John Mackey Responds

» September 6th, 2012

Say what you will, but I give John Mackey credit for delivering a thoughtful response.  There’s a lot to take seriously in what he writes. If nothing else, a dialogue has been started. Onwards.

-james

 

Dear Jimmy,

In response to your open letter, Whole Foods Market has no plans to stop selling meat and poultry…or seafood, eggs and dairy items for that matter.

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.

As a mission driven company, it’s our job to offer high quality choices to our discerning customers to accommodate their food preferences. We are committed to prompting real change in the meat industry. And, as you point out, we are also working hard to help educate consumers about the importance of incorporating more whole plant foods–primarily vegetables, grains, beans and fruits– into their diets, which as a result means less meat consumption. As you know, we have many more vegan and vegetarian shoppers than conventional grocers, but the vast majority of our customers purchase animal foods. At the most, about 10 percent of our customers are strict vegetarians and probably around three percent are strict vegans. To not offer a full array of food options is basically suggesting that we voluntarily commit business suicide.
To give you perspective, Safer Way in Austin was a strictly vegetarian store and our sales were low. When we relocated the store, changed the name to Whole Foods Market and began selling meat, our popularity blossomed in the Austin community and our sales increased by 15 times. By expanding our offerings to all types of foods including meat products, we were able spread awareness of natural and organic alternatives and grow over time to 340 stores in three countries.

We have gone to great efforts to improve our animal welfare processes and we have made great progress. We provide transparency at the meat counters through farm traceability and Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating system. We would like to offer you the opportunity to visit a few of our ranchers and farmers who have achieved high animal welfare ratings, meaning they have cleared more than 100 hurdles for humane treatment above and beyond what conventional producers do! Let me know if you are interested in touring some farms.

As we continue to grow, we are uniquely positioned to affect animal welfare across the nation and around the world. We pledge to continuously help promote real and positive change for farm animals. To do so, we must commit to significantly improving the meat industry rather than abandoning it altogether.

Thanks for your perspective. We have long respected your work and we appreciate your patronage, thoughtful insights, and you being a champion of our brand.

Sincerely,

John Mackey
Co-Founder & Co-CEO

38 Responses to John Mackey Responds

  1. richard mcmahan says:

    “Safer Way in Austin was a strictly vegetarian store and our sales were low. When we relocated the store, changed the name to Whole Foods Market and began selling meat, our popularity blossomed”.
    If Whole Foods stopped selling meat, as they should, the message to those who care about ethics and the environment would not be the contradictory tripe they now spew.
    They are a business, NOT an ethic.

  2. John T. Maher says:

    Dunno. Sounds like the ethical relativism of an enabler. Mackey sounds like a narcissist offended that we intrude on his corporate branding vision. Similar to why he was forced to resign as CEO after trashing a rival under a pseudonym. Mackey’s association with HSUS also shows a philosophy of enabling meat culture. Does society have a collective responsibility to refrain from producing and eating animals because to do so is cruel and pollutes the environment? Does anyone here “champion” the WH brand?

  3. Lucas says:

    Exploiting and killing animals is helping them. I can only imagine how impressed Eric Arthur Blair would be with Mackey’s doublespeak.

    This is nothing new for Mackey (who should not be considered a vegan, unless we are to re-define what veganism -nonexploitation- means). Aside from the speech James Laveck plays in Let’s Not Give Up Before We Even Get Started, Mackey has said, at other times, that Whole Foods simply needs to exploit and kill animals for it to stay in business and for him to keep his job.

    http://animalvoices.ca/2005/01/25/john-mackey-on-whole-foods-market-josh-harper-on-anarchism-and-ar/

    35:48 in:
    Mackey: “Obviously I think the best solution is for people to become vegan and stop eating animals period”.

    Host: “And if that’s the case … why don’t you make Whole Foods a vegan store”?

    Mackey: “You mean, why don’t I put Whole Foods out of business”?

    Host: (laughs) “Yea it is a marketing strategy”.

    Mackey: … “Corporations have to compete for customers and I mean only a small percentage of our customers approximately … 10 percent of our customers are vegetarians of some sort and maybe another 10 percent are vegetarian and sympathetic and maybe of those vegetarians maybe 3 percent of those are vegans. So that’s too small a market to have a viable business. That’s not where the marketplace is at, and our business HAS TO SERVE THE MARKETPLACE. It can’t just say, ‘well, the heck with it, eating animals is wrong, we’re not going to sell animal products any longer’. We would cease to exist, and our customers would vote with the feet and they’d shop at other stores. Before we could do that, I’m sure I would be fired as CEO and a new CEO would take my place who would not have such radical ideas”.

