Investigate Alleged Abuse at “Humane” Turkey Farms

Target: Walter E Robb IV, CEO of Whole Foods

Goal: Demand that Whole Foods stop misrepresenting their meat as “humane.”

Turkeys at Whole Foods’ “humane farms” are experiencing the same abuse as most other birds in the country, according to animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE. After an undercover investigation, DxE revealed that the birds are being crammed into cramped barns with filth-laden floors and poor air quality. A video taken by investigators shows birds with patchy plumage and swollen eyes struggling to breathe as a dead bird is left to decompose among the live ones.

The health-conscious grocery chain uses a five-tiered rating system to rank their farms in terms of humane animal husbandry, advertising that its 5+ rated turkeys come from open, grassy pastures and are never crowded into barns or cages. Instead, investigators allege that supplier Diestel Farms is importing meat from lower-rated offshoot farms where animals actually endure horrific conditions.

This is not the first time that Whole Foods has been found to misrepresent the origin of its meat. A previous lawsuit alleges that sick and injured animals at other suppliers were allowed to suffer for weeks without medical care. Sweet Stem Farm, a Whole Foods supplier of “humanely raised” pork, was accused of keeping its pigs in cramped spaces with conditions little better than a factory farm.

Not only are customers being deceived into believing they are purchasing cruelty-free meat, but they are also being charged more. This type of misrepresentation is harmful to the animals, the consumers, as well as the Whole Foods brand. Sign the petition below to demand that Whole Foods drop inhumane suppliers and work to ensure that meats are represented accurately by increasing oversight and introducing more rigorous third-party inspections.


Dear Mr. Robb,

Recent video allegedly taken at a Whole Foods supplier farm shows turkeys being kept in appalling conditions, cramped into crowded cages and suffering from respiratory issues due to the filth on the floors and the resulting poor air quality. These findings are particularly shocking since Whole Foods markets its meat as “humanely raised.”

This blatant misrepresentation is not only unfair to the animals in Whole Foods farms, but to the consumers who expect a superior product and pay for such. In order to preserve the integrity of the Whole Foods brand, an overhaul of its meat supply chain must be implemented. We, the undersigned, demand improved oversight and more frequent inspections of suppliers in order to ensure adherence to welfare ratings, and that farms which misrepresent their products are cut out of the Whole Foods supply chain.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mercy for Animals

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  1. Sure glad I don’t eat turkey anymore!

  2. Kelly Bergeron says:

    Disgusting people!

  3. when killing is being done = there is nothing humane about it now.

  4. sandra mason says:

    I read an article about employees at a Butterball factory sexually assaulting live turkeys about 10 years ago haven’t eaten turkey since. haven’t eaten meat either and I haven’t heard anything good at all about whole foods.

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