Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

39 Arrested in Effort to Save Chickens From 'Horrific Cruelty' at Industrial Egg Farm

Animals

By Jon Queally

Thirty-nine people were arrested in California on Tuesday after approximately 500 animal rights activists organized by the Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) network staged a non-violent vigil and attempted a rescue operation at an industrial egg facility in the town of Petaluma.


Marching outside the farm entrance carrying flowers and denouncing the "horrific cruelty" they say takes place within the facility, the group was confronted by local police who barred them from entering and later arrested those who tried.

The group cited this video footage as evidence that Sunrise Farms—one of the region's largest egg farms and which provides eggs to Amazon-owned Whole Foods grocery chain—is keeping the birds in cruel and unhealthy confinement.

"Americans do not want to see animals exploited in our food system," former Northwestern law professor and DxE co-founder Wayne Hsiung said. "But when we have gone to authorities or corporations like Amazon with absolutely horrific footage of cruelty, no action has been taken."

Along with Hsuing—already facing the potential of decades in prison for previous investigations and similar rescue operations—dozens of other activists were arrested by local law enforcement after, according to the group, they attempted to enter the farm and access one of the industrial chicken sheds to document conditions and demand the transfer of sick or mistreated birds to the city animal shelter.

As the local Press Democrat reported:

Organizers claim the egg farm is an example of a systemic pattern of criminal animal abuse in California that isn't being addressed by either the justice system or by state and local animal welfare agencies.

"When the law is failing us, consumers and individuals have the right, and even the obligation, to reveal what's happening behind closed doors," said Cassie King, one of the organizers arrested Tuesday.

King maintained that California law expressly allows the protesters the right to provide aid and care to sick and injured animals and to document violations of the state's animal cruelty laws.

"These birds are living creatures, not things, but Amazon and other major retailers treat them like commodities,"DxE lead investigator Priya Sawhney said. "Whether it's foie gras or fur or factory farms, Amazon is shipping cruelty into millions of households across the world."

Hsiung, who was ultimately one of those arrested, said that when more Americans see "what's happening behind the doors of factory farms, they know it's against their values."

But, he added, "as long as corporations control our food system—including sending whistleblowers to prison—we won't have a food system with integrity." He concluded by saying he hopes Tuesday's demonstration "will chip away at their power."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

An electric car at an eVgo charging station in a parking lot in Dublin, California on June 20, 2018. Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday that would ban the sale of new cars in California that run only on gasoline by the year 2035. The bid to reduce emissions and combat the climate crisis would make California the first state to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines, according to POLITICO.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Long-finned pilot whales are seen during a 1998 stranding in Marion Bay in Tasmania, Australia. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.

Read More Show Less
A protest in solidarity with the Wetʼsuwetʼen's anti-pipeline struggle, at Canada House in Trafalgar Square on March 1, 2020 in London, England. More than 200 environmental groups had their Facebook accounts suspended days before an online solidarity protest. Ollie Millington / Getty Images

Facebook suspended more than 200 accounts belonging to environmental and Indigenous groups Saturday, casting doubt on the company's stated commitments to addressing the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
The Västra Hamnen neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, runs on renewable energy. Tomas Ottosson / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Harry Kretchmer

By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch