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Safeway Victory!

Written by PETA | February 11, 2008

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.

Commenting is closed.
  • Horse lover says:

    while this isn’t the ultimate goal what we must remember is that it is another step in the right direction. no body can get from the bottom to the top of a staircase in one step they have to take one maybe two steps at a time. every step takes us a little closer to our ultimate goal. however neither should we celebrate the fact that we have made it up one more step. the first reason is that the animals are still suffering and dieing even if it is less. we feel temporarily distracted from our ultimate goal taking our eyes from our ultimate destination. we should simply be saying “right now for the next step.” and if we celebrate this small acomplishment then the companies will think that they have done enough and it will only be harder later on to convince them that they need to stop selling meat all together.

  • Manda says:

    I feel that this is a HUGE congrats in many ways.. not only is it Safeway where alot of people shop but to get the CEO’s and other heads that high above to listen is pretty remarkable! PETA doesn’t have the bad wrap that everybody thinks it has! Thanks to everyone that helped. Good job guys!

  • Francesca says:

    This is the best thing to get good news instead of all the bad news. This is a small step but a step at that. Im glad that this has happened. Now lets see if this can or cant influence the rest of the industry to operate by humane rules. I hope they arent the exception. Let them lead the way. I’ll be following

  • stephnaie says:

    i dont have a safeway by me

  • Jacqueline says:

    ANY STEP regardless of how small is a step in the right direction.

  • Alexandra says:

    WOW!!! I work for safeway and never have i been so proud! This is definately a step in the right direction!

  • tiffany says:

    some people will never stop eating animals unfortunatly so i think its great that peta was able to help safe way. Hopefully other grocery stores will do the same as safe way. This animal tourture has got to stop.

  • Heather says:

    At least they are doing something. We do have to keep in mind that they are the 2nd largest grocery chain and are going to keep selling meat and all that it is a really nice step to stop animal cruelty. We will have to keep fighting and persuade others.

  • Michele says:

    Phil way to go!!! You can find tons of info on PETA’s website in order to educate your friends about the various issues I find that I still learn new things all the time. Another good resource is The “Meet Your Meat” video is pretty compelling I had already been a vegetarian for about 6 months when I saw it but that is what convinced me to become a vegan.

  • Brandon Becker says:

    Phil I’m glad to see that you became vegetarian after watching “Meet Your Meat.” This video pushed me to go vegetarian and continue on the path to veganism. The agribusiness industry likes to make people think they need to eat animals and their secretions to be healthy. Thankfully we know this is just lies and that we can be healthy on a 100 plantbased diet. Check out this excerpt from the American Dietetic Assocation’s position paper on “Vegetarian Diets” httpwww.eatright.orgcpsrdexchgadahs.xsladvocacy933ENUHTML.htm “Wellplanned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle including during pregnancy lactation infancy childhood and adolescence.”

  • Phil says:

    I am glad that Safeway has began to stop cruel animal torture in farming factories. After watching the clip “Meet Your Meat” it has had a huge impact on me and my whole family about the food we eat everyday. I understand that we need the vitamins protiens ect from these animals but they way they are held and abused in very sad. No animal deserves to have to go through what these animals have to go though in a day. Me and my family have decided to to restrict our everyday diets to nonmeat food groups. We are now vegitarians and have been going strong for a long time. I hope that in the future that I can donate money to animal welfare societies. I wish also to educate my friends about this issue as well. And i hope u do the same!

  • rojo says:

    Brandon It unfortunately is a human trait to con and that can be done by anyone. I’m supposed to believe peta? Sorry I’ve read some of their factsheets before and this one is no different qoutes ambiguous “facts” and ways that regulations can be bypassed but offers no evidence whatsoever of contravention no links to prosecutions or anything that I would consider substantial. quote”U.K. regulations require birds to have access to outdoor areas for at least 8 hours a day the maximum number observed outside during daylight hours at any one time was less than 15 of the total flock” This is evidence? This is the best peta can do to sink freerange? Organic is a con no arguments there. I don’t think they even pretend to be have happier chooks. I do agree with you on veal that calf could grow up big and strong and feed more mouths and have a better life to boot. Even though the veal part is an emotional ploy the separation of mother and offspring is a valid point. The cows do indeed call for some time for the missing calf. How much real anguish there is for the cow I don’t know but it would be a good study point for liberationists. That motherchildbond thing could open up a large chunk of the population to empathasize with the cow. Thats a freebie.

