That’s not to say there has been zero progress: Grocery chain Whole Foods stopped working with suppliers who use gestation crates back in 2003. Fast-food chain Chipotle, which started weeding out the practice of sow crates 11 years before McDonalds, briefly took pork off its menu in 2015 over inhumane treatment by a major supplier. Panera says all its pigs are free of antibiotics and raised without gestation crates. Wendy’s expects to start 2022 with about 10% of its bacon and sausage being sourced via open pen or group housing, moving to 100% by year-end.

But these success stories are still anomalies. Despite public pressure, activist outrage, and state regulations, confinement is still the norm on the majority of US hog farms.

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