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, February 24, 2006


Humane Society Issues Plea for Egg Hunt

Friday, February 24, 2006; B03


The Humane Society of the United States has asked the White House to use only eggs from cage-free hens at its annual Easter egg roll and hunt.

"Caged egg-laying hens are among the most abused animals in the world of factory farming today," Paul Shapiro, the humane society's factory farming campaign manager, said in a Feb. 8 letter to the White House Visitors Office that was released this week.

Susan Whitson, press secretary to first lady Laura Bush, said there are no plans to change the egg supply for the April 17 event. She said the White House consulted with the American Egg Board and was told that eggs produced in cages provide the greatest food safety protection. She also said that there is a very limited supply of eggs from cage-free hens.

But the humane society said there is no scientific evidence that food safety is compromised by cage-free systems and that nearly every national grocery chain offers eggs from cage-free hens in response to consumer requests for more humanely produced products.

Friday, February 17, 2006

"Reality takes wing over bird flu"

Vested interests mean wild birds are being blamed for the spread of avian flu, argues Dr Leon Bennun in this week's Green Room, whereas responsibility really lies with modern farming. Demands for culling and the destruction of nesting sites threaten, he says, to bring rare species to extinction, but will do nothing to halt the disease.

"Intensively-farmed poultry provide ideal conditions for the evolution of highly lethal forms"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Good beef
Sebastian Gonzalez and Newark Valley Angus provide an alternative meat source for conscientious consumer

By Ian Holliday / The Ithican Staff Writer
February 16, 2006

. . . Wallack discovered the store about four months ago after seeing a movie made in Rochester, N.Y., about hen-raising practices at Wegmans farms.

“I’ve been going [to the Newark Valley Angus store] for three or four months,” he said. “After I saw the Wegmans cruelty exposé, it made me not want to buy shady meat products.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

March 10: Vegan Dinner Buffet to Support the CC3

On Friday, March 10 the FULL VEGAN BUFFET at The Root Cellar will be back for just one night! Proceeds from the dinner will go to support the legal defense of the Compassionate Consumers 3 (CC3), who still need help paying for ongoing legal fees.

Come at anytime over the course of two hours on Friday evening.

Date: Friday, March 10
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Place: The Root Cellar, 1640 State Route 104, Ontario, NY

The full vegan buffet will include dessert and many gluten-free options. There will be raffles and prizes.All for just $13.98 per seat! The Root Cellar is a quick drive from Rochester.

How to get there from Rochester:
--Take I-590 North to NY-104 East
--Drive East on 104 for about 13 miles
--The Root Cellar will be on your right, 400 yards• after theintersection with 350.

If you need a ride or want to carpool:Call Ryan at 585-410-0773

Monday, February 13, 2006

Wegmans eggs drop 'Animal Care Certified' label

Misty Edgecomb, Democrat & Chronicle Staff writer

(February 13, 2006) — Cartons of eggs at a Wegmans supermarket no longer bear the label "Animal Care Certified."

Late last year, the Federal Trade Commission deemed using such a logo "misleading" for eggs in response to a lawsuit brought by animal activists.

However, the company is continuing to mark its eggs as certified by the "New York State Egg Quality Assurance Program."

Members of Compassionate Consumers, a Rochester group that advocates for hens, argue that the logo designates a program that does not regulate animal welfare, and that the swap could cause confusion among buyers who assume the programs are comparable.

Compassionate Consumers and other groups around the country oppose egg farms' use of "battery cages," saying that they are too constraining.

Wegmans spokeswoman Jeanne Colleluori responded that the egg quality logo, which designates a food safety program, has been on the company's packaging for years.

The company's decision to remove the animal care logo does not reflect any change in treatment of its hens, she said. Wegmans continues to follow the animal care guidelines of the United Egg Producers, she said.

Compassionate Consumers is also the group behind a 2004 incident at a Wegman's Egg farm in Wayne County. Three members of the organization broke into the farm to film video for a documentary about farm practices, and took nine injured hens with them.

The activists have all been charged with burglary and await trial.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

March 3: Seven Caged Hens to Visit Wegmans HQ

On Friday, March 3 seven caged hens will visit Wegmans CorporateHeadquarters in Rochester, asking that the company let them spread their wings and lie down comfortably. The hens will be asking Wegmans to phase out the use of cruel battery cages at its company-run egg farm.