    • frank says:

      did you miss the last sentence?

      ” Before we could do that, I’m sure I would be fired as CEO and a new CEO would take my place who would not have such radical ideas”

      so you get JM to stop selling meat, great news for vegans everywhere. until the very next day when the board of directors fires him, replaces him with a straw man and the company reopens their meat counters.

      wtf people, get a clue!

  4. Bea Elliott says:

    I can’t say that I expected any less than the pragmatic excuse that was given. In the end Whole Foods is not ready to offer any ethical model beyond what the masses will financially support.

    I’ve done fine without WF for several years now… I don’t see anything inviting enough to change that. I can get the same compromising standards closer to home and cheaper.

  5. Ashley says:

    This is the writing of a slave apologist. What an astonishing lack of moral courage.

  6. Melody M. says:

    Mackey said, “We pledge to continuously help promote real and positive change for farm animals. To do so, we must commit to significantly improving the meat industry rather than abandoning it altogether.” Imagine–just imagine–if this said “we pledge to continuously promote real and positive change for women. To do so, we must commit to patriarchy rather than abandoning it altogether.” How can any change that results in the exploitation, enslavement and death of any being be considered by that being as “positive”? How can any sane, logical person make this statement and truly believe what they say and not see how utterly illogical it is? Let’s not even talk about a moral blindspot here, let’s just talk about logic–pure logic– the “if A, then B” type of logic. His statement is unabashedly absurd. I don’t mean that argumentatively, it’s just a fact. It’s quite remarkable.

    Mackey’s response and Whole Foods stance has nothing to do with the animals at all or else his response wouldn’t have been so loaded with talk about Whole Foods’ profit or suspected profit “suicide.” This response just goes to show that Whole Foods, despite their leadership in other arenas, is just like all other large corporations existing in a capitalist economy and society–they are more interested in personal profit rather than in doing what is right. End of story.

    Relying on major corporations–paying them–to change society for us is not a viable political or ethical strategy. We cannot shop our way to the revolution. Walk into any Whole Foods Market and you will see that even an ideology as airtight as ethical veganism creates a class division. Just the other day my mother (who is vegan) and neighbor (who is not) were eating food from the chef’s bar at Whole Foods and saying how they wish they could afford to shop there *all* the time instead of just some of the time or for those few items they can’t seem to get anywhere else. When we think of veganism only from a consumerist perspective we’re succumbing to the same deceptive marketing strategies that give weight to the humane meat trade. This is the very same marketing that allows Whole Foods to say, “Shop here, pay more, feel better about yourself!” We cannot expect to see social change happen by relying on large profit-driven corporations or similarly, large, good intentioned but profit-driven animal welfare organizations to do the work for us. It is NOT their job to lead us, it is our job to lead them.

    So first, educate yourself about veganism, read your animal rights theory, learn about sentience, nutrition, agriculture, soy, land devastation, etc. Then go out there and set up a table on the street, take someone to a sanctuary, share vegan food with your coworkers, talk to your friends, families, complete strangers, the person eye-ing the tofu in the grocery store–ANYBODY who will listen–about veganism. And educate, educate, educate. This is how we’ll create the social change that shuts down the meat counters and the dairy counters, the change that demands and upholds fair trade for bananas, chocolate, quinoa, etc. And SERIOUSLY consider not putting your money into a grocer/corporation that is literally monopolizing the global market and shutting down local community markets, in the same way that WalMart has. I have moved on from my total reliance on Whole Foods and I suggest that others do too.

    However well intentioned and spot on your letter is, James, I am not surprised at his response. He has a point. I’ll give him credit for one thing–he’s right about this sort of product shift not changing demand. You can shut down 340 Whole Foods meat counters, but if the demand for meat exists, it will be fulfilled. Recall the results of the prohibition of alcohol in the United States in the early 1900′s. People found other ways to obtain alcohol because there was no widely accepted, truly ethical argument against alcohol consumption. The same follows for meat. You cannot demand a social revolution or paradigm change from one of the largest profiteers of animal exploitation. I mean, Mackey even spells it out for you–they sell more meat than anything–it’s their big “seller,” it’s their kitsch, and their upper hand in the market. Animal exploitation has become, ironically, much like one of its symptoms–factory farming. What more proof do we need that Whole Foods is just another stop on the conveyor belt?

