Wegmans Cruelty: An Unofficial Blog

This is an unofficial blog and informational archive related to the WEGMANSCRUELTY film and resulting campaign.

Please see that page for more information.

Friday, September 16, 2005


July 21, 2005

Colleen Wegman, President
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
1500 Brooks Ave.
Rochester, NY 14624

Dear Ms. Wegman:

On behalf of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal protection organization with more than 9 million members and constituents, I write to request a meeting to discuss a potentially mutually beneficial association between Wegmans and The HSUS and to clarify information regarding the “Animal Care Certified” advertising program. Specifically, I’d like to ask you to consider making a major commitment to sell only cage-free eggs at your stores.

As you may know, both Wild Oats Natural Marketplace and Whole Foods Market have recently adopted corporate policies against the sale of eggs from birds confined in cages. Presently, approximately 300 million hens in U.S. egg farms are overcrowded in wire “battery cages” so restrictive they aren’t even able to spread their wings, let alone engage in many other natural behaviors, including nesting, dust bathing, perching, and even walking. These birds endure lives of daily frustration and suffering.

Contrary to Wegmans’ statement that “hens do not produce eggs unless they are healthy and well-cared for,” world renowned poultry scientist Dr. Joy Mench affirms: “It is now generally agreed that good productivity and health are not necessarily indicators of good welfare....Individual animals may be in a comparatively poor state of welfare even though productivity within the unit may be high.”

Wegmans has the ability to truly make a difference for these birds and to respond in a positive way to the recent attention the company has received from an activist organization. Should Wegmans commit to phasing out the use of battery cages at Wegmans Egg Farm, the company would not only position itself as a market leader on animal welfare issues, but The HSUS would welcome the opportunity to promote Wegmans’ socially responsible cage-free policy by informing our millions of members and constituents, as well as consumers across the country, through press releases, web features, magazine articles, and our other communications tools.

Given Wegmans’ interest in animal welfare and the company’s mention of the “Animal Care Certified” (ACC) program on its website, I feel compelled to share with you my concerns that you have been misled about the value and integrity of the ACC advertising, which is fraught with controversy and legal challenges. In November 2003 and again in May 2004 upon appeal, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ruled that the “Animal Care Certified” logo on egg cartons amounts to false and misleading advertising. The BBB then urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in August 2004 to take legal action against those using it. The case is currently pending before the FTC, and the “Animal Care Certified” promotion is presently the subject of a false advertising lawsuit in Washington, D.C.

Additionally, I’d like to draw your attention to a final point needing clarification. Although the Wegmans website asserts that its egg facility is audited by federal agencies, neither the U.S. Food and Drug Administration nor the U.S. Department of Agriculture issues animal welfare guidelines for egg production. In fact, there is no federal law or agency that protects egg-laying hens from abuse.

It is my hope that Wegmans will rethink its position and phase out battery cages at the Wegmans Egg Farm. I have no doubt that consumers will respond very favorably as they have towards Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Natural Marketplaces. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this important issue and positive promotion opportunity. Please contact me at 301-258-3070 or wpacelle@hsus.org.


Wayne Pacelle
President and CEO


  • At 3:07 PM, Anonymous kay jackson said…

    Just think this is why the world is dying everyday...Would you want someone to treat your young to badly..This animals have feelings also . lets' stop the sluters...thank God I am a veggie person...these people don't care and it make me sick too think people lets this happens.hope they have night mares rest of their born life....


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