Brad Pitt and Bill Maher are not happy with Costco right now. The reason? Caged hens. The two stars charged Costco, the discount retailer, with boosting animal cruelty thanks to the conditions in which it keeps it chickens.
The Associated Press reported that Pitt sent a letter to Costco’s CEO recently asking the chain to change its ways.
“As you know, these birds producing eggs for your shelves are crammed five or more into cages that are not large enough for even one hen to spread her wings,” Pitt wrote. Maher’s tactic? A New York Times editorial published last week.
“Multiple investigations into battery cages document animals with deteriorated spinal cords, some who have become paralyzed and then mummified in their cages,” according to Maher in the article. “Imagine cramming five cats or dogs into tiny cages, hundreds of thousands in each shed, for their entire lives. That would warrant cruelty charges, of course. But when the egg industry does it to hens, it’s considered business as usual.”
In 2007, the company reportedly said it wanted to stop caging its chickens in this way, although the system still stands, Maher pointed out.
Costco, however, has discussed its practices in the past. In June, the company wrote in a statement that there are “vigorous debates about animal welfare and laying hens.” It added, “Some, such as the Humane Society, advocate that hens be ‘cage free,’ and not confined in cages. Some advocate that cages are safer for hens.”
Fortune has reached out to Costco for further comment.
Interestingly, Costco reportedly loses $40 million per year thanks to keeping its rotisserie chicken prices low.