PETA Highlights Crowding in ‘Cage-Free’ California After Passage of Prop 12

New Video Shows Hens in Packed Shed at Self-Proclaimed 'Chicken Disneyland'

For Immediate Release:
December 17, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Lakeside, Calif. “This Is ‘Cage-Free.’ Don’t Be Duped. Go Vegan.” That’s the message on new PETA billboards planned across California for the new year—and to go with them is a breaking PETA video of a packed chicken shed at Hilliker’s Ranch Fresh Eggs, Inc., in Lakeside, which has been held up as illustrative of the future of cage-free egg farming in California and touted by its owner as “Chicken Disneyland.”

“Californians have voted to replace physical cages with invisible ones, and birds are still trapped in a living nightmare,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “It’s like Disneyland only if you mean that it’s like the busiest day of the year there, when the crowds are so thick that you can’t move! The only way to stop contributing to the suffering of hens is to leave eggs off your plate and opt for delicious and healthy vegan alternatives.”

PETA’s video comes after Californians voted to pass Proposition 12, which allows farms to keep egg-laying hens in cages until 2022 and then confine them to massive warehouses containing thousands of others with only 1 square foot of space per bird—which is the egg industry’s own current recommendation for cage-free hens. Before its passage, PETA warned that the measure would keep hens miserable while misleading well-intentioned consumers.

PETA’s eyewitness reported that the frustrated hens on the cage-free farm cried out ceaselessly, leaving them all with no escape from the noise. Constant exposure to noise and severe crowding can lead to distress, excessive adrenal hormone production, and suppression of the immune system.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat.” For more information, please visit

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind