Campaign Against Factory Farming – The Humane Farming Assoc. Speaks Out

Taken from The Humane Farming Association, Summer 2015

HFA Exposes Humane Washing-and the Corporatization of Farm Animal Issues

In recent months, there’s been a seemingly endless stream of press releases from the nation’s largest marketers of factory-raised meat, dairy, and eggs announcing various supposedly “game changing” animal welfare policies.

The purpose:  To rehabilitate battered corporate images; to persuade the public that they can buy factory-farmed products without guilt- and to counter the efforts of HFA and others committed to enacting enforceable laws that actually stop cruel factory farm practices.

The list of companies hopping aboard the humane-washing bandwagon reads like a who’s who of corporate America:

McDonalds, Burger King, Safeway, Kroger, Sam’s Club, Denny’s, Nestles, Smithfield, Tyson Foods, General Mills, Costco and Walmart.

What do all these companies have in common? First, of course, is that these are among the world’s largest marketers of factory farm products-and the biggest drivers of farm animal cruelty, worker exploitation, and irresponsible public health and environmental practices.

Secondly, what these companies all have in common is that their so-called animal welfare policies do absolutely nothing to prevent animal cruelty or alleviate animal suffering.

Just take a look at the latest case of humane washing, Walmart. It’s highly publicized animal welfare policy contains nothing other than non-binding public relations fluff.  The company merely said that it will be “asking” its suppliers to institute some non-specific changes at some un-specified point in the future.

Years in the future.

In short, Walmart committed itself to doing nothing-and gave absolutely no timeline for [not]doing it.

Under normal circumstances, the public and media would be immediately and appropriately dismissive of such glaringly empty corporate spin.  But these are strange times.  Walmart, for the moment anyway, has been largely successful in generating positive press for itself-while actually doing nothing.  How?

They had help.

And that brings us to the third and most disturbing thing these companies have in common.  Following in the footsteps of the United Egg Producers-Walmart, McDonalds, and others have eagerly formed promotional partnerships with the nation’s wealthiest and most corrupted animal “charity,” the misnamed Humane Society of the United States.

Walmart Follows Costco’s Playbook

Walmart is only the largest in a long list of companies that have co-opted HSUS for the purpose of rehabilitating its public image-and form conning the public into thinking that the animal products it sells are humanely raised.

Among the first to use this ploy was the big box giant, Costco-the world’s largest warehouse chain.  Eight-count them, eight years ago, Costco received free publicity and praise from HSUS for merely saying that it would stop selling eggs from battery cage operations.

Of course, along with praising Costco, HSUS took the opportunity to claim credit for supposedly making that happen.  Now, fast forward to June 2015.

Literally, within days of Walmart announcing its own [fictitious] farm animal welfare policy, Costco was exposed for continuing to sell eggs from horrific battery cage conditions. Just as always.

For all those who have been following what happened in California with the botched ballot measure, Proposition 2, this pattern of deception will sound remarkably familiar.  That’s because, in essence, what we’re dealing with here is the corporate marketing equivalent.

The public is tricked into thinking that all is well and that laying hens are, or soon will be, free from battery cages.

HSUS spends the next several years falsely claiming credit for Costco’s “humane” policy.

Costco and the egg industry reap the public relations benefits and get a free pass for the better part of a decade.  Until:

It’s finally revealed, years later, that the promised changes never actually happened-and that the animals are still suffering in cages.

It’s a pattern that has been repeating itself over and over again.  But with your help, we can change that.

HFA Fights Back

Virtually all successful anti-cruelty campaigns are eventually met with industry counter-measures.  The Humane Farming Association’s {HFA} campaign against factory farming is certainly no exception.

Faced with our steady advances against cruel and dangerous factory farm abuses, agribusiness is grasping at ways to preserve its deplorable practices-and if the public is misled in process, well, that’s just business as usual.

We simply cannot, and will not, allow this humane washing-and unrestrained animal cruelty – to go unchallenged.  Your renewed support will help us to expose this fraud nationally and ensure that all of our efforts to outlaw battery cages and other forms of farm animal cruelty stay on track!

From 60 Minutes to HBO documentaries, from the Los Angeles Times to the Washington Post, HFA’s anti-cruelty investigations and media campaigns are exposing the reality of factory farming to literally millions of people.  This is directly resulting in criminal prosecutions of animal abusers and the enactment of historic new laws.

And neither Costco, nor Walmart, nor any of the other humane-washing corporations are going to stop us from achieving real change in the way farm animals are treated!

These are crucial issues at stake.  We are counting on your strong support so that farm animals receive the protection they so desperately need and deserve.

Bradley S. Miller, National Director

P.S. I’m very pleased to report that, once again this year , the independent charity review organization, CharityWatch [American Institute of Philanthrophy], has awarded HFA with its Top Rated Charity status.

HFA does not use professional fundraisers-100% of contributions go directly into HFA’s lifesaving work. Thank you!


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