Wayne Hsiung

Published on:

February 5, 2014

Why the animal rights movement is not as stupid as Chipotle thinks

 Chipotle's CEO: not the hero he makes himself out to be.
Chipotle's CEO: not the hero he makes himself out to be.

We're not as stupid as Chipotle thinks

One of the notable things about Chipotle is that they prey on what they believe to be the stupidity of their customers. They make ridiculously false statements, such as their CEO's "promise to run our business in a way that doesn’t exploit animals." They depict the animals raised by them as adorable and happy babies nursed with tender love and care, when the reality of so-called free range or natural farms is grim and violent. They even make videos where Chipotle employees liberate animals from factory farms! (Who knew? The third largest restaurant company in the world is apparently a cell of the ALF!)

And they've succeeded, at least in the short run. Chipotle has grown explosively -- 1000% in the past five years. It receives almost universally positive press. And even animal rights groups fall all over one another, in praising (and seeking the praise of) this supposedly "good corporation." 

The problem with such over-the-top claims, however, is the same problem with all untruths. They don't hold up in the long run. And when some of the best and brightest minds in the world are starting to seriously scrutinize the personhood of non-human animals, the whole charade is bound to collapse in a house of cards. 

Since we started our campaign in October, Chipotle's growth in market cap has slowed tremendously. The consequence could literally be tens of millions of fewer animals killed by Chipotle's corporate engine of violence. Whether that is a temporary lull, or a sign that the world is finally waking up, will depend on whether our movement poses an effective challenge to the humane myth. 

Make it out on February 22. And fight for liberation. Not "humane" consumerism.