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 10, 2005


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Monday I went to the Emerging Filmmakers show at The Little (240 East Ave.) The big draw was Wegmans Cruelty by Compassionate Consumers and it didn't disappoint.

I'm accustomed to seeing "documentaries" that attack a corporation, but they always seem to sensationalize the trivial and are unable to convey complexity. In this case, the complaint was simple, visual, and visceral. Wegmans maintains a large chicken farm in Wayne County and the conditions are deplorable — even for stupid chickens. They are kept in cages stacked 3-high with mesh floors, allowing the lower birds to be defecated upon. Each cage held between about 5 and 9 chickens which represented about 40% of the volume of the whole cage — there was barely room for the birds to move, and impossible for them to do so without stepping on one another. The documentary found dozens of dead birds — some badly decomposed — in cages with living ones. Several chickens had escaped their cages and were living in the piles of feces below the cages; one being rescued from being trapped neck-deep in it.

Now I'm not one to really care much about chickens, but this was quite absurd. I'm also not one to experience nausea [although a bit squemish about knee and eye surgery] but this was really friggin' gross. I doubt Wegmans, like any corporation whose overriding motive is profits, will change their ways. They have already charged the filmmakers with burglary — stealing chickens (the filmmakers refer to it as "rescuing" as the birds stolen were badly in need of veternary attention.) They also broke into the farm house because Wegmans does not let anybody but workers into the farms (and that apparently includes other Wegmans workers or management.) It's clear that none of the major media outlets will do anything because they all get paid a pretty penny for sucking W-Cock.

Not that the Wegmans case particularly matters, though, since this is pervasive in the industry. According to the filmmakers on hand, farming industries have lobbied that even if an action is illegal, no one farm can be charged if it is a pervasive practice. Thus (according to the filmmakers) although there is a New York State law making it illegal to deny an animal food or water, the birds who get their necks caught in the cages and are left to die don't count because that's common practice across all chicken farms.

Heck, these practices are so pervasive, that farms like these have thier own certifications that are actually met: in Wegmans case this is both the New York State Egg Quality Assurance Program and the "Animal Care Certified" mark. This kind of thing doesn't fill me with any confidence for any certification mark ... I'm getting to demand to see where my food comes from, although in reality I gamble with my health like everybody else.

But let me just finish by saying that I might just puke if I see someone lick the shell of an egg right out of the package. I swear: it was that nasty.


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