This past week I was working on a post about my meat-eating brother who also just happens to eat a ton of meat and dairy alternatives. When we spoke over the phone, he told me that one of the brands he loves is MorningStar Farms, but that he knew not all of their products were vegan.
After I compiled my list of his favorite vegan products, I went and researched the ones made my MorningStar so I could confirm which ones were 100 percent plant-based. Turns out about half of them were, the others had egg in them.
But then I came across this article in Forbes. According to this, it looks as though MorningStar is making a concerted effort to do away with using eggs and plans to make its entire retail and foodservice lines vegan by 2021. With the market shifting due to the massive interest in plant-based eating, MorningStar knows it needs to catch up. It can either modernize and go vegan like its competitors, or it can keep using eggs and become a relic.
This is majorly significant for two reasons. The first is that MorningStar is one of the oldest and most widely-sold veggie brands in the country. This means that millions of people will now have ready access to meat replacements that are completely vegan. Lack of accessibility is one of the leading causes of recidivism amongst people who give up meat, dairy, and eggs; so MorningStar going vegan will make it that much easier for people to go and stay vegan.
The second reason is that MorningStar currently uses over 300 million eggs per year in its products. 300 MILLION. Let that number sink in for a second. Those hundreds of millions of eggs come from millions of hens who suffer miserably on factory farms. These poor birds live their entire lives in battery cages; crammed wire cages they share with five to six other birds. These cages are so small birds can’t even fully extend their wings. They will never feel the grass beneath their feet, feel the sun on their back, or breathe fresh air. Instead their entire lives will be spent losing their minds in utter anguish. After about two years of this torture, a hen’s body simply gives out and they become “spent.” At that point, they’re sent to slaughter – though many hens will die right there in their cages.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: What about cage-free eggs? Aside from the fact that only about five percent of eggs in the U.S. actually comes from cage-free facilities, the truth is those operations are not much better. Those birds are still crammed by the thousands inside sheds with little or no access to the outdoors. They face painful mutilations such as having the ends of their sensitive beaks sliced off. And in the end, they are also slaughtered.
Take a look at this undercover investigation that was done on a “free-range” and “humane” egg farm:
This move by MorningStar truly has the potential to spare millions of innocent birds from a life of abject misery. And as someone who cares about all animals – not just the ones we think are cute or the ones we live with – this is truly something to celebrate.
MorningStar will be making this transition slowly and I’ve noticed they’ve started putting the word “vegan” big and bold on their packaging, so look out for in the supermarket. Well done, MorningStar… Quorn, it’s your turn!
Main image: Instagram/morningstarfarms