Actor Ryan Gosling is calling on Costco Wholesale (COST) to shift to cage-free eggs, becoming the first celebrity to join a campaign by the Humane Society of the United States.
In a letter dated Monday to Costco CEO Craig Jelinek, the star of films including "Crazy, Stupid, Love" and "Blue Valentine" referred to a video released by the Humane Society, saying it showed "abhorrent cruelty including rows upon rows of birds confined in filth-laden cages with the mummified corpses of their cage-mates."
Costco declined to comment on Gosling's letter, in which the actor also said it's "appalling that Costco has been selling these eggs with deceptive labeling on cartons featuring graphics of birds living out in a green pasture. You're already eliminating cages for veal calves and pigs -- don't you feel that chickens also deserve the same mercy?"
Since the release of its video two weeks ago, the animal rights group said over 10,000 people have called Costco's headquarters to ask the company to switch to cage-free eggs. Those callers, however, might be getting misleading information by the customer service representatives handling the requests.
"For weeks, we've been receiving complaints from people who've called Costco and were given false information by the company, including that Costco only sells cage-free eggs, which of course isn't true," said Matthew Prescott, senior food policy director at the Humane Society. "We've alerted the company, but the false claims unfortunately haven't stopped. It seems Costco would rather mislead its customers than make changes."
Costco said in 2007 that it planned to move to cage-free eggs, but it didn't provide a timeline for achieving that goal.