Democracy Now discusses recent open rescues and investigations into factory farms that supply corporations like Whole Foods and Amazon. Watch part 2 of the report here.
For years now, Whole Foods has marketed itself as selling meat and animal products that come from animals that are humanely raised. DxE has conducted numerous investigations of farms that supply Whole Foods such as Diestel Turkey Ranch and Petaluma Farms, and the investigative teams have found and documented, in photographs and on video, a wide range of atrocities, including, depending on the farm investigated, dead birds among the living, birds trapped in their own feces, birds crammed together in barns, birds that live their entire short lives inside barns, untreated wounds and/or cannibalisms.
Read more from EcoWatch here.
Fowlplay: Please help us hold chicken and turkey producers accountable for deceptive claims!
In 2015, DxE released an investigation of Diestel Turkey Ranch, a top rated Whole Foods farm. We discovered that the images they use in their advertisements were taken at a farm that existed purely for show -- the turkeys actually raised for Whole Foods were held far away in huge, filthy sheds.
In investigations from California to the Carolinas, DxE has probed the space between industry promise and industry practice, with often grotesque results. By sneaking onto factory farms with cameras, DxE investigators had revealed mass cannibalism in cage-free chicken houses that supplied Costco. They found turkeys packed together with open sores, in six inches of feces, in a California farm that Whole Foods had marked as the best of the best. And when Smithfield, the Chinese-owned, Virginia-based corporation that is one of the world’s largest pig farmers, announced that they had phased out farrowing crates for sows, a DxE investigation alleged that crates continue to be used.
Read more from The Intercept here.
On Saturday, around 120 volunteers and members of the animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) moved in to occupy facilities at Petaluma Poultry, a Northern California farm which supplies chicken and turkey products to Amazon and other food retailers. The activists began live-streaming their actions at the farm early in the afternoon, and staged a medical intervention for birds carried out of the farm's housing.
According to the group, which secretly documented some graphic scenarios at the farm in pictures and video, Petaluma Poultry fowl still endure malnutrition, disease, and dangerous over-crowding, despite marketing materials that promote products as low-cruelty and "free range."
Read more from forbes here.
Former law professor Wayne Hsiung and the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) that he co-founded, along with dozens of unnamed individuals and affiliates, were sued in Alameda County Superior Court yesterday by Whole Foods Market California Inc. in a complaint seeking to restrain protests against the company.
Hsiung says internal memos from Whole Foods that were secretly passed to DxE by insiders at the company, as well as personal correspondence with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, demonstrate the company’s intolerance to criticism. The company’s acquisition by Amazon, DxE activists say, has led to a new strategy: stopping activists through litigation. Hsiung says the internal memos show the company’s efforts to characterize peaceful protests as violent. He is currently facing prosecution in three separate matters relating to investigations of Amazon or Whole Foods suppliers.
Read more from Indy bay here.
Here is a moveon.org petition asking the CEO to stop their attempt to silence activists.
"In February of this year, Norbest was purchased by Pitman Farms of California, a supplier of Whole Foods. As The Intercept reported last September, Pitman itself has its own struggles with accusations of abuse of animals at its farms.
But now that Norbest is part of Pitman, this appears to be a case where a corporate supplier of Whole Foods — which touts itself as selling the healthiest and most organic products — is pressing charges against people who exposed animal abuse and threats to the public health."
Read more from The Intercept here.
As animal cruelty issues have come to light, the food industry has responded by creating marketable terms that make their products sound more humane. "Free range eggs" is just one example of these terms, and while it sounds good for advertising, it may not be all it's cracked up to be. Read more from the investigation, and see the undercover video here.
The residue of a FDA-prohibited antibiotic has appeared in tests done by the United States Department of Agriculture [USDA] on Diestel Turkey Ranch birds.
The company's meat products are sold in Whole Foods stores, as well as other 'natural' food shops across the US.
Read more from Plant Based News here.
When Amazon purchased Whole Foods last month, it didn’t just get the retail locations. It picked up Whole Foods’s baggage as well. Among the bigger issues inherited by Amazon appears to be a four-month investigation from the animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere that challenges Whole Foods’s core selling point of healthy and humane food.
The group reported that it found no indications of outdoor living, such as feathers or fecal matter. Twenty-four hour surveillance cameras attached to six separate locations revealed no outdoor birds either, the activists said. Instead, chickens were packed shoulder-to-shoulder inside dusty sheds with degraded air quality, forced to challenge one another for access to food and water. Read more from The Intercept here.