Saturday, June 17, 2006

i don't TRY to be open-minded, i AM

Thanks to VeganDoc, i found out about Wegmans "super"market and their cruel chicken/egg situation with battery cages and the horrific treatment of these beautiful creatures & their eggs. We don't have any Wegmans in San Diego but i felt compelled to speak out.

A few weeks back i signed a petition regarding this company's lack of compassion, and got this obviously canned and unbelievably insulting response this past Wednesday (*rolling my eyes*):

"We received your comments about our egg farm, and it's clear that you feel strongly about this issue. Our customers and employees know we are always willing to look at doing things better or differently.

"We are not close-minded and are willing to look at the implications of cage-free production. If there is a significant shift inconsumer demand, we'd give serious consideration to some cage-free production, provided it was the right thing for the health of the animals and for the employees at the farm.

"Our sales of cage-free eggs have risen slightly over the past year, but the volume is still very small. Your communication specifically mentioned two specialty food stores that have switched to cage-free eggs only.

"Wegmans is a full-service supermarket, not a specialty food store. Price is important to our customers. They value eggs as an inexpensive source of high quality protein and expect to find them at an affordable price. Some simply can't afford to pay more. We don't believe it's right to force all our customers to pay more than double the price for a dozen eggs just because a few people think we should.

"To sum it up: We are proud of our egg farm. The wegmanscruelty film paints a false picture of conditions at our farm. There's no way to prove it, but we believe some of the images did not come from our farm or may have been staged. We do not abuse animals, but rather, we use animals to produce food. And, we offer customers the choice of eggs produced by cage-free hens.

"If you have not read the complete statement and Q&A on our web site, you may be interested in doing so: http://wegmans.com/news/flash/eggFarmUpdate.asp?sd=home&dt=eggUpdate

"We try to be open-minded; we hope you are, too."

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OK, whatever. I won't apologize for not buying into that letter... That last line (italics mine) really put me out and put me off. That was pretty nonsensical on their part. Anyway, as VeganDoc did, i also encourage anyone and everyone concerned to voice their opinion as well, especially since today in my e-mail there was an note from the proactive UR-VEG peeps at the University of Rochester and it seems as though the "fight" (i don't like that word but i'm at a loss at the moment for a better description) is still on:

Greetings from UR-VEG at the University of Rochester. Sometime during the past nine months you signed our petition asking Danny Wegman to phase out the cruel "battery" cages used on his 700,000-hen egg farm in Wolcott, New York.

Thank you so much for adding your voice! Over 2,600 other caring people have signed so far, and the number is steadily rising.

Your signature was in the latest batch of petitions delivered to Danny Wegman, and you may have received a stock reply with Wegmans' excuses for why they won't follow the lead of other national grocery chains. If you're interested, we've addressed those claims here:

http://urveg.org/campaigns/wegmans/responses/

Finally, we encourage you to contact Wegmans directly; let Danny Wegman know that he can't make the issue of animal cruelty go away by ignoring it. Thank you again for caring!

Contact information for Wegmans:

* Post:
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
1500 Brooks Avenue
PO Box 30844
Rochester, NY 14603-0844

* Phone: 1-800-WEGMANS, ext. 4760

* Web: http://www.wegmans.com/guest/

* Email:
General comments: comments@wegmans.com
Jo Natale, Consumer Affairs jo.natale@wegmans.com
Jeanne Colleluori, Consumer Affairs jeanne.colleluori@wegmans.com
Danny Wegman, CEO danny.wegman@wegmans.com

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I'm waiting for not just Wegmans, not just Whole Foods, but for the world to become kinder, to be compassionate. Maybe i'm just an idealistic, pie-in-the-sky dreaming, hyper-fantasizing ol' Pisces fool but still i wait, i wait...

17 comments:

Dori said...

I'm with you. We have been fighting a chicken "farm", no factory from expanding 10 miles away from us. Forunately the county had denied the entrance of another factory farm that produces beef.

Ferocious Killer Kat said...

I've given up hope on world becoming kinder.. I am a person who thinks of hope as a very good thing and am an eternal optimist, but on this issue, I know its not happening in my lifetime for sure.. one good thing is that once I shift back to home I won't have such stuff to deal with.. atleast the suburb I stay is like 90% vegetarian..

Max Tesatora said...

Keep dreaming, Pisces girl. For real! I seriously just noticed that "pisces" kinda looks like "piss" at first glance...god, I hope you don't think I'm just fucking with you--it's just really late!!

t. said...

