Walmart CEO Receives Unique Brithday Gift From Mercy for Animals
Walmart CEO Receives Rescued Pig as Birthday Gift From Animal Rights GroupWhat do you get the CEO of the world's largest retailer for his birthday? For a national animal rights group the answer is easy: a rescued pig.
National animal rights organization Mercy For Animals has aggressively lobbied Walmart to stop supporting cruelty to pigs in its pork supply chain, and as a friendly gesture has sponsored a lovable pig in honor of the company CEO Mike Duke's birthday December 7. For months MFA has led a campaign against Walmart for allowing its pork suppliers to confine pregnant pigs for life in cages so small they can't even turn around. Now MFA has sponsored a pig named Julia, who was rescued from a life of deprivation in one of these cages, at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York.
In an open letter sent to Mr. Duke along with Julia's adoption certificate, MFA's executive director Nathan Runkle encouraged the CEO to visit the precious pig.
"Like millions of pigs who are raised and killed for Walmart's pork, Julia spent most of her life confined to a filthy, metal gestation crate barely larger than her own body," said Runkle. "In such a small cage, Julia was unable to walk, run, play, root in the soil, see the sun, breathe fresh air, or do nearly anything that would make her life even remotely worth living. After meeting Julia, and seeing her vibrant personality shining through, despite the years of torment she endured locked in a tiny cage, I hope this birthday present inspires you to give a gift in return: a better life to the pigs who currently suffer lives of constant misery at Walmart pork suppliers."
MFA's unique birthday gift to Mr. Duke is the latest effort by Mercy For Animals to convince Walmart to do away with gestation crates in its pork supply chain. Banned in nine U.S. states and the entire European Union, gestation crates have been widely condemned by animal welfare experts as one of the cruelest factory farming practices in the world. Major food providers, including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and Chipotle, and grocery chains, such as Safeway, Kroger, Target, and Costco, have all started eliminating gestation crates from their supply chains. Walmart is one of the few major retailers in the country that have yet to take a stand against inherently cruel gestation crates.
"If Walmart's pork producers abused even one dog or cat the way they abuse millions of pigs they could be jailed for criminal cruelty to animals," said Runkle. "We hope that Julia and her inspiring story of survival will motivate Mr. Duke on his birthday to consider the plights of pigs who are born into lives of abject misery at Walmart pork suppliers."
Founded in 1986, Farm Sanctuary is a national farmed animal rescue and advocacy organization with shelters in New York and California. Mercy For Animals is a national nonprofit animal protection organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.
The adoption certificate and letter to Mike Duke can be read at http://www.mfablog.org/2012/12/mfa-adopts-pig-as-birthday-gift-for-walmart-ceo.html.
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