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.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Brave trio help to end cruel practice

By Maite Kropp

TheReporter.Com

Now more than ever, I see an increasing number of people concerned about how their food is produced. They read food labels with care. They read between the lines.

No longer do public relations gimmicks sell food products. Take Wegmans Egg Farm, a 750,000-hen egg facility in Wolcott, Wayne County, New York. On each carton of eggs from the mass-egg production facility was a logo that reads "Animal Care Certified."

Three young people - Adam Duran, Melanie Ippolito and Megan Cosgrove - took it upon themselves to check the validity of this propaganda. In July 2004, they went into the facility and filmed what "Animal Care" was all about. It was not what the logo read on the cartons at all.

The film, shown in a theater last summer, has been met with controversy. It has also produced change.

Duran, Ippolito and Cosgrove were indicted last week on several counts by the Wayne County grand jury, including burglary, criminal mischief, petty larceny and criminal trespassing. If found guilty, they each face several years in prison.

I guess the charge of petty larceny would be for taking nine injured birds, of which two could not be nursed back to health.

In this country, more than 80 percent of the egg cartons carry the "Animal Care Certified" logo. This is a misleading advertising gimmick that was created by the industry.

This is a pivotal case. In the future, egg producers who keep their poultry in battery cages will no longer be able to use the words "animal care." What the educated, compassionate public wants today is free-range egg production.

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced an end to the misleading logo. This is another step toward the ending of battery cages.

In 1985, according to the Humane Farming Association, a battery cage measured 12 inches by 18 inches. On the average, there are five to six birds chickens in each cage.

Considering the size of Wegmans, the courage of three, very young individuals makes me appreciate there are those who will risk jail time for the betterment of the animal kingdom.

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