    • Gabby says:

      Wow. Well said Melody. Initially I was a bit shocked at Mackey’s response but you’ve laid out exactly why what he said is true. Demand will win every time. Demand has to dwindle to near nothing before something so drastic would even be considered.

    • Orion says:

      What a great response, Melody. You are absolutely spot on. If social change will happen, we have to “hit them where it hurts” and thats by shifting demand itself. Veganism has been on a steady rise for the past few years. At this rate it is only a matter of time before meat gets phased out. We all just have to keep rowing the boat.

    • lory says:

      great explanation..it hits the nail on the head… J.Mackey would wish there wouldnt be so much meat demand from my understanding he prefers veganism but its all about supply and demand ..its business period! So, its really up to the shopper, the consumer, each and everyone of us to shift the change by bypassing the meat counters.

  7. Rebecca says:

    I wonder how much of an increase in business they had JUST as a result of changing their name? “Safer Way”?? A name that sounds preachy, smug and vaguely related to contraception (at least in my mind!).

    I do have to say that when I was in WF a few days ago, the book section was almost exclusively comprised of bestselling vegan lifestyle and cook books. That said, who goes to WF to buy books? The huge banners hanging outside the store are virtually always announcing sales on animal products. What do you think people notice the most? One step forward, two steps back. What we really need is a great vegan market to give WF a run for their money. I bet they’d notice a 14% reduction in their business! Anyone in a position to start one?

    • Gabby says:

      While I agree with you on the “sale on meat” signs I do think it’s a good thing that WF IS trying to provide more and more info about Veganism. I know WF is the only place that sells VegNews magazine in Houston. I believe that’s the sort of thing Mackey is referring to in his response.

      Actually this whole incident makes me think about how I handle this type of conflict in my own house. I started my journey to Veganism only 3 months ago. I have a husband and 2 young kids. We were all omnivores, hard core even. Now, I obviously don’t eat meat or dairy but the husband and kids do. I personally never cook or feed my kids meat but my husband does. He’s trying to remember not to buy them meat “if he can help it”.

      My point is, I don’t eat animal products but if go grab something out for dinner do I get veg whatever for all of us and refuse to buy meat for my husband? Or, do I respect his choice and buy the meat while attempting to get him to eat as little meat as possible? When he eats from my kitchen he doesn’t get meat so is it better to actually buy meat (which I hate doing) for him every once in a while than completely refusing to do so and risk him resenting me AND veganism? I don’t know.

      Seems similar to the WF issue to me, although my issue has nothing to do wih money. Hopefully all of that made sense.

  8. Karen Davis says:

    There is nothing to commend in John Mackey’s response to the petition. We’ve heard it all before. Mackey will sell what customers will buy. And they will buy what feels good. Mackey is a businessman. His customers are comfortable people in terms of money to spend and educational levels. Most people love to hear those soothing words “humane,” “care,” “compassion,” and “respect” regarding the victims of their meat, dairy and eggs. In any case, Mackey has said all this before and it is nothing to crow about but it is something to puke over.

    I personally am sick to death of the word “respect,” which has become so icky and fraudulant — so degraded — applied deferentially both to those who profit from animal abuse and have a slick PR line ready to narcoticize critics with, and applied to those innocent souls who suffer the abuse and cannot defend themselves against our ability to lie about their sad lives – the poor animals themselves.

    Are/were Whole Foods’ MEATOPIA and BUTCHERS CONTEST animals raised according to “compassionate” GAP standards? “Compassion” is another word that we have dirtied and defiled unspeakably.

    In sorrow and disgust,

    Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns.
    http://www.upc-online.org

  9. Harry says:

    John Mackey has an argument but as with all who try and justify their role in the mass slaughter of innocent beings it is severely flawed: If you offer a good product, people will buy it. Suggesting that he’d lose 90-97% of shoppers if WF stopped selling products derived from animal exploitation is treating this educated audience with disrespect. As a businessman he can’t honestly believe that.

    Two examples:
    1) Next door to our local supermarket (mega-chain Coles) a fresh fruit and vegetable shop opened. Many, including us, buy certain necessities at Coles but go next door to buy better fruit and vegies. We don’t buy them at Coles just because they offer it – in our opinion the fruit and vegies ‘product’ is better next door. And this little shop is thriving. Doubled in size after the first year.
    2) Do only vegetarians and vegans eat at vegetarian/vegan restaurants? You must be kidding. And the better quality of meal (‘product’) they offer the more non-vegans/vegetarians eat there.