  • rojo says:

    elphaba did I mention chickens perchance? Your statement was a broad swipe at farming but now you suddenly wish to be specific on chickens? Caged chooks would fall under industrialised “farming” beyond factory and nothing like real farming. That kind of production has no support from me. I buy freerange chicken and have our own backyard chooks for eggs. While I can’t defend battery hen production and agree from a human perspective it is abysmal I can’t see why the hens would think so. They know no different. Never felt freedom to miss it or had space to feel confined.

  • Michele says:

    Kellen there is a ton of info on for those who are starting to live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Congrats! you can also order some awesome vegan products including food at

  • kellen says:

    Who are these people who work at these “farms” and do such horrible things to these poor animals? Oh my God right now I am totally going vegan. Where do I start?

  • elphaba says:

    Rojo I can think more than seven billion chickens who would disagree with your statement about the way farmed animals live.

  • elphaba says:

    Brandon Can you not see that every time PETA is interviewed about a company improving its animal welfare standards they also discuss the conditions the animals are kept in point out that the best thing anyone can do for farmed animals is to stop eating them and direct them to or something? Farmed animals and the idea of vegetarianism would still be rare in the news if not for groups like peta and even hsus a little. Try looking at the big picture.

  • Brandon Becker says:

    rojo “FreeRange and Organic Meat Eggs and Dairy Products Conning Consumers?” httpwww.peta.orgMCfactsheetdisplay.asp?ID96 Quoted from the bottom of the factsheet From the freerange hen who smells fresh air for the first time on her way to the slaughterhouse to the humanely raised dairy cow whose male calf is taken from her and sold to veal farmers all animals who are raised for food suffer. The only truly humane option is to choose vegan alternatives to meat eggs and dairy products. Call 1888VEGFOOD or visit to order a free vegetarian starter kit that contains information on faux meat alternatives to eggs and vegan cheese.

  • Andrea Buccarelli says:

    Really happy! Just so blissful about this!

  • rojo says:

    elphaba If you choose to believe farmed animals live an abysmal life thats up to you but it’s not true. Cattle and sheep spend most of their lives happily grazing just as they would in nature. I do prefer free range chickens and pigs over industrialised ones but to the general public it doesn’t seem so important. Cage egg consumption has remained relatively steady despite the increases in free range purchasing. I’m a little surprised you think the whole world will go veg animal product consumption is on the increase particularly in Asia as their incomes rise. They’ve been on a largely vegetarian diet and want animal protein. The price of grain will eventually limit the factory farms leaving animals to be grazed on grass as nature intended. Happily.

  • Brandon Becker says:

    elphaba Everyone wants less cruelty not more. No one is arguing that we should be sad about animals being abused less as they are confined and slaughtered for human gain. We are simply arguing that marginal reforms if they are actually implemented is another question are not cause for celebration. I urge you to reread the posts by Ana and myself. We both make clear that these reforms again if they are even implemented do not give much protection to the interests of the animals. Welfare reforms mainly serve to satisfy the consumers who are increasing becoming uneasy with the level of suffering inflicted upon animals used for food. The industry knows that it must convince consumers that they treat animals “humanely” to keep them buying and dissude them from going vegetarian and vegan. The profit motive would cause industry to reform itself if the animal rights movement would put greater effort into vegan education. The more people that optout of purchasing these products of violence the quicker you will see the dismantlement of factory farming and the ultimate eradication of animals used for food.

