Make Tastykakes cruelty-free.

That's the message the Humane Society of the United States plans to deliver to the Tasty Baking Company at its annual shareholder meeting Friday in Philadelphia.

HSUS purchased stock in Tasty Baking Company, as it has a number of national restaurant chains and major food producers in an effort to urge a movement toward cage-free eggs.

A 2009 undercover exposé of TBC's egg supplier—Michael Foods—revealed extreme animal suffering and severe food safety concerns, such as birds forced to live in cages with mummified carcasses and animals painfully stuck in cage wires, HSUS said.

"Hens used to produce eggs for Tastykake products are crammed into cages so small, the animals are virtually immobilized for their entire lives," stated Matthew Prescott, corporate outreach director for The HSUS' factory farming campaign.

Multinational food manufacturer Unilever announced in February that it intends to convert all 350 million eggs in its Hellmann’s mayonnaise to cage-free, and many major chains—including Subway, Burger King, Red Robin, Wendy’s, Denny’s, Sonic, Quiznos, Safeway, Hardee’s and Carl's Jr.—use cage-free eggs. All Wal-Mart and Costco private-label eggs are cage-free.

Two states-California and Michigan - have passed laws to phase out the extreme confinement of hens in so-called battery cages - enclosures so small birds cannot spread their wings.

Philadelphia-based Tasty Baking Company produces 439,000 snack cakes and 217,000 chocolate cupcakes every day. Its products are sold under the Tastykake brand.

The meeting is at Sheraton Society Hill Hotel at 11 a.m.