    I agree with Ashley: John Mackey lacks moral courage. Severely so. As an Aussie it was LaVeck’s article that introduced me to Whole Foods and John Mackey. It was to see how a vegan was responsible for running Whole Foods that caused me to enter a Whole Foods store when in LA last year, NOT the “positive change for farmed animals” idea that Mackey likes to sell. I didn’t enter WF to see a “good example”.

    Veganism is not a part-time job. It is not a diet. It is a way of living gentler. With more caring. More love. Less negative impact. And while it may be incredibly hard to achieve true veganism in this world of ours that hides animal exploitation at every turn, one at least has to try. Be brave Mr Mackey. Try. And should you try you’ll find that each morning as you shave away the stubble from the night before a more beautiful smile will greet you.

  10. Jamie Berger says:

    This is definitely the kind of response I expected. What do we say in response to his assertion that customers would buy their meat elsewhere from retailers with absolutely zero welfare standards (even if the claims about “care and respect” are totally BS)? I agree with Melody M. that that is probably true. Is the rating system totally useless or is it worth at least something?

    And what about all the animals exploited in the production of the dairy and eggs they sell at their stores? Those farms aren’t held up to the same–or any–standards.

    • Gabby says:

      I remember trying to buy “humane” meat at WF several times and every time I did there would only be MAYBE 1 meat item with a 5 rating. It was mainly 1-3 rated. I remember being really sad when I realized WF was selling “Rated 1″ chicken. So what’s the difference here? Nothing! Yeh so that rating system is bogus and notice how Mackey only invited James to tour a highly rated farm. I bet he wouldn’t want anyone seeing how those chickens with a rating of 1 are being raised!

  11. Carla Black Vissers says:

    Not surprising, I guess. But disappointing and depressing.

  12. Ellie Maldonado says:

    I think we say that standards are one thing and practice is quite another, and even if farmers adhere to them, “welfare” standards only address incidental farming practices, while ignoring the rest of the animals’ experience and other substantial cruelities they are subjected to.

    See “The Free-Range Myth on Tribe of Heart:
    http://www.tribeofheart.org/peaceablejourney/mediabase/1453.htm

    And here’s a written comparison between battery cage and “free-range” hens: http://peacefulprairie.org/freerange1.html

  13. Susan Valle says:

    Corporations protect their bottom line above all else. Doubt this will change in the near future. WF will continue to offer what sells, be it animal flesh or kale.

  14. Lucas says:

    Melody M. says, “This response just goes to show that Whole Foods, despite their leadership in other arenas, is just like all other large corporations existing in a capitalist economy and society–they are more interested in personal profit rather than in doing what is right. End of story.”

    To quote public health lawyer Michele Simon, from her book Appetite for Profit (page 4), “The most important guiding principle of every corporation is maximizing profits for shareholders. Because doing so is legally required of corporate executives, profit must be the ultimate measure of all business decisions”.

    “The truth is that under a free enterprise system, corporations cannot place moral and ethical concerns ahead of profit maximization because doing so risks being driven out of business by competing firms that are not similarly plagued by social conscience. Therefore, despite corporate attempts to proclaim their desire to act responsibly, the underlying drive for profit maximization always remains”.

  15. James DeAlto says:

    Will the real John Mackey please stand up, please stand up, please stand up? John, you have bastardized both the words “vegan” and “humane” by putting customer demand before your stated company principles.

    How can a “vegan” truly care about animals, the environment or humanity when he sells meat and dairy? John, you are the antithesis of what veganism is all about and you have no right calling yourself one. Instead, you have co-opted a movement for your own self interest. There’s no other way to put it.

    Whether you’re being malicious or are just seriously deluded, I’m not sure. I’d like to think the latter, but I don’t know how such a well-educated “vegan” can justify the selling of meat and dairy. It’s convoluted logic and, like Philip Wollen said, “every morsel of meat we eat is slapping the tear-stained face of a hungry child.”

    John, you continue to promote the “humane myth” and it’s sickening. You’re doing the wrong thing for the “right reasons.” Until you stand up and act like a real vegan would, I’ll shop somewhere else.

