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Following Investigation and Open Rescue, Animal Rights Activists Protest inside South of Market District Costco

Activists Urge the Public to Take Action against “Animal Abusing” Companies

December 17, 2016, San Francisco, CA–  Today, following an investigation of a North American pig breeding farm and open rescue of a piglet destined for slaughter, activists with the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) protested inside the South of Market District Costco. The investigation follows two investigations in 2016 finding horrific violence at Costco meat suppliers, including a pig farm with mass overuse of antibiotics and a cage-free egg facility rife with cannibalism. Activists covered the meat and deli sections of the store with hundreds of messages of hope for nonhuman animals in the new year, formed a human chain to block the meat counter, and delivered speeches about the animals who died in 2016, those who were rescued, and their hopes for nonhuman animals in 2017.

“Animals like Madison, the piglet DxE’s open rescue network saved from slaughter, have dreams just like you and me,” said local activist ACTIVIST NAME. “Make these dreams a reality by resolving to take nonviolent direct action against animal-abusing companies like Costco in the new year.”

This month, a DxE open rescue team entered a massive North American pig breeding farm where mother pigs are forcibly impregnated and confined to gestation crates as small as their own bodies and where baby piglets are taken away just 17 days after birth. Activists describe the conditions as “nightmarish” with dozens of dead and rotting piglets littering the ground. They rescued a ten-pound piglet named Madison who was destined for slaughter and brought her to safety. 

Pigs are as intelligent as dogs and human toddlers. They are also very social animals with excellent memories. Yet corporations like Costco force them to experience tortured lives and untimely deaths. After being taken away from their mothers, young pigs are confined to filthy pens where they must fight for food, water and space. At six months of age, juvenile pigs are transported to slaughter in trucks where they are jammed in shoulder to shoulder. Filthy, crowded conditions in slaughterhouses cause many pigs to become ill and the practice of using excessive amounts of antibiotics in order to keep pigs alive until slaughter has contributed to the worldwide health crisis known as “superbugs” or antibiotic resistant bacteria.

In July 2016, DxE investigated Hormel’s Farmer John, a supplier to Costco, where the investigative team found pigs eating each other alive and antibiotic-resistant Staph infection. The team rescued a sick piglet they named Miley and staged protests at Costco stores nationwide. In October, DxE investigated a cage-free Costco egg supplier, finding cannibalism and extreme duress at a farm that had been a model for the industry. The team rescued a sick hen named Ella from the facility and took her to a vet for treatment. In all cases, the activists have called for a campaign of protests to end violence against animals.

“The holiday season is a time for families to be together, but families like Madison’s are being ripped apart every day for the profit of animal abusing companies like Costco,” said activist OTHER ACTIVIST NAME, “but we know that there is another way. We see a future where every animal can live safe, happy and free.”

Pigs and other animals who are killed for their flesh during the holiday season 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  Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.