"To sum it up: We are proud of our egg farm" : to me is like saying 'we are proud our uncle is a pedophile'.
You feel proud? Free to be. But be aware anybody will get to know about this, will be turning away from you in disgust.

Urban Vegan said...

Thanks for further raising awarenss of this barbaric treatment. Your post prompted me to write to Wegman's. Even though I don't buy eggs period, I won't shop at Wegman's again until they straighten up their act.

Vegan Momma said...

I sent them a letter and received the exact same letter. I figured they were sending that out to those who complained. Whole Foods has stopped the sale of live lobsters. I blogged about it yesterday.

tara said...

Wow. That's about all I can say.

I'm trying not to give up on the world becoming kinder. The more of us who do make changes... I believe in the ripple effect. Eventually there will be enough of us to cause a bigger change. I have to believe that. Otherwise, what's the use?

funwithyourfood said...

BOO
Sometimes it's all just a bit disheartening. But i go to bed each night feeling confident in myself and that means a lot to me

teddy

KleoPatra said...

Thank you for the comments!

Dori, places like Wegmans are just the "bigger" of all the types of places that do the same cruel things... Thank you for fighting for what's right!!

MC Seitan, i can't give up on the world... i'm glad where you are going to be is somewhere that you will feel happy, safe and at peace, as much as you can!

To max, hmmmmm... OK! :) i think...

To Tax, that perfectly sums up how i felt about that same line the person wrote. EXACTLY. Yeah, be proud. Be REAL proud. *rolls eyes*

To Urban Vegan, i don't buy eggs either, but feel the same way as you... THANK YOU for writing to them!!

To Vegan Momma, i also had blogged about Whole Foods and the lobster sitch the other day. Great minds, CARING minds, think alike, i am glad to see! Happy you were pro-active on this as well...

To Tara, i'm with you, kid!!

To Teddy, me as well, as often as i can. I do pray that the world and the peeps in the world will be more like peeps like YOU!

OkraMary said...

Thank you for the condolences...I really appreciate it! I read another blogger's letter to Wegmans on his site, Veg Blog, and I was impressed. It was level-headed and polite. I can't believe Wegmans, a business that should value professionalism, would send such a catty letter to concerned consumers. It's a shame!

KleoPatra said...

okramary, thanks for your post. Again, i am sorry about your grandmother and hope you and your family are doing better...

By the way, great link to The Veg Blog. i am the "K" who responded at that link about Ryan's (at The Veg Blog) very well-worded letter to Wegmans. It really is a shame that a big company like that has to resort to such pathetic excuses for what they do!! Catty indeed, unprofessional is right, okramary. VERY disappointing on their part...

Carrie™ said...

"We are proud of our egg farm. The wegmanscruelty film paints a false picture of conditions at our farm. There's no way to prove it, but we believe some of the images did not come from our farm or may have been staged." Believe it or not, there are many, many people who think the whole moon landing was staged. (my grandmother, God rest her, was one of them) But it was real! Just as I'm sure the Wegman egg farm film was real. They can't prove it was staged, because it wasn't!!
KleoPatra, that is really a pathetic response. It's OK to have shitty, inhumane conditions so long as they can sell cheaper? Peanut butter is cheap and full of protein, beans are dirt cheap and full of protein. What a load of crap. F*&%#ing sadists, that's what they are.
Sorry, that just really pissed me off. Could they be any more condescending?

KleoPatra said...

Carrie, you know i know just what you mean!!!

VeganDoc said...

I've received that form letter too.

For more information about the Wegmans egg farm case, you can go to wegmanscruelty.com, and watch the video.

Melody said...

"I'm waiting for not just Wegmans, not just Whole Foods, but for the world to become kinder, to be compassionate. Maybe i'm just an idealistic, pie-in-the-sky dreaming, hyper-fantasizing ol' Pisces fool but still i wait, i wait..."

My feelings exactly.. but I probably have a lot less hope than you.

cindy said...

Thank you for posting about such an important issue. I think the best way to fight the cruelty is by educating consumers. If there is no longer a demand for such cruelty, the stores will have no choice but to change there habits. One thing he did so that is true, is as long as people demand the cheaper (who cares who we're harming brands) the stores will cater to them.
My husband's theory (since I don't eat any animal products) is to eat less animal product, that way you can afford the cruelty-free versions. I agree.

Anderson, Cherie said...

Ugh. I wrote out a long response and my connection froze up.

Anyway, most of my points were that no one forces these people to buy eggs; they choose to. For Wegman's to make such a statement is ridiculous.

And most people, when confronted wiht factory farming footage, are against it, though they don't act like we vegans do; they surely don't like what they see. "Few people" my ass.