Los huevos éticos de Europa

PRINCETON –  Hace cuarenta años, me encontraba, junto con unos cuantos estudiantes más, en una calle bulliciosa de Oxford repartiendo octavillas a fin de protestar por la utilización de jaulas para gallinas en granjas de avicultura intensiva. La mayoría de quienes cogían las octavillas no sabían que los huevos que compraban procedían de gallinas mantenidas en jaulas tan pequeñas, que ni siquiera una sola ave –las jaulas suelen albergar cuatro– podría estirar del todo las alas y aletear. Las gallinas nunca podrían caminar por ellas ni poner los huevos en un nido.

Muchas personas aplaudieron nuestro idealismo juvenil, pero nos decían que no abrigaban esperanza alguna de que se pudiera cambiar jamás una industria importante. Sin embargo, estaban equivocadas.

El primer día de 2012, mantener gallinas en semejantes jaulas pasó a ser ilegal no sólo en el Reino Unido, sino también en los 27 países de la Unión Europea. Se puede seguir manteniendo gallinas en jaulas, pero deben tener más espacio y en ellas debe haber nidos y un sitio en el que puedan escarbar. El mes pasado, los miembros de la Fundación Británica pro Bienestar de las Gallinas preparó un nuevo hogar para una gallina llamada “Libertad”. Según dijeron, era una de las últimas gallinas de Gran Bretaña que seguía viviendo en el tipo de jaulas a las que nos habíamos opuesto.

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