  • elphaba says:

    This is starting to get ridiculous. Being happy for the animals because a new generation will be treated with a modicum of decency they had previously been denied does not automatically make one a welfarist! That is insulting and quite frankly a little insane. I am vegan and an abolitionist to the core and I say Go PETA thank you for keeping this issue in boardrooms and the slaughterhouses and factory farms and in the news. Thank you PETA for working twice as hard to change the future for animals everywhere while also busting your ass to change the present for the animals who are getting fattened up for Safeway right this very second. Surely anyone can agree that the situation for farmed animals is so abysmal that they deserve to have people on their side willing to fight for every bit of comfort we can get for them until the whole world is veg. If anyone can do it PETA can so chill.

  • Ana says:

    Hello Maya!! Sweetie semantics is powerful and it does make a difference. There is a vast differnce whern refering to an animal as a beast than calling him a creature. I wrote a very long paper as a graduate student just on this topic about semantics and the other animals. The welfarists DO have a differnt stand on animals and it is stated so by many individuals who are and by orgs that are as well. Animal liberation or animal rights is a totally different animal. Liberationistsrightists work to free animals from human oppression they do not fight for bigger cages a taste of grass or for the flesh of slaughtered creatures to be labeled as being “organic”. There are welfarists that have no problem with declawing cats!!! Now I have touched a nerve!!!! I am an abolitionist which means I fight for animal liberationrights. I seek to change the hearts of others in regards to their treatment of the other animals and strive to educate them about a vegan diet. I have had much success with students and other people I get to converse with. So Maya there is a vast difference. I am not a member of the HSUS but I am of FARM and Vegan Outreach and am a board member of Catholic Concerns for Animals which promotes veganism with the support of Christian mercy and morality. I am all for nonviolence ahimsa just like you. But welfarists are not they’re alright with eating flesh wearing leather and even serve flesh at their events. HSUS has stopped serving flesh only because Wayne Pacelle is vegan. The ASPCA is welfarist and sees nothing with eating flesh. The ASPCA does not even make the effort to campaign strongly against horse carriagesmaybe an officer might go out to see if it is too hot for the horses. But that is rare. Welfarists want bigger cages for the poor creatures in the labs liberationists want no cages or labs. If welfarists were in favor of nonviolence then they would not eat animals and the movement to end their slaughter would grow immensely because welfarists are much larger in numbers than animal rightists. They serve to prolong the animals’ misery because they give the stamp of approval for their continual slavery and for the proliferation of slaughterhousesas long as the cows and pigs ate grass what’s the problem with a brutal slaughter??? sarcasm!!. Peace!

  • Spay and neuter immediately, please says:

    Ana Of course the animals would rather be liberated than have bigger cages. But arguing about it here and insulting other animal advocates and taking away this tiny victory that gives us hope accomplishes nothing.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Dear Michelle you run a much better chance staying a vegetarian if you do it for the ethical reasons. In a test for those who gave up meat because they thought it would be healther for them. They did nor care about the animals. 80 went back to meat. 90 remained vegetarians. That happened right here in San Diego. SO COME ON MICHELLE MANY OF US WILL HELP YOU JUST REMEMBER YOU ARE GIVING UP MEAT FOR THE ETHICAL REASONSGOOD LUCK Peace!!!!!Judith

  • Spay and neuter immediately, please says:

    I’m pretty confused by all the people who don’t want to consider this a victory. It seems you would rather the animals continue to suffer by the billions exactly as they are because the more they suffer the easier it will be to convince others to go veg. Sounds pretty selfish to me. I would be thrilled if everyone on the face of the Earth woke up a vegetarian tomorrow and stayed that way but I agree with Maya Spare Me and all the others who understand that these changes take time and although we may have that luxury the animals suffering on factory farms right now don’tthat abolition is only good in theory at the moment an ideal that is nowhere close to coming to fruition. In the meanwhile ANYTHING that reduces the suffering of all of the billions of them even if it’s only a tiny bit is a step in the right direction. You all seem to think this is an eitheror but it isn’t. PETA is an animal rights abolitionist organization. Unlike those attacking them though PETA is able to multitask and work twice as hard to convince the world to go veg while simultaneously improving conditions for animals in desperate need. I do have a question for those of you who are opposed to this type of work How do you feel about PETA’s doghouse program? Since they can’t get the dogs off their chains even though they try should they just leave them there to shiver in the cold on principle? Of course dogs deserve better and none should be regulated to that sort of life but if they already are and there’s little you can do for that animal at that moment what’s so wrong with providing her with a few creature comforts?

