Brad Pitt, Bill Maher Criticize Costco Over Treatment Of Caged Hens

In a letter to Costco CEO Craig Jelinek, Brad Pitt urged the company to stop the sale of eggs from caged hens, saying that the practice constitutes animal cruelty.

"As you know, these birds producing eggs for your shelves are crammed five or more into cages that are not large enough for even one hen to spread her wings," Pitt wrote in a letter to the company on Thursday, July 16.

"In these cruel cages, the animals' muscles and bones atrophy from years of immobilization. That's why the cages are illegal in most of Europe, and why California banned the cages by an overwhelming vote years ago."

Furthermore, Pitt pointed out that "nearly a decade ago," the company indeed pledged to create a timeline to remove such cages from its egg supply chain, but to date, has not made any such efforts.

Just last week, comedian and television host Bill Maher took Costco to task on the same issue, calling out the wholesale giant in a New York Times editorial for participating in animal cruelty as though it were "business as usual."

In a statement which did not directly address the recent celebrity attention, Costco indicated that although the company was "committed to the ethical treatment of animals," it had yet to decide whether or not to remove its hens from cages.