Burger King has made a potentially strong impact on the animal right's movement with a promise that states the company will use nothing but cage free eggs by the year 2017.
The top ranked fast food chain announced Wednesday that by 2017, it expected all of its chicken and pork to come from cage-free chickens and pigs.
"So many tens of thousands of animals will now be in better living conditions," said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States. "Numerically this is significant because Burger King is such a big purchaser of these products."
Burger King began its cage free initiative back in 2007, after being pushed by animal right's groups like PETA to support the better treatment of animals. As of current, 9 percent of the fast food chain's eggs and 20 percent of its pork are cage free, according to the AP.
"We certainly hope that people will order the BK Veggie Burger when they go into Burger King," Matt Prescott, spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, told the AP News in 2007. "But the fact that Burger King has made positive changes for some of the animals killed for its restaurants will send a ripple effect through the fast food industry and show other companies that animal welfare cannot be ignored."
A full shift into cage free products could bolster business in the industry where some are already committed to the human treatment of animals, perhaps even encouraging others to join.
"We believe this decision will allow us to leverage our purchasing power to ensure the appropriate and proper treatment of animals by our vendors and suppliers," Jonathan Fitzpatrick, chief brand and operations officer of Burger King, told the AP.
The announcement addresses the issues of animals who are often packed so tightly into cages that they are unable to move, often suffering from injury and illness as a result.