DXE Activists Hold 25 Protests In Response To Most Recent Whole Foods Lawsuit

Photos from DxE

In defiance of Whole Foods’ efforts to stop animal cruelty protests in their stores, grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) held protests simultaneously at 25 Whole Foods locations across the United States.

This Whole Foods’ lawsuit is just the latest in a series of escalating events between the supermarket chain and DxE.

The activists claim that Whole Foods targets whistleblowers who conduct investigations, and wants to suppress protests that challenge the company.

DxE released the following timeline of the escalating events between Whole Foods and activists:

  1. January 2015: DxE releases the first of a series of investigations revealing horrific cruelty at Whole Foods-supplying farms, challenging the company’s touted animal welfare standards.

  2. April 2018: Two activists, including a 16-year-old girl, were arrested at a Whole Foods store in Colorado after refusing to leave and calmly asking management about the source of their meat. One activist was charged with “threatening bodily injury.” Whole Foods attempted to have another, the 16-year-old activist, legally removed from her parents. The situation went viral on Facebook.

  3. May 2018: Citing evidence of criminal animal cruelty, an estimated 500 activists conducted a vigil and rescued 37 hens from a Petaluma, CA, factory egg farm which supplies to Whole Foods. Forty activists were arrested.

  4. September 2018: A judge in California denied Whole Foods’ request for a statewide restraining order preventing activists from entering any CA Whole Foods store and instead issued a headline-making restraining order banning DxE activists from one Berkeley, CA, store.

  5. December 2018: Whole Foods obtained a restraining order preventing activists from protesting at four additional Whole Foods locations, which DxE is legally required to publicly publish.

  6. January 27, 2018: DxE held protests at 25 Whole Foods stores nationwide, including eight California stores.

“Over the past 4 years, we’ve asked Whole Foods to sit down and discuss our findings, which are shocking and contradictory to everything this company claims about the treatment of animals at their farms,” DxE investigator Priya Sawhney said in a statement emailed to WAN. “The company has refused all conversations and is resorting to lawsuits and trumped-up criminal charges.”

DxE is calling for government officials to take immediate action to provide transparency in the sale of meat and other animal products.

In the wake of San Francisco’s ban on fur sales, which went into effect January 1st, activists have proposed legislation that would require signs to be posted in stores and restaurants warning that the animal products sold there may come from factory farms where animals are mutilated and abused, and may have been dosed with antibiotics or other drugs. The signs would also include other relevant information such as the huge contribution animal agricultural makes to environmental pollution.

The drafted “Right to Know” legislation has broad support among legislators in Berkeley, and San Francisco,CA, where activists think it can help build a food system with integrity.

In 2017, DxE was successful in getting a butcher shop in Berkeley, CA, to permanently post a sign in its window with similar information, reading; “Attention: Animals’ lives are their right. Killing them is violent and unjust, no matter how it’s done.”

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