Whole Foods Market has said its representations do not mean that its “meat is treated more humanely” than industry standards. Diestel Family Ranch, one of Whole Foods’ star meat suppliers, has argued that its ads were not misleading because there is no “standard for measuring whether something is thoughtful or unthoughtful, sustainable or unsustainable, farm or factory, and/or family or large business.” Read more from Sentient Media here.
“We believe ordinary Americans feel compassion for animals. That’s why they are willing to pay a premium for what they think is ‘humane’ meat,” said Diestel investigator Priya Sawhney. “But the truth is the birds at Diestel’s farms suffer tremendously.” Read more from Daily Rocket News here.
The North American Meat Institute, whose members include WalMart & Whole Foods, said enforcing Proposition 12 would hurt producers and consumers. Proposition 12, or the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act, sets minimum space requirements for calves raised for veal, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens, and bans the sale of raw veal, pork or eggs from animals enclosed in too little space. Read more from Reuters here. Please note that at the same time Whole Foods & Amazon are attempting to get a restraining order against all animal rights activists at their stores throughout California.
Today the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, filed a lawsuit against the Tillamook County Creamery Association for its misrepresentations about the source of its milk and the conditions in which the cows live. The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a class of Oregon consumers.
Read more from their press release here.
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.