Tell Whole Foods: Killing Animals Is Not Advocacy!

January, 2005 — Friends of Animals, an international animal advocacy group with 200,000 members worldwide, will stage vigils at Whole Foods Markets on Tuesday 25 January on behalf of the animals in agriculture whose flesh this company peddles.

To “give shoppers peace of mind,” Whole Foods Market is heralding its 25th year by promising 5% of a day’s sales to a new Animal Compassion Foundation.

The company “invites shoppers to visit its 166 stores” in Britain and North America to help “assist and inspire ranchers and meat producers around the world to achieve a higher standard of animal welfare excellence while still maintaining economic viability.”[1]

Flesh that adheres to the company standard will be marked with an Animal Compassion logo.

CEO John Mackey states: “Whole Foods Market is pioneering an entirely new way for people to relate to farm animals – with the animals’ welfare becoming the most important goal. “

Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral responds: “An interest in other animals’ welfare doesn’t mean paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to concoct new ways of relating to them on farms before baking, broiling, stir-frying or sautéing them. A day of 5% discounts on the store’s vegan products would be far more appropriate.”

Instead, Whole Foods’ new Foundation will raise research money so “animal scientists at universities around the world” can “conduct scientific studies of more compassionate animal raising techniques.”

Parties backing this experiment include the Humane Society of the U.S.; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; Viva!; Animal Rights International; Animal Welfare Institute; and “animal welfare scientists” at the University of Guelph and Université Laval. The “success” of the Foundation “will be measured by feedback from livestock producers.”

To top it off, Whole Foods Market calls this marketing scheme “a continuation of being a responsible tenant of the planet.” What could be less truthful, when much of the Earth’s precious water and half its grain goes to farm animals bred into existence for corporate profit?[2]

Veganism is the ethical response to a most urgent social justice issue: for all animals, including the human ones.

Time of Vigil:

1-3 p.m. on Tuesday, 25 Jan. 2005


Whole Foods Market of New York City: 10 Columbus Circle

Whole Foods Market of Washington, DC: 1440 P St. NW

Whole Foods Market of Greenwich, Connecticut: 90 E. Putnam Avenue

Whole Foods Market of Portland, Oregon: 1210 NW Couch Street

Devon Whole Foods of Wayne, Pennsylvania: 821 Lancaster Avenue


  1. This release quotes “Whole Foods Market Establishes Foundation to Help Achieve More Compassionate Treatment of Farm Animals” at (viewed 18 Jan. 2005). The promotional contact address in related company leaflets is
  2. George Monbiot, “Why Vegans Were Right All Along: Famine Can Only Be Avoided if the Rich Give Up Meat, Fish and Dairy” – The Guardian (24 Dec. 2002)