Ending factory farming. Ending animal cruelty.
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Despite a significant drop-off since the 1950s, data shows that American egg consumption is once again on the rise. Today, the majority of commercial laying hens are kept in cramped, caged conditions in factory farms. In cages, hens are unable to move and perform behaviors that are central to their welfare, such as laying eggs in nests, flapping their wings, dustbathing, scratching, or perching. This results in poor quality of life, and significant animal welfare consequences.

Egg-laying hens in a cage-free system
Hens in Kipster's cage-free system

How can you help hens?

The simplest thing you can do for laying hens is to purchase cage-free eggs. Although the vast majority of eggs on grocery store shelves come from hens in cages, 35% of eggs produced in the United States are now from cage-free hens. The availability of cage-free eggs continues to grow each year in response to consumer demand and legislation change. 

And don’t forget: egg ingredients should also be a factor in your purchase decisions. Foods like mayonnaise, cakes, cookies, and pasta often contain eggs—and unless the packaging specifically says “cage-free,” they likely came from caged hens.


Compassion in World Farming's annual EggTrack report tracks major food company progress towards their commitments to source 100% cage-free eggs. EggTrack ensures companies can, and will, stick to their cage-free egg commitments, on or ahead of schedule.

Learn more

Learn the labels for eggs

A “cage-free” claim is better than no claim at all; however, a simple “cage-free” label on its own is not nearly as meaningful as an official certification. If eggs are a part of your diet, look for third-party animal welfare certifications like Global Animal Partnership (GAP), Animal Welfare Approved (AWA), Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) or Certified Humane. Check out our Learn the Labels page for more details. If you can’t find a certification on the label, look for the phrase “pasture-raised”—or “free range.”

Your health

Eating eggs from pasture-raised hens is even better for your health! In fact, pasture-raised eggs often contain more omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and Vitamin E.

Download our free Compassionate Food Guide for more information on buying eggs.


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