<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Pocketbook Power 

I read a great article this morning in USA Today's
Money Section. It was called, "Whole Foods
Pledges to be More Humane."

Here is an example of what we can accomplish
if we, as consumers, speak up and tell these
companies what we want. This is wonderful
news, and I fervently hope that many other
companies will follow suit. Here are the high-
lights of the article (emphasis mine):

Whole Foods Market on Tuesday will announce
plans to become the first major grocery chain
to adopt humane animal treatment standards.

The move follows nearly two years of intense
pressure from two animal rights groups...

It also comes at a time when consumer interest
in animal rights issues has ramped up nationally.
An overwhelming 96% of Americans say animals
deserve "some" protection from harm and
exploitation, according to a recent Gallup poll.

The natural foods retailer, known for its organic
offerings, will allow an independent third party to
be named to audit its changes.

But John Mackey, CEO of the grocery chain,
insists the move wasn't motivated by a desire to
be politically correct — nor was it the result of
outside pressure.

"Whole Foods does not respond to coercion,"
he says of the 147-store chain with sales of $3.2
billion last year. "We re-examined (activists')
claims and decided they were basically right."

It may cause meat prices to increase slightly,
he says, but Whole Foods will clearly communicate
to customers why.

Mackey himself recently shifted from being a
conventional vegetarian to a vegan who abstains
from all foods with animal byproducts. "I came
across an argument I could not refuse: Eating
animals causes pain and suffering to the animals."

"It's pretty horrible what's going on with animals
in America,"
he says. "Hopefully, this will put
pressure on others to change their ways."

At least one consultant thinks Mackey is onto
something here. "Animal welfare has gotten on
everyone's radar screen," says John Lister, a brand
consultant. "Whole Foods will now be seen as doing
the right thing."

It sure is a whole lot better. This is a great victory
for PETA and VivaUSA. They have worked really
hard for these changes, as have so many other
people. The word is getting out to the public now
about how bad these conditions really are for these
animals, and decent people are horrified and
demanding change.

From the investigations showing what happens
to ducks to make foie gras and the poor sheep
stranded on the ship from Australia, people are
really starting to realize how much cruelty has
been allowed to go on by the industry unchecked.

It seems to me that if 96% of the public believes
that the animals should have some sort of
protection from inhumane treatment, that more
of the industry would respond to that and follow
the lead of Whole Foods. I think a wave of
change is coming. It will be interesting to see
who jumps on it and when.

I read about Pamela Anderson now jumping
into the battle between PETA and KFC. KFC's
response was that they did care about humane
conditions and welfare of the chickens. They
went on to defend this stance by saying that
they bought their chickens from reputable
suppliers like Perdue, Tyson, and Pilgrim's
Pride, just like many grocery stores.

Well, that is about the biggest admission that
they do in fact support cruelty, considering what
I have written here on this site. Either they don't
consider these acts to be cruel or they have
missed the information this blog conveys.

I know they are aware of what I said in my state-
ment, but maybe they haven't read the rest of
the material. Perhaps I should send them a link....
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