  • Maya, C.V.T. says:

    Thank you Nancy and folks here I think it’s fine to disagree as long as we don’t become divided! I always try to ponder what people have said. Some days I may be cranky or rushed and sound a bit over the top but I never mean to! I have tons of respect for everyone here. Just a side note to me “welfare” and “advocate” are just semantic terms. However I use them to mean that although I am vegetarian and will always promote total respect of all animal life I prefer absolute nonviolence and nonhostility. I’M NOT SAYING ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ARE VIOLENT OR BAD! I simply use the term welfare or advocate for myself and my personal defenition is about respect of the law and other humans. That means for me no arson no physical intimidation no hostility and no making fun of people or being cruel or rude. That is just my personal code not meant to imply anything about anyone else. Again it’s semantics but before slamming “welfare” advocates I just think they should be asked how they define it.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Ana and Michele As always I am with you all the way. We shall keep fighting the good fight until all earthlings are safe from harm. We can not rest until this is done. Peace! Judith If slaughterhouses had glass walls everyone would be a vegetarian. Linda Mc Cartney

  • Ana says:

    Thanks Nancy!!!!

  • Nancy says:

    Thanks to Ana Maya and all who’ve shared your thoughts and opinions on this topic. These posts reaffirm to me that the change we all want to see will come not by walking the high road alone but by fanning out and walking every highway and byway that leads to a world where animals are treated with the same respect and compassion we afford each other okay maybe a bit more than that… P. With so many committed compassionate people working towards the same goal I’m more hopeful than ever that we’ll get there.

  • Ana says:

    Brandon The animal welfarists are prolonging the animals’ agony while even more continue to die. Animal rights perceived as too radical contributes to prolonging the status of the other animals as property. Empathy is required of dedicated animal activists as well if you could be that animal and suffer as they are would you want to be liberated or would you want a bigger cage? The attitude that it is too difficult to get others to change to a vegan diet is counterproductive and negative. The women believed with great determination that they would be granted the vote. Animal advocates unflinchingly and with courage must believe we can liberate the other animals. The murder of animals is morally reprehensible and indefensible. If we purport to be moral animals then we should be that. I refuse to call any of these encounters with animal killing enterprises as victoriesbecause they are not. What really has been granted any creature?? You are condoning the continual murder of the other animals with the hope that they get fed some grass and their flesh get called organic. that’s a victory?? For who?? You the animal welfarist the animal killing enterprises othe the other animals??? HHHMMM the other animals lose their lives. They are all going to be slaughtered in the most sadistic violent and cruel manner possible and the government does not care either. Animal advocate must care. A victory is seeing the closing down of slaughterhouses and factory farms and fur farms and labs and the list goes on. End the animals’ slavery.

  • Darla says:

    I agree. I hardly see this as something to celebrate especially when they are only saying that they will “encourage” less cruelty not DEMAND IT refuse to accept products from anyone who cannot prove that their animals are treated humanely slaughtered in the most humane way possible. A contradiction in terms but as long as there is a demand for meat this will continue there needs to be laws people put in place to ensure that the animals are treated in the most humane way from birth through death. I am not at all in support of PETA applauding a company that is only encouraging considering better treatment will certainly not thank Safeway until they have demanded it stuck to it. This sounds like nothing more than a publicity spin that we have heard time time again only to discover that horrific abuse is still going on while their profits increased due to the misinformed public.

  • lynda downie says:

    I have to agree that a clean bigger cage is better than a filthy cramped one. But the bars are still there. That’s the heart of the matter. Will incremental steps lead to liberation or will the cages just get bigger and better? There has to be some impetus to change the perception of animals as property and resources to individuals with their own rights. Rosa Parks didn’t move up row by row but took her place at the front of the bus. In the same way I think it takes a bold uncompromising stand like Rosa’s to assert and honour the dignity of animals and champion their right to liberty.

  • carol Johnson says:

    How do we get Raleys to follow suit?