Whether you’re a five-star restaurant or a college dining program, it’s important to be tuned in to your audience’s wants and needs. Harvard University recently switched over to sourcing only cage-free eggs after its students staged a protest and petition campaign that netted over 7,000 supporters. That leaves the University of Delaware as reportedly the only major college along the Northeast Corridor that has yet to switch over from battery cages to free-range eggs – but its students are hoping to change that.
More than 1,500 people have so far joined a campaign on Change.org, led by University of Delaware student Chelsea McFadden, calling on the University of Delaware to switch to cage-free eggs.
“The University of Delaware has already made significant strides in supporting more responsible methods of meeting its needs – such as introducing hybrid buses, instituting single-stream recycling throughout the campus, starting a composting program, and more. Switching from battery-cage eggs to cage-free is another step the University should take on its current path,” said McFadden in a statement issued to the press. “Cage-free eggs are more humane, more environmentally sustainable, and a healthier option for UD students – all things that should be a top priority for the state of Delaware's largest institution of higher-education.”
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Boosting the strength of the campaign, McFadden’s campaign gained the support of The Humane League, a grassroots animal advocacy organization.
"Over the past few years, student activists at hundreds of colleges across the country have successfully campaigned to get their dining halls to go cage-free,” said Nick Cooney, Director of The Humane League. “Not only are they succeeding in making their schools more sustainable, humane, and higher in food safety, but they're also proving that a small group of passionate people really can educate an entire campus and bring about a crucial sustainability improvement."
The dining program directors at University of Delaware will have a lot to consider. But when students have unlimited options for where to spend their money – both on their education and on their meals – it seems that taking students’ reasonable demands on sustainable food sourcing into consideration would be a very good idea.