BZI

Los Angeles

Actor Brad Pitt just shared a major grievance he has with one of the nation’s largest retailers, Costco. 

The company has received a lot of negative media attention lately for its practice of selling caged bird eggs. In a letter to Craig Jelinek, Costco’s CEO, Pitt condemns the retailer for this practice and urges the chain to halt the sale of factory-farmed eggs.

“Nearly a decade ago, Costco indicated that its next step on this issue would be creating a timeline for getting those cages out of your egg supply, and yet today, you appear to have made no progress at all-even as you have set timelines for getting pigs and calves out of cages,” Pitt writes. In 2007, the company announced that one of its goals was to stop selling eggs from caged hens.

Like actor Ryan Gosling, who wrote a letter to Costco last month calling the company out for alleged mistreatment of hens at one of its suppliers, Pitt addresses the conditions found in the chain’s egg suppliers. “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 writes. “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.”

For its part, Costco says it’s committed to the ethical treatment of animals. “Our mission statement to this effect is contained on our web site,” the company said in a statement. “We enforce this through testing and inspection of facilities, done by persons who are independent of the suppliers.” The statement continued: “There are vigorous debates about animal welfare and laying hens. Some, such as the Humane Society, advocate that hens be “cage free,” and not confined in cages. Some advocate that cages are safer for hens. Some jurisdictions, such as California, have laws mandating that eggs derive from hens confined in cages of a certain size.”

(See the complete statement at the end of this post.)