Date: Friday, March 3
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Place: Wegmans Corporate Headquarters, 1500 Brooks Ave., Rochester, NY

In a show of support, demonstrators from Rochester, Syracuse, Baltimore and elsewhere will join the caged hens.

Please come out to show your support as well. Mark your calendars.

For more information contact:
Ryan Merkley
Campaign Coordinator
Compassionate Consumers

Sign the Petition:http://URVEG.org

**We've finalized plans for a showing of Wegmans Cruelty, a documentary by Compassionate Consumers about the problems with Wegmans' "Animal Care Certified" battery cage egg production. It'll be on Wed, March 8 at 7PM, in 131 Warren Hall (on the Ag. quad.). Refreshments and a talk by themakers of the film will follow.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Andy Wadsworth, Manager, on Wegmans Egg Farm, at an American Meat Institute conference

"Our farm started in 1967 to ensure the highest quality eggs to meet the needs of our customers. It has been managed by three generations of the Wadsworth family. We are constantly seeking the latest information to improve the operations."
Wegmans Cruelty on Baltimore's Craigslist

At least 15 people and possibly 25 sent emails for BARC's Wegman's campaign, asking them to stop using battery caged hens for their eggs. Hopefully they will stop calling them "Animal Care Certified" too, misleading people to think they are humane. . . .
Wegmans Cruelty on the Special Reports/ Educational blog AKA Chaz's Buzz Report:

Absorbing the continual flow of Pop Culture. Post a comment about the videos!

Wegmans Cruelty in the University of Rochester Library

Wegmans cruelty
Imprint: [Rochester, N.Y.] : Compassionate Consumers 2005
Language(s): English
Format: DVD
Location: Multimedia Center Reserves Rhees G122
Call Number: HV4765.N7 W44 2005
Availability: On Reserve - Not checked out
Celebrating a Great Food Store, Employer and a Community Asset

The Great Chicken debate: Is Wegmans running a gulag for chickens?

Written by Mac the Knife
Monday, 23 January 2006

This past fall, an animal rights group, Compassionate Consumers, based right here in Rochester, Wegmans home town, broke into the Wegmans egg farm in Wolcott, NY, took some supposedly incriminating videos, and set up a website Wegmans Cruelty, to tout the film.

The Knife was not very happy with the film trailer; it did show chickens in pretty small, crowded cages. It also showed some dead ones still in the cages - it was not pretty. I'll grant these twenty-somethings that made this film have at least an emotional club to swing.

However, there is nothing illegal about how Wegmans houses the some 700,000 chickens its keeps; NYS does regular inspections on the farm every 2 or 3 months. If these vegetarians feel that the housing these chickens have is inappropriate, then they would be better served trying to get the law changed, and affect not just the Wegmans operation, but all chicken farms state wide. This film was made by a criminal act, and that's bad for PR on their behalf.

It's also worthy to note that a farmer has little interest in his animals getting sick or dying, or having his operation fined or shut down by the state; it's in his interest to keep the animals in decent shape [note: Mac apparently doesn't know much about agriculture..]. Are the animals in cages that are cramped? Yes, I'd say so, but what should Wegmans do, erect mini-condos? Contract Laz-Boy to make recliners for these chickens? Free range chickens can encounter pecking by other chickens, and other problems.

The Knife feels that this group, while it means well, is acting more on emotions than information, even a bit of dishonesty. As of this writing, Wegmans Cruelty announces that the UFCW (United Food Commercial Workers Union) joined a demonstration in Princeton about the alledged cruelty. The Knife would like to point out that unions have been trying to get into Wegmans for years, unsucessfully, and this is just a stab in the dark to try to do damage to Wegmans. Why can't unions get into Wegmans and unionize the employees? Because the union can't offer anything more than Wegmans already gives it's employees; in fact, all the union would do is take money out of the employee's pockets, in the form of "dues" or extortion, as The Knife calls it. It would also do damage the business itself in terms of damaging strikes because of "unfair" work conditions. The Knife is no friend to unions, having been burned himself.

All in all, The Knife believes that Wegmans came out on top of this flop. They even started offering "free range" eggs in some stores to give that option to those that would choose to support that kind of chicken farming. Unlike the vegetarian do-gooders, who would like to see us all pay higher prices for eggs without a choice, Wegmans took the situation and gave us a choice. Not surprising!


