Harvard Donors Take a Stand on Chickens, Threaten to Withhold Gifts

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September 12, 2011; Source: Harvard Crimson | Twenty-one donors to Harvard are ruffling feathers by pledging that if “the College” does not switch to cage-free eggs in all food service, they will withhold further contributions.

The donors were contacted by Harvard students who have circulated a cage-free-egg petition that now boasts 5,000 signatories among students and faculty. The following is an excerpt from the letter the donors signed:

As a financial supporter of the College, I would like to think that my money is going to support an administration that is both responsive to its students and responsible towards the environment and animals. . . . I look forward to hearing back from your office with news of a complete switch to cage-free eggs—until then, I will not be making any more donations.

This is not the first time the egg issue has emerged at Harvard. After student pressure on the administration in 2007, the University cracked and made a partial transition to cage-free eggs. But 80 percent of the eggs Harvard uses are still from non-cage-free suppliers. Ever-cognizant of the goings-on at its Ivy League brethren, the Crimson notes that Yale, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania have all gone totally cage-free.—Ruth McCambridge


  • Mike-Indiana

    Why change. The students can choose to get their education somewhere else but caged or non-caged eggs have nothing to do with the mission of Harvard. I assume they have more than 21 donors and if NP’s changed things on the whim of every donors pet peeves…