Burger King, the restaurant hitherto known for being very similar to but not quite as good as McDonald’s, has decided to blaze a new trail and promise its customers that it will torture slightly fewer animals in the name of underwhelming fast food.

According to The New York Times (registration required):

The goal for the next few months, Burger King said, is for 2 percent of its eggs to be ‘cage free,’ and for 10 percent of its pork to come from farms that allow sows to move around inside pens, rather than being confined to crates. The company said those percentages would rise as more farmers shift to these methods and more competitively priced supplies become available.

The decision has garnered mixed reviews and the usual derisive reaction from the Onion, but according to this longtime detractor of Burger King’s subpar food: It’s a modest goal, but a goddamn admirable one. If BK can make a step in the right direction (ethically speaking), other industrial consumers of delicious slaughtered animals may edge toward humanitarian methods in order to stay competitive. And that would mean a lot less suffering for a lot of aspiring Hamlette Sandwiches and Croissan’wiches.

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