Written by PETA
If you’ve been following this story over the past few days, you’ll know that Mepkin Abbey, a Trappist monastery in South Carolina that runs an egg factory farm to cover its costs, has announced that it will be phasing out its egg production and switching to a new industry following a PETA investigation and subsequent pressure on the monks from our offices. And if you’ve been following my posts on the topic, you’ll know that a number of South Carolina residents who are familiar with the monastery have commented to say that they’re unhappy about this decision, claiming that it was unfair of us to go after the monks because they are decent men who do a lot of good in the community.
The way I see it, however, is that holy men—who should be setting an example for the people who look to them for guidance—need to be particularly accountable for cruel or unethical actions. While we have come to expect that CEOs of large corporations are going to be primarily concerned with their bottom line (and thus less immediately receptive to our concerns about their practices), in a case like this one—where good people have gone astray and are ignoring or failing to understand the fact that they are inflicting terrible suffering—it is all the more important that they be brought up short and asked to consider the damage they’re doing. Being a monk doesn’t mean that you should get off scott free when you’re caught doing something unethical—on the contrary, it means you should be held to a higher standard.
Anyone who has seen our investigation should know that the practices these monks were engaging in (such as confining chickens in cages so small that they had no room to move and denying sick animals veterinary care), as well as the practices that they were directly supporting (their suppliers slice off chicks’ beaks with a hot blade and grind up unwanted male chicks in a macerator), are cruel in the extreme, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s all you really need to know about this case. This factory farm needed to be shut down whether it was run by money-grubbing fat cats or honorable but misguided holy men. Fortunately for us, and for the chickens, it was the latter.
For a more eloquent statement of these ideas, you can read the letter that PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich wrote to the Abbey when this investigation first broke here.
Remember the animal abusing monks at Mepkin Abbey from a couple of weeks ago? Just wanted to give you a quick update on that case.
This morning, PETA filed formal complaints with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, the state Attorney General’s Office, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging unfair trade practices—including false and misleading advertising. In the complaints, PETA alleges that the abbey, which operates a factory egg farm where more than 20,000 debeaked hens are packed four or five to a cage the size of file drawer, is misleading customers with its lofty claims of humane treatment and “happy” animals. PETA filed the complaints after the abbot and public relations director of Mepkin Abbey refused to discuss retracting the abbey’s false claims and changing its advertising.
Here’s a quote from the press release we sent out, “The way that these monks treat God’s creatures is a sacrilege,” says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. “Not only have the monks hideously abused these poor birds and denied them everything that God intended, they’ve also broken the public’s trust by claiming that what Mepkin Abbey does is different from what is done in industrialized factory farms. The monks are accountable for breaking the law and deceiving people who bought these eggs believing that they came from birds who were well cared for.”
I’ll keep you updated as the case progresses—there was a great piece about the story in the LA Times today, which you can check out here.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.