And in the "forum," the "Great Chicken Debate": Are the chickens at Wegmans Egg Farm being mistreated, or is this a smear campaign?

Animal Care Certified” Seal Officially Discarded After FTC Ruling

Rochester, NY (February 10, 2006) – Last month Wegmans Food Marketsofficially removed the controversial “Animal Care Certified” logo from itsWegmans-brand egg cartons. The move came less than four months after the Federal Trade Commission ruled that the logo can not be used on egg cartons after March 31 of this year. The ruling came after the Better Business Bureau (BBB) had twice deemed the logo “misleading” to consumers.

A new logo, claiming Wegmans Egg Farm is part of the New York State Egg Quality Assurance Program (NYSEQAP), now appears on Wegmans-brand eggcartons. However, according to a state official with NYSEQAP, the program has no standards for animal welfare. Under this labeling program the 750,000 hens at Wegmans Egg Farm will continue to be subjected to inhumane conditions.

The "Animal Care Certified" logo first came under scrutiny in June 2003,when Washington, DC-based Compassion Over Killing filed petitions with theBetter Business Bureau and the FTC, as well as other federal agencies, asserting that the logo is misleading. Under the "Animal Care Certified"guidelines, egg producers are permitted to intensively confine hens in "battery cages" so small they cannot even spread their wings, among other abuses.

In 2003, and again upon appeal in 2004, the BBB deemed the "Animal Care Certified" logo “misleading” because it implied a greater level of humane care than is actually the case. Despite these rulings and the BBB's subsequent referral of the matter to FTC for potential legal actionagainst the United Egg Producers (UEP), which ran the logo program, the logo continued to appear on cartons across the country—and consumers continued to be deceived.

As part of a 2004 investigation at Wegmans Egg Farm in Wolcott, NY Compassionate Consumers found widespread evidence of egregious cruelty to animals. The group’s investigators found hens covered with feces and open sores, birds forced to sleep atop decomposed corpses, beak mutilations,and hens drowning in liquid manure.

Compassionate Consumers is asking that Wegmans Egg Farm cease the use of cruel battery cages and go cage-free. In September 2005 the University of Rochester decided to stop the use of eggs from caged hens in foods prepared on campus. Danny Wegman, CEO of Wegmans Food Markets, is a SeniorTrustee at UR.

In 2005 alone some of Wegmans' largest competitors stopped selling battery cage eggs. Two of the nation's three largest organic food markets, Whole Foods and Wild Oats decided to go entirely cage-free. And in November, organic food chain Trader Joe's agreed to make its own brand of eggs cage-free.

Compassionate Consumers is a Rochester-based organization dedicated to providing the public with information about the treatment of animals onfarms and at slaughter.

For more information visit: www.WegmansCruelty.com

Contact:Ryan Merkley, 585-410-0773, ryan@compassionateconsumers.org

Thursday, February 02, 2006

So many laws being proposed that would criminalize the practice at Wegmans Egg Farm!
So many colleges refusing to sell eggs like those produced at Wegmans Egg Farm!

The ABC affiliate in San Francisco ran a fantastic report last night on the battery cage campaign. You can read the transcript and/or watch the three-and-a-half minute video by going to:http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=i_team&id=3868039

LA Times story:

"Suit Aims to Ease Confinement of Egg-Laying Hens:
The Humane Society wants the state to discourage keeping birds in tiny cages by killing a tax break. Egg sellers defend practice."
By Carla Hall, LA Times Staff Writer, February 1, 2006

Washington Post story:

"Georgetown University Agrees to Serve Only Cage-Free Eggs" Tuesday, January 31, 2006; Page B03

Georgetown Hoya story:

"University Dining Services Halts Use of Caged Eggs," By Steve Rafferty, Special to The Hoya Friday, January 27, 2006; Page A5

Other schools:

"University of New Hampshire Dining halls to enter 'cage-free' era"
By: Kristine King
Issue date: 1/24/06 Section: News

"Cage-free egg era arrives"
By: Margaret Poe - The Daily Iowan
Issue date: 1/24/06 Section: Metro

Minnesota Daily, "Battery cages are not good for chickens"