Target: Steve Mahrt, owner of Judy’s Family Farms
Goal: Stop supporting this company that lied about housing free-range chickens while overcharging consumers
After lying to the public for years, a recent court settlement is finally making Judy’s Family Farms take responsibility for their actions. Judy’s has for a long time put pictures of open pastures and happy, roaming chickens on their cartons. They sold their eggs at a higher price, knowing people were willing to spend more to support a more humane business. It turned out to be nothing more than another advertising lie. Judy’s chickens are kept like many in the food industry: caged in industrial sheds. Sign below to tell Owner Steve Mahrt that dishonesty, especially for monetary gain, is not something conscionable consumers are willing to support.
Previously, the cartons of Judy’s Family Farm eggs showed pictures of grassy fields and sunshine. These photos were accompanied by the text that “hens are raised in wide open spaces in Sonoma Valley, where they are free to roam, scratch, and play.” Due to this label, Judy’s upped their prices, claiming it covered the cost of working harder to ensure humane and happy treatment of the chickens. This false advertising fed directly into the company’s profits. Meanwhile, the chickens were still kept in spaces not even large enough for wings to stretch open fully.
Thankfully the Animal Defense Fund (ALDF) caught on and sued Judy’s for false advertising. In response, owner Steve Mahrt said that letting all egg-laying hens outside “doesn’t happen. That doesn’t happen anywhere.” Mr. Mahrt is wrong on two fronts: first, there are good organizations and farms that support healthy, happy chickens, and second, just because he believe others are not following laws does not mean he should break them as well, and lie about it.
Judy’s Family Farms is legally required to make payments to Sonoma Humane Society, Public Justice Foundation, and Consumer Action in retribution. You can also show Judy’s that you do not support their actions by refusing to purchase their products. The company lied to the public for years, making claims that their chickens were treated in an above average manner and thus justifying the bump in price. Sign the petition below to show Judy’s Family Farms that people truly do care about where food comes from, the treatment of animals, and honesty with the consumer.
Dear Mr. Mahrt,
I recently learned about the court settlement concerning the false advertising from Judy’s Family Farm. While I cannot say I am surprised, I am disappointed. You deliberately misled the public into thinking your animals were actually being treated in a humane and happy manner. You showed photos of fields and roaming chickens. You printed labels claiming chickens were free to peck and scratch. And yet it turns out that none of these are true.
Instead, your chickens are caged in industrial buildings like many other animals in this business. Not only did you lie to the public about it, but you tried to justify it by saying that nobody actually gives their animals fair treatment. This is a false statement. Your goals were purely monetary.
I am upset by the actions of yourself and your company and will no longer support your products.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Keith Weller, USDA ARS via Wikimedia