Meat and Dairy IndustryOpen Letter to Chipotle: Broken Promises, Stolen Lives
A Meat and Diary Industries Article from All-Creatures.org

All of God's creatures have rights, a fact that most people don't seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves. As we continue to disregard the value of the lives of the billions of animals we eat, we also are destroying our air, land and water.

FROM

Direct Action Everywhere
May 2014

[Ed. Note: Please also read Chipotle Experiences an Outbreak of Literary Food Poisoning...] 

direct action Chipotle

Chipotle has, in short, preyed on its customers’ good intentions. And while its corporate propaganda has succeeded in making it one of the most successful businesses in the world, it has also left it vulnerable – particularly when even meat industry publications have noted that the company purchases meat from the same concentrated animal feedlot operations (so-called “factory farms”) as other buyers. More than any other restaurant, Chipotle has tied its fortunes to the myth of “humane meat.”

Read An Open Letter to Chipotle - PDF

The focus of these actions by Direct Action Everywhere is Chipotle. And some ask, why protest a company that appears to be “making an effort”? Here are four reasons:

(1) It’s big. Chipotle is one of the largest and fastest-growing restaurant chains in the world. Its market capitalization is over $17 billion. In its most recent 3-month quarter, it took in an incredible $827 million (18% growth from the year before), and it is growing far faster than other animal-killers. We need a big and ambitious target to attract nationwide attention.

(2) It’s at fault. Over 98% of Chipotle’s sales involve violence against animals, which amounts to billions of dollars in blood money. And as the company grows, more and more animals are killed to serve its bottom line. There are not many companies with more blood on their hands than Chipotle.

(3) It’s a leader. Due to its size and growth, many other companies look to Chipotle for guidance in their own practices. Chipotle doubled its sales of carnitas after switching to a so-called "natural" supplier, and other chains are following its lead. Taco Bell, for example, recently released a Cantina Bell line of items that mimics Chipotle's marketing. If we can change Chipotle, we can change the world.

(4) It’s a fraud. Chipotle has the audacity to claim that it is killing with “love” and “integrity.” It financed the distribution of a “pro farmer” documentary called American Meat that was well-received in theaters all over the country and described by the Village Voice as “exemplifying the history of meat production in the U.S., especially its innovations, by arguing that the industry is essential to the sustainability of our civilization.”

It put on a nationwide Cultivate Festival that purported to show how the company was making a better world by killing animals, while featuring chefs who have been publicly unapologetic about their disdain for animal welfare. (“You put tripe in a bowl and tell them it’s from a humanely raised cow, and they’re going to eat it,” said one to the New York Times.) And most recently, it invested millions into an animated short, The Scarecrow, with idyllic scenes of humane and sustainable farming—but, notably, no images of slaughter. The film, which was viewed by millions, was decried by even mainstream press as “rife with chicanery” and ridiculed for its absurd marketing claims by Will Ferrell’s outfit, Funny or Die, in a powerful parody: The Honest Scarecrow.

Chipotle has, in short, preyed on its customers’ good intentions. And while its corporate propaganda has succeeded in making it one of the most successful businesses in the world, it has also left it vulnerable – particularly when even meat industry publications have noted that the company purchases meat from the same concentrated animal feedlot operations (so-called “factory farms”) as other buyers. More than any other restaurant, Chipotle has tied its fortunes to the myth of “humane meat.”


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