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From  Issue
19 May 2002
Safeway Victory

From Bruce Friedrich - [email protected] 

We are very pleased to announce that because of all your amazing effort and hard work, we are able to declare a moratorium in the Safeway Campaign! This is a significant step toward eliminating some of the worst abuses that animals endure on factory farms as Safeway is the first grocery store chain in U.S. history ever to do anything for farmed animals.

Actually, Safeway is not just a major grocery chain. Safeway is among the 50 largest U.S. corporations, with three times McDonald’s U.S. revenues. Clearly, this is a wonderful victory. It shows that society is changing because of agitation and exposure to these issues and that it now recognizes that cruelty to those animals it previously ignored is an important social issue. Our dream of a vegan world is another step closer.

Safeway has pledged to immediately begin unannounced audits of Seaboard Farms, the country’s fourth-largest pig-meat supplier. This plan follows a PETA undercover investigation that ended with four felony animal abuse charges leveled against Seaboard’s manager. Read about PETA’s investigation here:

In addition to the immediate plans to audit Seaboard, Safeway officials have pledged to enforce the new Food Marketing Institute (FMI) guidelines when they are released. PETA has been working with the FMI and its animal welfare panel for more than a year on guidelines expected to be released in June. We are hopeful that these guidelines will exceed those adopted by the fast-food giants. Safeway has also pledged to conduct audits of all suppliers and to work with any supplier that fails an audit to improve the conditions that led to the failure and then to conduct another unannounced audit. If the supplier fails again, Safeway will cut that supplier off. Safeway has pledged to implement all guidelines within six to 18 months and to announce all of its animal welfare plans publicly. Of course, the sooner, the better.

We have told Safeway that if the FMI guidelines are not out before the end of June or if they are not at least as good as those adopted by the fast-food chains, as we expect they will be, it will still have to meet or exceed the fast-food guidelines. All indications are that Safeway officials are serious, which is why we feel that we should direct our attention, over the next month, to making sure that the standards that they’re pledging to uphold are up to snuff and to soliciting promises from Safeway’s main competitors that they, too, will adopt and enforce the animal welfare guidelines when they come out in June.

What more can you do? Please check the and Web sites over the next week. We will have addresses for Safeway’s main competitors in the U.S. and Canada, as well as talking points for letters that should be written to them, encouraging them to follow Safeway’s lead. We will also have contact information for the Food Marketing Institute and the National Council of Chain Restaurants and will ask you to write to them, letting them know that any standards lower than those adopted by McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s will not be acceptable. We need to keep this momentum going!

We are so proud to know and work with so many outstanding activists. Over the past few years, your efforts have truly changed the national debate. Just two years ago, no corporation in the U.S. had required a thing of its suppliers of farmed animals. Now, half a dozen of the biggest corporations in the world have done so. What this means in decreased suffering and abuse can’t be overstated.

But maybe a bigger result is that the shift in national debate really begs the question, “Where do we get off eating these feeling beings in the first place?” Once corporations begin treating animals better, everyone is forced to consider that animals are not automatons or widgets, that they have interests, needs, desires, and more. As this consciousness grows, the vegan world we all want draws nearer.

Thanks so much for all you’re doing. We will keep you apprised of the situation as it develops. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Go on to Call For Soy Now
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