Controversial 'Gestation Crates' Eliminated from IHOP, Applebee’s Supply Chains

Cages are too small to even let pigs turn around

There are plenty of horrifying things that go on in the places that supply meat to our restaurants and kitchen tables, and two major chains, IHOP and Applebee’s, have vowed to remove one of them entirely from their supply chains: gestation crates.

These tiny cages are home to breeding pigs for their entire lives. In the practice, pregnant pigs are confined to these small cages, which don’t even allow them to turn around, for the entirety of their four-month pregnancy. They’re then transferred to another cage to give birth, re-impregnated, then returned to the cages.

DineEquity, Inc., which owns IHOP and Applebee's, announced that they have begun phasing out this inhumane practice and will serve gestation cage-free pork by 2020.

"Today, we are pleased to announce that DineEquity expects all of our vendors to phase out the practice known as 'pig gestation crating,' Kevin Mortesen, DineEquity's vice president of communications, said in a release." We recognize there are challenges to meeting this goal, but as one of the world`s largest full-service restaurant companies, we are confident our suppliers will meet our expectations and work with us to achieve this objective."

Thankfully, DineEquity has jumped on a popular bandwagon. Oscar Mayer, McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Costco, Safeway, Kroger, Smithfield, Hormel, and many other major food companies have also begun to phase out gestation crates, and nine U.S. states have already outlawed the practice. 

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