Monday, June 28, 2010

EBAA Press Release Issued about Little Debbie Campaign:


Group Encourages Snack Food Giant to Reduce Animal Suffering in Supply Chain

(June 28, 2010) – Little Debbie, owned by Collegedale, Tenn.-based McKee Foods, is the new target of a national campaign against animal cruelty by East Bay Animal Advocates, a California-based animal protection charity that works to alleviate farm animal suffering.

Little Debbie products contain eggs from hens confined in tiny metal cages. These barren cages prevent them from engaging in many behaviors important to their well-being, and they are so small, they nearly immobilize hens for their entire lives. The practice of confining hens in cages has been outlawed in California and Michigan and condemned by public figures from Oprah Winfrey to Ellen DeGeneres to Pope Benedict XVI. Little Debbie competitors Sara Lee and Pepperidge Farm have started using cage-free eggs, as have dozens of other major companies (e.g. Burger King, Wendy’s, Denny’s, Cracker Barrel, and Hellmann’s Mayonnaise).

At the center of EBAA’s campaign—launched after McKee Foods ignored several attempts to engage in private communications about the issue—is the website, which is a parody of the Little Debbie website. Viewers of will see a graphic video detailing the cruelty inherent in confining hens in cages and are encouraged to contact both McKee Foods’ president, Mike McKee, as well as Little Debbie’s namesake – Debbie McKee-Fowler, whose grandfather founded the company and who now serves as Executive Vice President of McKee Foods.

EBAA is also sending copies of its new “Little Debbie Tortures Animals” leaflet to activists nationwide, who will distribute them at gas stations and grocery outlets where Little Debbie products are sold.

“Little Debbie could greatly improve the lives of animals in its supply chain simply by switching to cage-free eggs, as many other companies have started doing,” stated Shannon Campbell, president of East Bay Animal Advocates. “There’s no excuse for confining birds in such small cages that they can’t even extend their wings.”

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