Lawsuits Surging Based on Precedent Set in ‘Humane Washed’ Nellie’s Eggs Case

For Immediate Release:
March 4, 2022

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

New York – Based on the facts, legal arguments, and precedent established in the PETA Foundation–represented class-action lawsuit against Pete and Gerry’s Organics, owner of Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, a federal judge has allowed a new class-action lawsuit against the company to move forward in New York. Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Director of Litigation Asher Smith:

This consumer wasn’t the first to feel betrayed by cartons of eggs depicting happy hens in vast grassy fields instead of the reality of miserable birds in crowded sheds, as PETA exposed at a Nellie’s supplier, and she surely won’t be the last. This ruling will likely keep up the march of humane-washing lawsuits against Nellie’s and any other company that tries to pass off hellish barns as a hens’ paradise.

PETA eyewitness video footage of a Nellie’s egg supplier showed that some 20,000 hens were crammed into a single crowded shed and were rarely able to step foot outside, while Nellie’s claims that the chickens “roam where they please” and “have easy access to the outdoors.” Whole Foods shoppers who had bought Nellie’s eggs and watched PETA’s footage responded by saying that they felt “betrayed” and that the company’s marketing claims were “false advertising,” “really deceptive,” “really f*cked up,” “disgusting,” and “another big lie.”

Just this week, a federal court judge allowed PETA Foundation lawyers’ false-advertising lawsuit against another egg company, Vital Farms, to proceed. Among other issues, the lawsuit alleges that many birds in Vital Farms’ supply chain spend most or all of their time indoors, not in “pastures,” as the company claims.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind