STAR fights for “ethical” eggs on campus

Campus dining services have made adjustments in the past to accommodate the demands of students and staff by stocking shelves with fair trade products and incorporating locally-grown produce and dairy in their prepared meals. But what about eggs?Students for True Animal Rights (STAR), a club on campus whose mission is to “educate people about the rights of other animals,” according to their web site, has been pushing for a change in the ingredients used by campus cafeterias. Currently UVM’s dining services use caged eggs for their food production, Carrie Faucher, STAR President explained. Using cage-free eggs means laying hens are able to roam freely and are not con?fined in wire battery cages.”STAR doesn’t want the University of Vermont con?tributing to the unethical treatment of animals,” Faucher said. “We need to show our community that we are taking action and making appropriate changes.” STAR recently incorporated a cage-free egg amendment to the SGA agenda, which would require all eggs used on campus to be cage-free. The cage-free request was bundled with a proposed meal plan adjustment that was voted down by the SGA last week and has since been removed from the agenda for an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting until further notice.At a recent STAR meeting, Faucher was almost positive cage-free will remain on the agenda for the Trustee meeting despite being previously associated with the meal plan request. “Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hopefully the right decision will be made,” Faucher said. Last year, a cage-free pilot program was planned for Cook Commons. The switch incurred a price adjustment. “I have been told that no one seemed to notice the increase in price and cage-free eggs are still being used there,” Faucher said.Cage-free eggs are currently used in all breakfast items with egg ingredients at Cook Commons, but not campus-wide.”If we want to be a socially and environmentally conscious school, we should take into account animal rights as well,” Stacy Salerno, a UVM senior said, “But there is always a price to pay.” Universities across the country have been making noise about switching to cage-free eggs, but some, like the University of Arizona, found the price increase too drastic and switched back to conven?tional eggs and products after three trial weeks.”UVM is falling behind,” Faucher said. “UNH has switched to cage-free in all its on-campus dining facilities.”STAR members are continuing to work toward a humane and animal friendly campus. They are currently involved in prohibiting medial research using pigs at the University that is expected to begin in May. Members also spend time at the Marter Christi School educating students about animals.