News Release

Rhody Fresh?  Think Again

For Immediate Release:       

April 20, 2010                                  



Elana Kirshenbaum - 401-934-1345;

Christa Albrecht-Vegas -. 401-219-3301;     

Providence, RI. – Rhode Island Vegan Awareness (RIVA) challenges conscientious consumers to reconsider what they regard as local, fresh, and humane. What may come as a surprise to many is that while Little Rhody Egg Farms relies on its image as a small family farm, it is actually a microcosm of the larger, industrial operations that have replaced local farms nationwide. Its windowless battery cage operation in Foster, Rhode Island warehouses just under 40,000 Bovan Brown egg-laying hens.


Little Rhody hens are confined to sixty-eight square inches of space, an area slightly smaller than a sheet of notebook paper.  This severe confinement doesn’t even accommodate the hens’ basic physical need to spread their wings and move freely.  Female chicks are purchased from commercial hatcheries, where male chicks are typically discarded in dumpsters as refuse, electrocuted, or ground up alive in industrial garbage disposals and processed as chicken feed.  When the hens are young chicks, a portion of their sensitive beak is cut off without anesthesia to prevent them from harming each other under the intense psychological and physical stress of intensive confinement.  Periodically, the entire flock is deprived of food for a period of days sufficient to achieve 15-20% reduction of their body fat.  This inhumane practice, called forced-molting, artificially boosts a hen’s egg production and prolongs her egg-laying life by about six months, or until her production drops again, and she is ultimately killed.


Through the mechanized practices of Little Rhody, the hens are victims of unnecessary suffering. Many of Little Rhody’s ‘spent’ hens are shipped to Antonelli Poultry Inc., a live market on Federal Hill, where hundreds of birds are stacked cage upon cage in squalor, to witness the killing of their cage mates and await their own similar fates.


Many consumers are unaware that our society fails to extend even minimal legal protections, such as inclusion under the provisions of the Federal Humane Slaughter Act, to farmed birds.  In order to avoid complicity in such widespread and unnecessary animal cruelty, RIVA urges consumers to rethink their food choices and adopt a vegan diet.  Free guides and information, as well as photos, are available through our website at