meat, egg, dairy, and fishing industries do to animals. We campaign to convince companies to update their policies that improve the lives of animals, and our team of attorneys advocate for increased protections and animal rights.

Campaigning for an End to Cruel Confinement

In July of 2022, Animal Equality launched a campaign against the multi-billion dollar company, Compass Group, calling out its abandoned commitment to phase out crates for pregnant mother pigs. Animal activists and supporters took action against the company by sending thousands of emails and tweets to Compass executives and clients, like Google, Nike, Boeing, and Bloomberg, asking them to “break ties with cruelty.” 

Due to the company remaining unresponsive, Animal Equality organized a protest outside of Bank of America, a powerful client of Compass Group. The protest called on Bank of America to use its influence and urge that Compass keeps its commitment. Within just a short week of the protest, Compass Group renewed its policy to eliminate gestation crates for mother pigs in its supply chain. 

On the heels of that progress, we worked with the 4th largest foodservice provider in the US, Delaware North, to release a similar policy for pigs.

And just this month, we helped convince Jack in the Box to also increase protections for mother pigs, sparing nearly 15,000 animals from extreme suffering each year.

Our team and our supporters work tirelessly to hold companies accountable for the sake of mother pigs. These campaigns that impact tens of thousands of pigs show just how influential our voices can be to help protect animals suffering for their meat.

How you can make a difference for animals

Visit our campaign page where you can easily contact Denny’s leadership and demand action for mother pigs!

Are you or someone you know in the Austin, Texas area? We’re planning an impactful protest at Denny’s on Sunday, Feb 5th. Please share the event with your friends and family near Austin!

You can also make meaningful choices that help farmed animals by reducing or cutting out the consumption of animal products. Making the switch doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your favorite foods. Get inspired by compassionate options and plant-based recipes at LoveVeg.com.



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