ALDI may champion animal welfare in Germany where the company was founded, but their US operations fall far behind, permitting cruel factory farming practices that are banned in numerous states. It’s time for ALDI to enact the same standards for pigs and hens in the US as they do in Germany. Join us in urging ALDI to catch up with its US competitors and finally ban the use of cruel cages for animals.
Tell Aldi what you think of their support for cruel cages!
ALDI ALLOWS EXTREME ANIMAL SUFFERING
Of all the terrible ways used to lock up farmed animals, cages are at the top of the list. This is an outdated practice, and it’s being eliminated by forward-thinking, modern companies, US states, and countries. Yet, ALDI continues to allow this extreme abuse.
ALDI says it is “committed to the well-being of animals in [its] supply chain.” Yet, the German-based international grocery chain allows the cruelest factory farming practices imaginable in their US operations.
ALDI’s professed commitment to animal welfare is not just unconvincing but hypocritical, as they continue to condone the cruelest factory farming practices in their US operations. Caging hens and pregnant pigs is an outdated and inhumane practice, at odds with the progressive steps taken by many of their competitors, and it contradicts ALDI’s own animal welfare principles.
Campaigns Manager, Animal Equality
ALDI’s double standard causes extreme animal suffering
In ALDI’s US operations, hens used for eggs are crammed into cages with 5-10 other birds, leaving each hen with less space than a sheet of printer paper. The hens are restricted from engaging in natural behaviors, including perching, roosting, nesting, dust-bathing, foraging, and exploring. Because of the poor conditions, some hens die and rot in the cage alongside their still-living companions.
Pregnant mother pigs in ALDI’s US supply chain are confined to gestation crates–2-foot-by-7-foot metal cages that don’t let the animals turn around and force them to excrete where they stand. Research shows that gestation crates cause physical and psychological suffering. Professor Ian Duncan, a scholar of animal welfare at the University of Guelph, has described it as “one of the cruelest forms of confinement devised by humankind.”
ALDI falls behind competitors and ethical commitments
In the US, ten states have restricted cages for hens and eleven states have banned gestation crates, and thousands of companies around the world have already pledged to eliminate cages from their supply chains. This includes ALDI’s close competitors like Kroger, Costco, and Target–companies that show a real commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.
By using cages in its US operations, ALDI not only lags behind many of its US competitors, but it also contradicts its own brand standards and animal welfare principles. ALDI has claimed that animals in its supply chains must be “healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour, and [who are] not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress.” But hens and mother pigs in cages cannot express their innate behaviors and continue to suffer throughout their lives.
Gestation crates for pigs are a real problem….Basically, you’re asking a sow to live in an airline seat…I think it’s something that needs to be phased out.Temple Grandin
Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Colorado State University
…the close confinement of sows in stalls or tethers is one of the most extreme examples of cruelty to an animal. It continues throughout much of life and is much worse than severely beating an animal or most laboratory experiments.Donald M. Broom
Professor of Animal Welfare, University of Cambridge
Confinement of sows during pregnancy, especially in individual stalls or on tethers, can be cold, uncomfortable and injurious, and imposes severe restrictions on natural behaviour.John Webster
Senior Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Animal Husbandry, University of Bristol, Creator of The Five Freedoms
6 million pigs are in gestation crates
In the US pig industry, a majority of the 6 million female breeding pigs are confined in a gestation crate. These metal cages are where mother pigs are kept for most of their pregnancies for up to 4 months. After their piglets are weaned and taken away from them, they are forced into these cages again to repeat the painful cycle.
CRUELEST FORMS OF CONFINEMENT
These 7-by-2-foot crates take a large physical and mental toll on the animals. In these cages, pigs cannot walk, turn around, or even stand comfortably. Beneath them are hard floors with slats for the urine and feces to fall through before collecting in giant outdoor waste lagoons. Professor Ian Duncan, a scholar of animal welfare at the University of Guelph, has described it as “one of the cruelest forms of confinement devised by humankind.”
THEY CAN’T EVEN TURN AROUND
Scientific research shows that gestation crates cause physical and psychological suffering to mother pigs, including lameness due to weak bones and muscles, abrasion injuries, cardiovascular problems, overgrown hooves, digestive problems, and urinary tract problems. It’s no wonder…they are crammed into filthy sheds in cages where they can’t turn around for months at a time.
NO ROOM TO MOVE
Did you know that in the US, about 75% of hens are packed into wire cages? On average, each hen has less living space than a standard piece of printer paper. Inside these cages, they are forced to stand or crouch on the cages’ hard wires, which cut their feet.
LIMITS NATURAL BEHAVIOR
Hens are very social animals who like to forage for food, take dust baths, perch, and care for their families. Selectively bred to produce the maximum number of eggs, hens spend up to two years packed in wire cages with six other birds. The cages are so small and crowded that hens cannot spread their wings or exhibit other natural behaviors.
A MISERABLE EXISTENCE
Often, their body parts are caught in the caging, resulting in fractured or broken bones, deformities, and severe feather loss. Some hens, exhausted or unable to move, are trampled to death by their cage mates. Those that don’t die from the abuse spend their miserable lives trapped with dead birds at their feet.
Animal suffering knows no national borders
For animals, it makes no difference whether they suffer in Germany, the United States, or another country. That’s why we think globally. Animal Equality is an international organization that works with society, government, and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals.
With rich emotional lives and unbreakable family bonds, farmed animals deserve to be protected.
You can build a kinder world by replacing animal food products with plant‑based ones.
*Any images on this website are a representation of farms that use cages for animals and do not necessarily come from farms that supply to ALDI.