Investigate Alleged Abuse at “Humane” Turkey Farms

800px-An_injured_turkey via Mercy for Animals

Target: Walter E Robb IV, CEO of Whole Foods

Goal: Demand that Whole Foods stop misrepresenting their meat as “humane.”

Turkeys at Whole Foods’ “humane farms” are experiencing the same abuse as most other birds in the country, according to animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE. After an undercover investigation, DxE revealed that the birds are being crammed into cramped barns with filth-laden floors and poor air quality. A video taken by investigators shows birds with patchy plumage and swollen eyes struggling to breathe as a dead bird is left to decompose among the live ones.

The health-conscious grocery chain uses a five-tiered rating system to rank their farms in terms of humane animal husbandry, advertising that its 5+ rated turkeys come from open, grassy pastures and are never crowded into barns or cages. Instead, investigators allege that supplier Diestel Farms is importing meat from lower-rated offshoot farms where animals actually endure horrific conditions.

This is not the first time that Whole Foods has been found to misrepresent the origin of its meat. A previous lawsuit alleges that sick and injured animals at other suppliers were allowed to suffer for weeks without medical care. Sweet Stem Farm, a Whole Foods supplier of “humanely raised” pork, was accused of keeping its pigs in cramped spaces with conditions little better than a factory farm.

Not only are customers being deceived into believing they are purchasing cruelty-free meat, but they are also being charged more. This type of misrepresentation is harmful to the animals, the consumers, as well as the Whole Foods brand. Sign the petition below to demand that Whole Foods drop inhumane suppliers and work to ensure that meats are represented accurately by increasing oversight and introducing more rigorous third-party inspections.


Dear Mr. Robb,

Recent video allegedly taken at a Whole Foods supplier farm shows turkeys being kept in appalling conditions, cramped into crowded cages and suffering from respiratory issues due to the filth on the floors and the resulting poor air quality. These findings are particularly shocking since Whole Foods markets its meat as “humanely raised.”

This blatant misrepresentation is not only unfair to the animals in Whole Foods farms, but to the consumers who expect a superior product and pay for such. In order to preserve the integrity of the Whole Foods brand, an overhaul of its meat supply chain must be implemented. We, the undersigned, demand improved oversight and more frequent inspections of suppliers in order to ensure adherence to welfare ratings, and that farms which misrepresent their products are cut out of the Whole Foods supply chain.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mercy for Animals

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  1. Oh please…I’ve known about what Whole Foods is up to behind the scenes (and even blatantly up-front as well) for a few years now, so this isn’t surprising at all – just more infuriating! Whole Foods and the HSUS are in cahoots, both promoting MORE eating of animals and this “humane food” BS movement, as in their “Meatopia” co-sponsored event 3 years ago. See:

    In truth, there is NO SUCH THING as “humane” or “happy” meat. It stinks, they stink, the whole business of using animals as if they don’t matter and don’t want to live, stinks.

    What is a “humane” killing?

    Boycott Whole Foods for their known hypocrisy in several arenas, and let them feel it where it hurts them most – at the bank. They are no “innocents” in this complicity to deceive the public.

  2. Natasha polychuk says:

    there is no humane meat!!
    go vegan!!!!!!!

  3. Damn Whole Foods!!!

  4. When i first learned about factory farming I bought only so-called humane meat and eggs. Quickly I learned there was no such thing and gave up all meat, eggs and dairy. Education and awareness is the key to stopping this. Please keep spreading the word.

  5. Kae Blecha, OTR says:

    Either they don’t investigate their suppliers or they don’t care. Perhaps they should change their name to “Hole Foods”.

  6. No such thing as “humane” murder. But thanks to the seventeen “animal rights” Organizations( including killer peta and Mercy for animals) endorsing Whole Foods’ “Animal Compassionate” Standards, we have this atrocity a 10 years later.
    Instead of focusing on vegan advocacy, untold nonhuman animals have been murdered.

  7. ALL animals should be treated with kindness, respect & love — we should tolerate nothing less — if you MUST eat meat, buy products from farms who treat their animals with love & care from Day #1 — look to HFAC — CERTIFIED HUMANE – RAISED & HANDLED — do NOT purchase nor give support to those farms who are cruel, unconscionable, brutal, sadistic, merciless to animals — we MUST stop the horror inflicted on our animals!

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