We say that we love animals. Seventy percent of us have an animal companion. Nearly three out of four say that we should “eliminate all forms of animal cruelty.” (http://goo.gl/wYEu2I) And two thirds say that an animal’s right to live free of suffering is just as important as a human being’s. (http://goo.gl/ePQUL3) But while the number of animal lovers has grown, so too has the number of animals being killed and abused. Our growing love for animals has come, strangely, with an increasing tide of violence. (http://goo.gl/HPx8Vr)
Why? We are told – by our community, our culture, and by corporate marketing departments -- that we can “love” animals… while eating their mutilated bodies. Massive corporations such as Chipotle explain to the public that their animals are treated with respect and decency. They say that they are “pro-animal,” and that they raise their animals responsibly. Their website and videos are filled with happy, adorable animals in sunlit grassy fields. They’re so good to the animals, in fact, that animal lovers (even animal activists) feel compelled to support them, and pay for the corpses of their victims.
But this is not a true “love.” Chipotle is perhaps the fastest-growing animal killer in the world and the third largest restaurant company. They deliberately use words such as “natural” and “raised with care” because they know that such words have no legal significance. (Even meat industry publications have pointed out that Chipotle sources from abusive “factory farms.”) More than any other company, Chipotle has preyed on the public’s most admirable feelings–kindness, compassion, and love – and twisted them to serve its engine of violence.
It’s time for that to change. Last month, we delivered an open letter to Chipotle’s CEO demanding that he fulfill his public promise to “run our business in a way that doesn’t exploit animals.” Now we turn to Chipotle’s customers. So many of them say they love animals. This month, we ask them to put their Love in Action.
We will go to Chipotle locations all over the world with the stories and faces of individual victims of violence who we, as activists, have taken action to protect. We will fill the Chipotle landscape with postcards that ask, “If you truly loved her, would you kill her? If you truly loved her, would you stand idly, and allow her to be tortured and killed?”
The “It’s not Food, It’s Violence” campaign has grown from 1 to 24 cities since it started at the end of October. We have received media coverage in multiple cities, forced a frantic response by Chipotle’s PR team, and inspired new activists and activism all over the world. The company’s stock price has stalled since we began our campaign on October 19. But we need your help to keep up the momentum.
Join us this month in our fifth day of action. Join us as we show Chipotle, and the world, that love is not violence. Love is not enslavement and mutilation. Love is liberation, and love is action.