    Anyone else needing further evidence of John’s blatant hypocricy, try this: http://www.humanemyth.org/room1212.htm

  16. Jeannie says:

    I would like it if Whole Foods would start share metrics on dollars spent per customer (per transaction??) on animal products. I would like to know if the amount purchased increases or decreases over time–it would be interesting to see if price affects purchases and how strong an effect that has. Also it would be extremely interesting to see if over time meat/animal product purchases decrease (either based on price or based on increased perception of animal products as unhealthy). Perhaps in this way WF can help provide information that animal activists can use as we continue our work.

    The letter to WF was an interesting experiment/challenge. I hope to see more.

  17. Lain says:

    John Mackey, I would need to see the transactions for all those “Millions of dollars” supposedly spent. Also, I would need to see video of the “humanely raised animals”. Word on the street is most of the monies spent went to one of your many shills; HSUS, and the “humanely raised animals” exist only in your PR propaganda.

    Thank you for reinforcing my boycott of Whole Foods for the last 2 years.

  18. Catherine Case says:

    One of the critical points in James McWilliams’ letter to Whole Foods is that in ending sales of meat, Whole Foods need necessarily make clear that the decision is based on helping put an end to animal suffering. While no one, no matter how passionate about animal rights, can argue that if loss of meat-buying customers would in fact put the company out of business, and would thus result in more business for the worst of offenders–increasing, not decreasing, suffering– a CEO (vegan or not) would not be doing the job for which he was hired by accepting this challenge. However, it is not that simple. We routinely come across the conclusion that the majority are just not going to give up their support of animal suffering. Acceptance of this conclusion is a kind of apathy sewn into the strategy fabric of many a well-meaning advocate. It perpetuates a semi-defeatist attitude that at least slows down if not entirely blocks the path to an ideal evolved future reality. To be clear it is a possibility that the majority will not change anytime soon but that is not yet a fact. In analyzing this challenge to Whole Foods, I imagine a hypothetical scenario involving myself running a grocery store that offers meat. To make it easy I imagine I have 10 thus-far loyal customers, 8 of whom buy meat from me. I decide meat is something I will no longer sell because of my belief that it is wrong to exploit animals. Obviously, I’ve got financial concerns to deal with here, but, as I started out with James’ critical inclusion of the moral objective involved in the decision, educating my customers is part of the plan. So, when the eight meat-buying customers show up and say what’s up?, I’m going to do something like offer them a discount on all items for a month in exchange for their viewing my custom film fest and participating in Q & A. I’m going to think way outside of the box and do whatever I can with the profile and good will I’ve thus far achieved. The story doesn’t end with no meat in the market. Maybe every one of those customers will be exposed to the horrifying reality for animals in an effective way for the very first time. Creativity, dedication, relentless commitment, sacrifice & some risk taking is what it will take to end the misery imposed on animals. It is so frustrating that many people and/or organizations against animal exploitation with a dedicated following/customer base are inhibited with fear of what might happen if they were to exhibit some creative aggression in getting the truth to people who might well one day thank them for their honorable, altruistic and brave contributions with even greater loyalty.

    • Harry says:

      Hear Hear Catherine “Creativity, dedication, relentless commitment, sacrifice & some risk taking …”

      Mackey is right about business suicide of WF’s current model. But some creativity and true desire not to be a part of such a cruel business would quite possibly see the evolution of a better, true-to-vegan business model.

  19. Irene Muschel says:

    What does it feel like to be
    “slaughtered with a minimum amount of stress?”

  20. Lee Hall says:

    A dialogue has started?

    No: it’s continuing the same way, with the same profit-serving platitudes, for 7+ years.

    http://www.friendsofanimals.org/news/2005/january/response-to-john-mackey.html

    • Ellie Maldonado says:

      I remember this, Lee, and agree completely. There is no dialogue here, and unless Mackey is willing to admit his own hypocrisy, I don’t think there ever will be.

  21. vbaculum says:

    I used to go to WF but I started feeling sick (almost physically) when I had to pass the meat section. I go to another health food store now. I would love to return to a meat free WF.

    In James’ letter he used the word “gutsy”. I understand the concern about the bottom line; I know only the strong survive in business but… Wouldn’t it be great to be THE GUY to revolutionize food; to do something so goddamn bold. I think a move like this would become a part of history. Could financial interests be more important than that?

