Combine the stories-round 2: Chickens and Monkey Math

Compass Group (the world’s largest food service provider) is going to go to cage free eggs from chickens. (ht ThinkingReed)

In its first phase, the company will start purchasing half of its shell eggs from cage-free sources within 90 days—a very fast first step by the food service giant. The first phase of implementation will translate into the purchase of 48 million eggs from cage-free producers—and result in nearly 200,000 fewer hens confined in battery cages.

(for pictures of battery cages and chicken lives in factory farms, click here)

That is very good news indeed. And why pray tell is such a big company going to make such a major change in the life of chickens? Because animals everywhere are proving themselves to be worthy of more respect every day and people are taking notice.

Drudge had the story of monkeys doing math in competition with college students the other day.

In a rapid fire test of mental addition, monkeys performed almost as well as college students, showing they’re no slouches when it comes to number crunching.

The macaques got their sums right 76 percent of the time, while the students got the correct answer 94 percent of the time in a series of increasingly challenging maths tests.

“We know that animals can recognize quantities, but there is less evidence for their ability to carry out explicit mathematical tasks, such as addition,” said Jessica Cantlon, a researcher at Duke University Center for Cognitive Neuroscience in Durham, North Carolina.

“Our study shows that they can.”

Good luck animals! Keep pushing.