Compassionate Consumers has a new video available on DVD and for download titled Wegmans Cruelty. It focuses on the conditions at Wegmans’ egg plants and the treatment that the hens there receive. Wegmans makes use of the Animal Care Certified label, which, of course, is an industry-developed set of rules that mean absolutely nothing. Birds are still allowed to be crammed into battery cages, their beaks are still permitted to be burned off without painkiller, and they can be starved to force a new egg-laying cycle.
The video is very well-produced and while those of us that have seen all the standard factory farming videos won’t be surprised by what’s shown, it feels good to see members of Compassionate Consumers during the open rescue. They take care of some of the most neglected hens and do the job that Wegmans themselves won’t do: remove carcasses that had clearly been there for weeks from the cages.
The most powerful point in the video comes during a recorded phone conversation with a Wegmans representative that insists the company meets-and-exceeds animal care standards and that having sick or dead birds isn’t in their best financial interest. This conversation is the audio backdrop for video footage that shows exactly the opposite of everything the representative says.
So why did they target Wegmans? I imagine it’s because Wegmans is one of the companies that, when approached with this information and footage, may actually do something. They’ve been named the best place to work by Fortune and are generally considered to be good to both their employees and customers. They feature a nice selection of organic fruits and vegetables as well as fairly priced health and natural foods. Let’s just hope that they can extend their compassion and sense of fairness to their animals as well.