Petition urges Whole Foods Market to ditch meat counters
Hundreds of consumers are asking Whole Foods Market to make a "revolutionary" change. An online petition calling on the Texas-based supermarket chain—which has stores in Vancouver and West Vancouver—to shut down its meat counters has been signed 1,400 times.
Posted by James McWilliams, the Texas-based author of Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly, the petition states:
Forget (for the moment) dairy and eggs and all the animal-based products dependent on systematic suffering that you believe are integral to a robust stock price. We can deal with these items later. For now, as a step toward a better future, just shut down the meat markets. Forever.
Do this because you can afford to do it. Do this because it is consistent with your articulated values. Do this because it is the right thing to do. Do this because you would be doing the gutsiest thing ever done in corporate and culinary history. Do this because, if you don’t, nobody else ever will. As a loyal patron, vegan advocate, and historian of agriculture, I’m asking you to do what you have done so well since the 1980s: lead.
McWilliams says he's received a response from Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey. That letter, which McWilliams has posted on his blog, says the chain has "no plans to stop selling meat and poultry…or seafood, eggs and dairy items for that matter". Mackey's letter continues:
Our work in the world of animal welfare makes a difference in the way hundreds of millions of farm animals are raised every year. It supports a network of several thousand hardworking farmers and ranchers who are improving the welfare of livestock animals. Giving up on our initiative at this point won’t slow the rate of animals being processed and it won’t encourage Whole Foods Market’s carnivore customers to stop eating meat. It will simply shift purchases of meat to other retailers, to those that have not invested millions of dollars and many years of hard work to ensure that animals are raised with care and respect, and slaughtered with a minimum amount of stress. Whole Foods Market isn’t selling humanely raised animals simply because they are eventually killed for food. That is not true. Also, for you to suggest that selling meat is only about the bottom line at our company simply is not true either. Our first stakeholder is our customer and the most of them purchase and eat meat.
In a follow-up post, McWilliams says his fight with Whole Foods "isn’t over".