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.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Students and Staff Ask Wegmans To Follow School’s Lead

Rochester, NY (October 11, 2005) – Today the University of Rochester Vegetarian Education Group (UR-VEG) announced a petition drive aimed at Wegmans Food Markets. The group is urging Wegmans to phase out tiered "battery" cages at the company's egg farm in Wolcott, NY. Battery-cage eggs were removed recently from all products prepared at the University of Rochester, where Wegmans CEO Danny Wegman is a Senior Trustee. The UR group is calling on Wegman and his company to follow the school's lead.

"Dining Services should be congratulated for its concern for animal welfare," said UR Take-Five Scholar Abigail Aresty. "You would hope that someone who sits on the UR's Board of Trustees would want his company to be in line with university policies."

Wegmans runs the largest egg farm in New York State, with over 700,000 layer hens. In 2004, UR-VEG contacted Wegmans to inquire about the conditions on their farm. Birds caged on factory egg farms typically are covered with bruises, receive little to no veterinary care, and endure painful surgical mutilations without anaesthesia. Wegmans officials assured the UR group, in writing, that such practices do not
take place on their farm.

In 2005, however, Rochester-based Compassionate Consumers released video footage refuting Wegmans' claims. Investigators found evidence of widespread animal cruelty at the Wegmans Egg Farm: hens covered in excrement and open sores, live birds caged with decomposing corpses, birds with severe beak mutilations, and others drowning in liquid manure. The investigation prompted UR-VEG to launch a petition drive against the grocery giant.

Members of the UR community are collecting signatures on campus, around the city, and throughout the northeastern U.S. by way of an online version of the petition. "Danny Wegman is counting on people to remain silent and do nothing," said UR-VEG member Hoss Firooznia. "We're hoping to convince him that his customers won't tolerate unnecessary cruelty.”

700,000 layer hens live in cramped, barren wire cages at Wegmans Egg Farm, the largest egg farm in New York State. The facility has only one on-staff veterinarian. According to Compassionate Consumers, if that veterinarian were to give each bird a five-minute examination, it would take over 20 years to examine every one. However, hens at Wegmans Egg Farm spend about 18 months at the facility before being sent to slaughter.

UR-VEG is composed of students, alumni, faculty, and staff at the University of Rochester working to reduce unnecessary animal suffering by promoting healthy and compassionate lifestyles. UR-VEG sponsors speakers and films for the Greater Rochester community, hosts field trips and potluck dinners, and provides free, weekly rides to local groceries and restaurants.

To sign the petition visit: http://urveg.org

Hoss Firooznia, 585-261-5387, hoss@urveg.org


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