You may have heard of Safeway. They are the second-largest grocery chain in North America. Which makes our latest breakthrough with the company (which has been six years in the making) a huge victory for animals. Safeway executives have just confirmed to us that they are initiating a new animal welfare plan that will make them, along with Whole Foods, one of the grocery industry leaders with regard to animal welfare. The company has agreed to encourage all of their egg suppliers to ban battery cages, implement a purchasing preference for pork that was produced without cruel gestation crates, and favor poultry suppliers that use controlled-atmosphere killing (the least cruel method of slaughter) instead of electric stun baths and throat-slitting.
As usual with these announcements, this is wonderful news because it means that one of the biggest, most influential corporations in the world is listening to the public’s concerns about animal suffering and making significant changes that will directly affect millions of animals—as well as fundamentally changing the way an entire industry does business. It does not mean that we’re all going to pat ourselves on the backs, pack up our desks, and go home. We still have a long way to go before animals stop being tortured and killed because (for instance) people have a preference for a certain kind of breakfast food, but this is a big step in the right direction, and we’re extremely grateful to everyone who helped us during the years of negotiations, the multiple shareholder resolutions, and the action alerts encouraging Safeway to take animal issues seriously.
Thanks to Safeway for making this compassionate decision, and to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen. Now back to work.