Whole Foods’ Newest Shareholder Is … PETA!

After Cruelty Exposé and Lawsuit, PETA Buys Stock to Push for an End to Grocery Chain's Bogus 'Humane Meat' Claims

For Immediate Release:
October 7, 2015

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Austin, Texas – On the heels of a PETA exposé revealing severe crowding, lameness, inadequate veterinary care, and death at a Whole Foods “humane” pork supplier, PETA has purchased stock in Whole Foods to put pressure on the company to stop marketing its meat with phrases like “humane,” “humanely raised,” and “raised with care.”

“PETA’s exposé revealed that pigs were lame, crowded into sheds with concrete floors, and denied the lush green grass that they can see but never set foot on,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “As PETA works outside the company to remind everyone that the only truly humane meal is a vegan one, we’ll be working from the inside to demand an end to Whole Foods’ lies.”

The farm at the center of PETA’s exposé is a “Step 2″–rated farm, according to Whole Foods’ “5-Step™” welfare rating system. Although Whole Foods claims that animals on “Step 2” farms will live “enriched lives” and are “free roaming” with “no crowding,” PETA found that pigs on this farm were confined to crowded sheds with concrete floors at all times except when being weighed or transported. Pigs with illnesses and injuries were left without veterinary care for days or even weeks, even though “Step 2” standards require that the animals receive treatment within 24 hours.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—and a California citizen have also filed a class-action lawsuit against Whole Foods for alleged violations of California consumer-protection laws. PETA’s lawsuit points out that shoppers are tricked into paying higher prices for meat from animals on farms raised under standards that differ little, if at all, from the industry’s minimum standards. For example, Whole Foods promotes chicken meat with the phrase “no cages”—but chickens raised and killed for meat are not typically kept in cages in the poultry industry, making that assertion meaningless.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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