FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why I Got Kicked Out of Whole Foods …. Again

by

cage-evelyn

Saturday afternoon, with an armed off-duty police officer inches from my face, I carried bloodied model eggs and told first person stories of chickens who died producing eggs for Whole Foods.  Beside several activists cramming themselves inside cages, I told first person stories of chickens who died producing eggs for the store. In front of signage that proclaimed the animal welfare standards of the corporation, we held our own signs that read “Animals’ lives are their right”, “It’s not food, it’s violence” and “Their bodies, not ours”. The store’s security guard attempted to shout down myself and seventeen other activists while we challenged Whole Foods who, along with a growing number of corporations, uses misleading and fraudulent labeling to imply that the eggs they sell are humane.

Recently,  investigators with Direct Action Everywhere, the same grassroots animal rights network that organized this protest, entered a Certified Humane cage free egg farm and saw conditions that would horrify any reasonable person. Birds were crammed shoulder to shoulder in barns. They lost their feathers from stress. Some birds grew too weak to access food and water and resorted to cannibalism. We saw birds attacking each other and a dead bird decapitated by others. We rescued Ella, a hen who was mostly bald from starvation. We brought her to the vet and gave her a home in a sanctuary, where she will live out the rest of her life safe, happy, and free.

People who know firsthand how hens live have a hard time denying that hens who live in battery cages live horrific lives. Male chicks are mass culled immediately after being sexed. Beaks are cut off without anesthetic. Birds suffer osteoporosis and reproductive cancers from excessive egg laying. Hens are even starved for weeks at a time to force molting and reinvigorate egg laying.

It may surprise consumers that each of these facts are true of chickens in cage free farms, despite aggressive marketing of their eggs as humane. Companies that sell cage free eggs are able to charge more, although these eggs are less costly to produce. It’s time to stop the fraudulent marketing and constant search for a right way to do the wrong thing. Chickens, fish, cows, and pigs are all sentient animals who exhibit signs of pain, joy, and complex social relationships. The humane alternative to conventional eggs isn’t cage free, pasture raised, or any new label for exploitation.

To do right by animals we must grant them basic rights and liberate them completely. Under our current legal system, animals are treated as property and cannot be represented in court. Already weak animal welfare laws are seldom enforced to protect farmed animals. In fact, there is no federal law that protects chickens and turkeys on farms. We ask that readers consider animals as the individuals they are, join the animal rights movement, and speak up for the most vulnerable in our society.

Eva Hamer lives in Chicago and is an organizer with the grassroots animal-rights network Direct Action Everywhere. DxE uses disruptive protests, open rescue, and community building to denormalize violence against animals.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
April 28, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Martin Billheimer
Balm for Goat’s Milk
Stephen Martin
Spooky Cookies and Algorithmic Steps Dystopian
Michael Doliner
Thank You Note
Charles R. Larson
Review: Gregor Hens’ “Nicotine”
April 27, 2017
Darlene Dubuisson – Mark Schuller
“You Live Under Fear”: 50,000 Haitian People at Risk of Deportation
Karl Grossman
The Crash of Cassini and the Nuclearization of Space
Robert Hunziker
Venezuela Ablaze
John W. Whitehead
Trump’s America is a Constitution-Free Zone
Ron Jacobs
One Hundred Years That Shook the World
Judith Deutsch
Convenient Untruths About “Human Nature:” Can People Deal with Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons?
Don Fitz
Is Pope Francis the World’s Most Powerful Advocate for Climate Stability?
Thomas Mountain
Africa’s War Lord Queen: The Bloodstained Career of Liberia’s Eleanor Sirleaf Johnson
Binoy Kampmark
Short Choices: the French Presidential Elections
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Monetizing My Mouth
Michael Barker
Of Union Dreams and Nightmares: Cesar Chavez and Why Funding Matters
Elier Ramirez Cañedo
“Let Venezuela give me a way of serving her, she has in me a son.”
Paul Mobbs
Cellphones, WIFI and Cancer: Will Trump’s Budget Cuts Kill ‘Electrosmog’ Research?
Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
The Closing of Rikers: a Survival Strategy of the Carceral State
April 26, 2017
Richard Moser
Empire Abroad, Empire At Home
Stan Cox
For Climate Justice, It’s the 33 Percent Who’ll Have to Pick Up the Tab
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Machine Called Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
The Dilemma for Intelligence Agencies
Christy Rodgers
Remaining Animal
Joseph Natoli
Facts, Opinions, Tweets, Words
Mel Gurtov
No Exit? The NY Times and North Korea
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Women on the Move: Can Three Women and a Truck Quell the Tide of Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse?
Michael J. Sainato
Trump’s Wikileaks Flip-Flop
Manuel E. Yepe
North Korea’s Antidote to the US
Kim C. Domenico
‘Courting Failure:’ the Key to Resistance is Ending Animacide
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Legacy of Lynne Stewart, the People’s Lawyer
Andrew Stewart
The People vs. Bernie Sanders
Daniel Warner
“Vive La France, Vive La République” vs. “God Bless America”
April 25, 2017
Russell Mokhiber
It’s Impossible to Support Single-Payer and Defend Obamacare
Nozomi Hayase
Prosecution of Assange is Persecution of Free Speech
Robert Fisk
The Madder Trump Gets, the More Seriously the World Takes Him
Giles Longley-Cook
Trump the Gardener
Bill Quigley
Major Challenges of New Orleans Charter Schools Exposed at NAACP Hearing
Jack Random
Little Fingers and Big Egos
Stanley L. Cohen
Dissent on the Lower East Side: the Post-Political Condition
Stephen Cooper
Conscientious Justice-Loving Alabamians, Speak Up!
Michael J. Sainato
Did the NRA Play a Role in the Forcing the Resignation of Surgeon General?
David Swanson
The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope
Binoy Kampmark
Mike Pence in Oz
Peter Paul Catterall
Green Nationalism? How the Far Right Could Learn to Love the Environment
George Wuerthner
Range Riders: Making Tom Sawyer Proud
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail