Launch of Chipotle’s Farmed and Dangerous Miniseries Triggers International Protests
Company’s Marketing Disguises Violence, Animal Rights Activists Say
San Francisco, Saturday, February 22, 2014 – Today, animal rights activists in San Francisco with the animal liberation network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) joined with demonstrators worldwide to protest the February 17 premiere of Chipotle Mexican Grill’s original miniseries, Farmed and Dangerous. Activists say the miniseries, which the New York Times described as a “stealth marketing campaign,” disguises the violent reality of animal agriculture. Chipotle, one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing restaurant companies, has made the “Food with Integrity” slogan a central part of its business strategy, and CEO Steve Ells has promised to the public to “run our business in a way that doesn’t exploit animals.” Yet activists point out that, as even meat industry publications have noted, Chipotle continues to source from so-called factory farms and has even faced legal challenges for its deceptive marketing.
“Chipotle engages in brutal violence against animals, but they want the public to believe otherwise,” protester Priya Sawhney said. “The truth is that this is a company that is dangerous, not compassionate, to animals.”
The international demonstrations, which included stories, candles, and images to remember the tens of thousands of animals killed for Chipotle restaurants every day, are part of DxE’s “It’s not Food, It’s Violence” campaign. The campaign, which was launched on October 19, 2013 in San Francisco, has swelled to over 20 cities and five countries in the past month. The activists say that Chipotle and other companies are exploiting popular concern over animal welfare to fill corporate coffers. They add that Farmed and Dangerous, which NBC News has described as “a new frontier in branded entertainment,” is merely the latest example in a pattern of corporate fraud.
“There’s something deeply troubling when a $17 billion company goes to these lengths to project an image of integrity and compassion,” Sawhney said. “Viewers can’t even tell Chipotle’s marketing is an ad.”
While Chipotle is the primary focus of the “It’s not Food, It’s Violence” campaign, the protesters note that violence against animals extends far beyond Chipotle’s walls. In the United States alone, approximately 10 billion animals (not including fish and other sea animals) are killed annually to be eaten. Animals who are killed for their flesh endure intense psychological and physical trauma, and undercover investigations have found that they are routinely eviscerated while still conscious.
Direct Action Everywhere is a network of animal rights activists working to challenge speciesism throughout society. We use creative protest to challenge the use of animals for food, clothing, experimentation, and entertainment. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on facebook and at http://directactioneverywhere.com/. Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.