Wayne Hsiung
Published on
July 15, 2014

Chipotle: We communicate with pigs via telepathy!

by Wayne Hsiung

There were a lot of inspiring, powerful, and poignant moments at AR2014. But perhaps the most bizarre -- and the instance that most aptly illustrated the near absurd deceptions put out by Chipotle -- involved an initially hostile customer who transformed, for one afternoon, into an animal rights investigator! 

The man in question was struck by the evocative display of human beings wrapped in foil, with a looming butcher standing over them, and stopped to gawk. After he began to jeer -- "Go Chipotle! I love meat! -- I stopped to talk to him. 

"What are your thoughts on the protest, sir?" I asked. 

"Well, it's a protest against meat, right?" he replied. 

 This Chipotle customer and heckler transformed into an animal rights supporter -- and fact-checker -- in a span of 5 minutes due to our protest. 
This Chipotle customer and heckler transformed into an animal rights supporter -- and fact-checker -- in a span of 5 minutes due to our protest.

"It's a protest against violence."

The man stopped smiling and looked at me quizzically. I went on to ask the man about his interactions with animals. He told me that he had a dog that he loved. I asked him how he would feel if someone hurt his dog. He responded that he wouldn't let it happen. 

"We're doing the same thing -- we don't want to let these terrible things happen to gentle animals -- and we're asking for your support." 

We continued talking for a few minutes, and by the end of the conversation, I had him sold.

"I haven't gotten to that enlightened point that you have already, but I hope to achieve that one day," he explained. 

"It's not about enlightenment. It's about showing that you don't support these violent corporations and traditions." 

He told me he'd go into the store and ask about the animals. And he did. 

What he brought out caused my jaw to drop to the floor. He came back out, almost frantically, laughing and waving a card in the air. 

"You've gotta see this. They say they're telepathic!" he said. 

For a moment, I thought the man was mocking us again, or had gone insane. But when I looked at the card, I saw what he was laughing and waving about. Chipotle, in response to his concerned question, had handed the man a free burrito coupon. On the back, the card described the wonderful conditions its animals are raised in -- standard fare. But that was not all. The card also claimed that the company was able to communicate telepathically with pigs, a breakthrough in trans-species communication that would probably win the company a Nobel Prize! 

 The bizarre Chipotle card. 
The bizarre Chipotle card.

What did the pigs have to say, in the moments before they were butchered and torn to pieces to serve the company's rapidly-growing empire of violence? Not that they were scared. Not that they were in terrible pain. Not even that they would really really rather not die. No, no, what the company wants you to believe is that, in their moment of telepathic connection with pigs, the pigs told them they were happy to be raised so humanely. 

You know a company has gone off the rails when it starts talking about telepathy with its victims. But I suppose when your entire business model is founded on a fraud, there's not much else you can do.

A house of cards is bound to collapse, though. And as my new friend told me as he walked away, shaking his head. "This company is completely ridiculous. And somebody has to point that out." 

We will, sir. We will. 

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