California-based Google, one of the hottest companies around, has embraced a hot trend in animal rights -- cage-free eggs.
The company will require that all of its cafes and cafeterias serve only the pricier cage-free eggs, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Google uses about 300,000 eggs a year along with 7,000 pounds of liquid egg products.
Animal-rights activists charge that caged chickens -- sometimes called battery-raised, because the cages are piled high -- have miserable lives during their productive egg-laying months, confined six to a cage with only 67 square inches of floor space per chicken. Egg farmers say caged chickens are just as happy as -- and healthier than -- those raised outdoors or in open barns.
Google is jumping on a bandwagon that already includes America Online and Bon Appetit Management, a catering company serving a number of Silicon Valley companies. Several universities have also pledged to serve cage-free eggs.
"There's a ripple effect that I think will happen," said John Dickman, Google's food service manager. "Other companies also will want to ensure humane treatment of animals."