Urge Grocery Chain to Protect Cows from Dehorning


Target: Jack Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of the Earth Fare grocery chain

Goal: Demand that grocery store suppliers breed hornless cows rather than violently removing horns

Food producers for large grocery companies like Wal-Mart and Costco have begun moving away from dehorning—the process of removing horns from cows via chemicals or metal tools. Smaller chains like Earth Fare, however, remain obstinate when it comes to this brutal practice. Despite the company’s goal to be “the most trusted…food market in the country,” Earth Fare insists on mutilating cows rather than pursuing harmless breeding techniques.

According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), dehorning is accomplished by “[destroying] the sensitive horn tissue or the horns themselves using searing-hot irons, caustic chemicals, blades, or hand saws.” Though this is typically performed early in the cow’s life, the process is still painful and unnecessary given current options.

Rather than hurting animals, many farmers have taken to selectively breeding cows that have no horns to begin with. Since a single gene is responsible for this trait, producing the most desirable attributes is both simple and painless. In fact, some farmers already breed for certain fur colors, prompting confusion as to why the same cannot be done for horns.

Dehorning is meant to protect farmers from cows, but few protocols exist to protect cows from farmers. Sign the petition below to demand that Earth Fare’s suppliers stop dehorning cows and breed them naturally hornless instead. Offering the freshest foods means nothing if suffering is involved.


Dear Mr. Murphy,

The Earth Fare grocery chain is one of the few companies that still permits cow dehorning from its suppliers. This violent procedure, which typically involves damaging horn tissue using corrosive chemicals, hot irons, or sharp cutting tools, can be avoided entirely by simply breeding hornless cows.

Producers for major companies like Costco and Wal-Mart have already begun embracing alternate methods for “dehorning.” By identifying cows that naturally lack horns and allowing them to mate, you can create hornless livestock in a simple and painless manner. In fact, many farmers in the beef industry have adopted this technique, even producing more difficult traits like specific coat colors. Since only one gene is responsible for whether a cow will have horns, breeding the most desirable animal should not be a daunting task.

As a company, Earth Fare prides itself on producing only the purest and highest quality foods to its customers. While this is admirable, any food that involves the pointless suffering of animals is anything but pure. For this reason, I urge you to stop cow dehorning among your food suppliers. Please spare these creatures from further pain and embrace a more natural approach.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: St. Gil, Marc, 1924-1992, Photographer via Wikimedia Commons

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