Animal Rights Activists Protest “Humane Washing”
San Francisco, October 19, 2013 – Today, animal rights advocates in six cities, including San Francisco, performed a “die-in” at Chipotle restaurants to protest the company’s violence against animals and what the activists say is deceptive “humane washing.” Protesters with the grassroots animal liberation network Direct Action Everywhere gathered in stores across the country and, in a choreographed demonstration, collapsed on to the floor with placards saying “Killing is No Kindness” and “It’s Not Food. It’s Violence.” Chipotle recently drew national attention for its animated short, “The Scarecrow.” The film includes scenes of idyllic and sustainable farms, but omits any slaughter of animals for meat. The film has been heavily criticized for being “rife with chicanery,” and Funny or Die recently released a parody entitled “Honest Scarecrow,” which points out inconsistencies in the company’s marketing.
“Chipotle would like us to believe that animals killed for food are treated with kindness,” protester Chris Van Breen said. “In reality, this is nothing more than a marketing campaign. It’s humane washing: an attempt to disguise killing animals for meat as something other than it what it is—violence.”
Chipotle has marketed its food as “unconditionally loved” and made “with integrity.” The activists call this “humane washing,” a reference to “greenwashing” by corporations who market their products as environmentally friendly, when in reality they are not. The protestors at today’s die-in say killing is inherently inhumane. Further, they point out that one beef industry publication has noted that, despite its professed concern for animal welfare, Chipotle purchases meat from the same confined animal feedlot operations (so-called “factory farms”) as other buyers.
Activists in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Chicago, and Philadelphia joined the national protest against Chipotle, demanding the company stop its support for violence against animals and its deceptive marketing.
In the United States alone, approximately 10 billion animals (not including fish and other sea animals) are killed annually for food and millions more for leather, fur, and other “textiles.” Thousands of animals are held captive in zoos and other entertainment industries. The number of animals used annually for vivisection is at least 1 million, according to the USDA, but the industry is not required to report its use of rodents, which comprise 80-90 percent of the animals used.
View photographs and videos from today’s San Francisco demonstration here.
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 directactioneverywhere.com. Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.