The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is suing Whole Foods arguing that the health food chain’s claim that its animals are slaughtered humanely is a lie.
“When a grocery store’s standards for improved animal welfare are not actually enforced or do not require meaningfully better treatment for meat animals compared to the industry standard, consumers are deceived into paying a higher price for meat that fails to offer the benefit they seek,” stated the lawsuit filed by PETA.
The lawsuit specifically focuses on Whole Foods’ “5-Step Animal Welfare Rating” system, in which the chain gauges the conditions that the animals were held in. The lowest is “Step 1,” which means “no cages, no crates, no crowding.” The highest rating, “Step 5,” means “animal centered, entire life on same farm.”
PETA argues that the “5-Step” program isn’t effective because the inspections are infrequent and violations do not result in penalties or a change in rating. “Standards that are not actually enforced create a false impression of ensuring a more humanely treated, higher quality animal product — when in fact they ensure no such thing,” according to the suit.
PETA’s attack against Whole Foods came after the group released a video that appears to show pig abuse at a Pennsylvania farm that supplies 20 Whole Foods stores in the Philadelphia area.
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