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Whole Foods Promotes "Responsible" and "Compassionate" Flesh Foods

January 19, 2005 | Animal Rights / Vegetarianism &Veganism

Tell Whole Foods: Killing Animals Is Not Advocacy!

January, 2005 -- Friends of Animals, an international animal advocacy group with 200,000 members worldwide, will stage vigils at Whole Foods Markets on Tuesday 25 January on behalf of the animals in agriculture whose flesh this company peddles.

To "give shoppers peace of mind," Whole Foods Market is heralding its 25th year by promising 5% of a day's sales to a new Animal Compassion Foundation.

The company "invites shoppers to visit its 166 stores" in Britain and North America to help "assist and inspire ranchers and meat producers around the world to achieve a higher standard of animal welfare excellence while still maintaining economic viability."[1]

Flesh that adheres to the company standard will be marked with an Animal Compassion logo.

CEO John Mackey states: "Whole Foods Market is pioneering an entirely new way for people to relate to farm animals - with the animals' welfare becoming the most important goal. "

Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral responds: "An interest in other animals' welfare doesn't mean paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to concoct new ways of relating to them on farms before baking, broiling, stir-frying or sautéing them. A day of 5% discounts on the store's vegan products would be far more appropriate."

Instead, Whole Foods' new Foundation will raise research money so "animal scientists at universities around the world" can "conduct scientific studies of more compassionate animal raising techniques."

Parties backing this experiment include the Humane Society of the U.S.; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; Viva!; Animal Rights International; Animal Welfare Institute; and "animal welfare scientists" at the University of Guelph and Université Laval. The "success" of the Foundation "will be measured by feedback from livestock producers."

To top it off, Whole Foods Market calls this marketing scheme "a continuation of being a responsible tenant of the planet." What could be less truthful, when much of the Earth's precious water and half its grain goes to farm animals bred into existence for corporate profit?[2]

Veganism is the ethical response to a most urgent social justice issue: for all animals, including the human ones.

Time of Vigil:

1-3 p.m. on Tuesday, 25 Jan. 2005


Whole Foods Market of New York City: 10 Columbus Circle

Whole Foods Market of Washington, DC: 1440 P St. NW

Whole Foods Market of Greenwich, Connecticut: 90 E. Putnam Avenue

Whole Foods Market of Portland, Oregon: 1210 NW Couch Street

Devon Whole Foods of Wayne, Pennsylvania: 821 Lancaster Avenue


  1. This release quotes "Whole Foods Market Establishes Foundation to Help Achieve More Compassionate Treatment of Farm Animals" at (viewed 18 Jan. 2005). The promotional contact address in related company leaflets is
  2. George Monbiot, "Why Vegans Were Right All Along: Famine Can Only Be Avoided if the Rich Give Up Meat, Fish and Dairy" - The Guardian (24 Dec. 2002)


Anything hapening in Atlanta? I'd love to know.

Commentaries like the above are very disturbing to me. I happen to appreciate humane treatment of animals that we consume, but on the same token don't agree that eating only vegetables will fix anything. Humans are designed to consume both, much like many other animals on this planet. Wolves eat other animals as well and that doesn't make them bad either. What I feel distiguishes people is being humane with the animals that we do share as food. Humane treatment IS the key.

Stormwolf, You say humane treatment is the key, but there is no kindness in breeding, raising and killing other animals to satisfy one’s appetite. Regardless of whether humans are capable of consuming flesh that does not make it right—humans are capable of all types of violence. In addition, how wolves live is immaterial to how humans should live. Following a plant-based diet that doesn’t cause harm to other sentient beings is practical and within our means. I suggest the key is to treat all animals with respect. Daniel Hammer,
Friends of Animals

i have to agree with stormwolf.

Any rancher or farmer I know already has far more genuine knowledge and respect for animals than you will ever hope to impose with your pollyannaish, hyperethic, decible driven campaigns of oppression. Modern livestock agriculture is nothing more than economic husbandry of animal resources that originated at the beginning of civilization due to the human intellect's desire for more than a mere subsistence existence. Modern crop agriculture is the same thing, economic husbandry of plant resources that has evolved from the first selective breeding of prehistoric man. I'm sorry, but we are not going to feed 5 billion people by a hunting and gathering, (whoops, I mean gathering) economy. I am just curious, do you also condemn native American's domestication of the horse and hunting and consumption of buffalo, tribal cultures' exploitation of cattle and sheep, or is it a moral crime to raise, hunt or eat animal flesh only if you are a white, european male? Agriculture in any form necessarily alters the natural environment. And it has had that impact throughout history --not just confined to just the last 50 years or so, nor confined only to western civilization. History is littered with the remnants of civilizations long extinct whose demise was related to the environmental impact of their agricultural enterprises. Often, if not typically, these were far more devastating than any ag-related natural disaster that has occured over the past century. Addtionally, the modern world is replite with examples today of where traditional agricultural practices still in use are slowly degrading their environment. I respect your right to make your case but I hope you understand that freedom of speech does not mean that I have to agree with you, or even listen to you. As for me, I certainly advocate a complete diet of both meat and vegetables, and believe most Americans could use eating more vegetables and less indulgence on meat. But not because of some wishful notion that livestock are sentient creatures that have constitutional rights. I will eat my steak guilt-free

Rick Leonard's advocacy of animal agriculture is myopic and self-indulgent. We don't need to eat other animals at all. To ensure respect for human and non-human interests, humanity must change its worldview. Nonhuman animals have inherent worth, and the environment is their home. We can reduce human population growth by reducing the average number of children we have. Meanwhile,a vegan lifestyle frees up food and land to feed the world's existing human population, and it's respectful of all the planet's residents. Priscilla Feral Friends of Animals

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