  22. Rebecca says:

    At the VERY least, even if they didn’t want to get rid of their meat, fish, eggs and dairy, they could move it all to the back of the store, and stop pushing it onto the public with relentless sales and huge banners outside. Another thing that irks me is the preponderance of prepared foods that they sell at their hot and cold counters that would be vegan except for the (unnecessary) addition of honey.

  23. Mackey’s “justification” is disingenuous and self-serving. Real change will not originate from the likes of Mackey or Whole Foods. Real change will come from grass-roots vegan activism of the type that Gary Francione has been advocating for years. See, for example, Francione’s excellent essay, “A Revolution of the Heart”:

    http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/a-revolution-of-the-heart/

  24. Ellie Maldonado says:

    Frankly, I find it duplicitous that some people have no problem criticizing Mackey, which I agree with — yet support “welfare” reforms, and the groups that promote them.

    Many of these same groups have been discussed here, and they also signed a letter, thanking Mackey for his “compassionate standards”, among them: Compassion Over Killing (COK); Farm Sanctuary; Humane Society of the United States (HSUS); People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA); Mercy for Animals.

    But we’re not supposed to criticize them?

    The text of the letter and full list of signatories is available in the Humane Myth Media Base:
    http://www.humanemyth.org/mediabase/1009.htm

  25. curt finch says:

    i think you guys are too hard on mackay and on WF. If you don’t like it then start a vegan food store. I’ll shop there.

    But don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good. And WF is pretty good.

  26. [...] But Mackey disagrees: ‘giving up on out 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.’ The CEO and co-founder believes that the vast majority of his customers are omnivores and to give up the meat would be ‘business suicide’. [...]

  27. As Mackay says, 3% of the self-selected group that is Whole Foods shoppers are vegan. That’s your problem right there. If you manage to swap the numbers and convince 97% of Whole Foods customers to stop buying any animal products while continuing to spend a lot of money on their food and supplements and you will have your meat-free store in about a week.

  28. You have Vivisectors and then you have John Mackey the co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market and the forefather of the Humane Myth Deception. Mackey is one of the largest suppliers of Dairy, Meat and Eggs in the US, UK and Canada and responsible for mass murder, torture and cruelty to billions of animals; all under the masquerade of animal welfare and conscious capitalism.
    WFM portrays a front of being; eco-friendly & humane to animals while they gleefully supply “Peaceful Carcasses and Happy Meat”. WFM is worse than all the rest of the Wal-Marts, Safeways, Luckys and Albertsons combined. At least these traditional supermarkets do not perpetuate the lie that they care about the animals, the environment, their patrons and the world’s starving population. Whole Foods Market is a scorn to Veganism (which Mackey himself claims to be) and to the animals which are heartlessly murdered by the hands of John Mackey.
    Simply put, WFM is nothing but pure evil that needs to be eradicated from the face of this planet. The facts speak for themselves, anyone who disagrees is not an animal lover, neither are they Vegan and is hypocritical to speak of animal rights at that point.
    Albert Schweitzer said “We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.”
    Donald Watson in 1944 defined Veganism as an anti-oppression politics; it is against the oppression of nonhuman animals, of human animals, all oppressions. He defined it in the broadest possible political terms, what I call “total liberation”.
    Martin Luther King Jr. Said “injustice to one is an injustice to all’ and that implies now to all species. Liberation is total, it’s for all beings or it’s for none at all.
    Today, this very moment is the time to correct the wrongs, to directly act, to make a stand, to become a Social Resistance Movement, and if we don’t we do not deserve to wear the title ‘Animal Rights Activist’. Liberation has to begin and that beginning warrants being at every Whole Foods Market location. Let John Mackey feel the heat of the Animal Rights Movement!

  29. Alissa says:

    I, myself, have decided that a vegetarian diet is best for me. However, my husband, feels completely different and has no interest in leaving meat or any other animal product alone. That being said, I am extremely grateful that WF is the kind of store that allows both of us to meet our needs. Change will not happen over night and the only way animals will be safe is for the entire market to collapse (I don’t think shutting down the meat counter at WF qualifies). As much as I believe in animal welfare, there is another aspect to consider. Just where will all those people work once the market does collapse? This needs to be a controlled paradigm shift or you will create a really nasty black market for these products. In addition, animal welfare will really be out of control, since everyone knows the black market has no rules. Putting WF out of business will not create the kind of change intended. WF has an incredible opportunity to educate and promote change to those willing to participate.

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