On Thursday, a grassroots animal advocacy group, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) released a disturbing and heartbreaking video of a farm in Northern California which raises hens to supply eggs to Whole Foods and Organic Valley.
The video demonstrated the inhumane treatment of hens shown piled on top of each other in cages where they could barely move, hens completely covered in feces, and others with their feathers pulled out. The film ends with the rescue of one hen which had been splayed out on the ground completely helpless and seemingly having given up on life. Activists say films like this bring consumer awareness to the confusing terms of “humane” and “cage free,” and contend these are just terms used by the government and companies to make consumers feel better and to think their food sources are being treated humanely.
According to the New York Times, the video was filmed at Petaluma Farms, which supplies eggs both “organic” and conventional to Whole Foods.
The founder of Direct Action Everywhere, Wayne Hsiung, states they filmed the video between the summer of 2013 and last fall. A small group of activists climbed over a barbed wire fence of the Petaluma Farms facility at 700 Cavanaugh Lane on ten different occasions.
Mr. Hsiung criticized Whole Foods’ animal welfare policy, calling a five-step program as “five steps to cruelty.” In reality consumers have little knowledge of the criteria needed for certifications. Even though only a few birds were used in the video, Hsiung stated dozens were found in similar conditions.
Steve Mahrt, the owner of Petaluma Farms denied the accuracy of the video and told the New York Times it “isn’t anywhere indicative” of the condition the birds lived in – especially not the organic stock.
“In addition to the investigation, DxE announced an international campaign against the company, with activists in over 50 cities worldwide planning in-store protests of Whole Foods this weekend. The campaign also includes a nationwide program to facilitate “ open rescue ”: the open and unconcealed rescue of distressed animals from farms by activists.” stated the organization’s press release.
Check out the video and judge for yourself. Parts of the video may be disturbing to some audiences.
For more information on DxE, Direct Action Everywhere, go to http://directactioneverywhere.com.
Follow the National Pet Rescue Examiner on Facebook by clicking here or on Twitter. Please visit and “like” my page.