For Immediate Release:
October 10, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Mooresville, N.C. – Over the last few days, 11 former workers at Plainville Farms, a supplier to locally based grocer Harris Teeter, have been charged with 139 counts of cruelty to animals, including six felonies—the largest number in any factory-farmed animal case in U.S. history. So PETA fired off a letter this morning to Harris Teeter President Tammy DeBoir calling on the company—which still sells Plainville turkeys with a “humanely raised” label and a highly misleading “Earthwise” seal—to assess whether Plainville has taken any measures to stop animal abuse and asking Harris Teeter to take a PETA representative with it for inspections of farms.
The “Earthwise” seal is designed to look good to consumers, but it turns out that it’s simply Plainville’s own invention.
PETA’s investigative evidence, which led Pennsylvania State Police to file the charges, shows Plainville workers “kicking, stomping on, beating, throwing, and cruelly killing turkeys on a nightly basis.” Staff even mimicked masturbation and rape with injured and dying birds.
“Video footage of workers beating turkeys at Plainville suppliers was too horrific for police to ignore, yet Harris Teeter continues to profit from selling shoppers a ‘humane’ lie,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Harris Teeter to take a long hard look at its relationship with Plainville—and everyone else to take personal responsibility by eating vegan.”
Following PETA’s investigation, Global Animal Partnership suspended Plainville’s “humane” certification and Whole Foods pulled its turkey products from the shelves. Plainville terminated the workers and pledged to start monitoring operations using body cameras—a meaningless move, PETA notes, unless the footage is livestreamed so that the public can review it and call out any additional acts of cruelty.
PETA has also submitted a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Plainville is engaging in false advertising by making claims on its packaging that turkeys on its suppliers’ farms are raised in a “stress-free environment.”
Broadcast-quality video footage from PETA’s investigation is available here.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.