San Francisco Chipotle Closes in Face of Animal Rights Protests
Activists Say Fast Food Chain, Though Vegan Friendly, Disguises Brutal Violence Against Animals
San Francisco, Saturday, March 29, 2014 – Today, Chipotle Mexican Grill closed a San Francisco restaurant in response to protests by animal rights activists. Demonstrators with Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) arrived at the Chipotle at 121 4th Street in San Francisco to protest against the restaurant, surprised to find it closed. A police officer informed the activists that the restaurant had closed for the afternoon in order to avoid their demonstration, and it remained closed and empty of customers for the duration of DxE’s two-hour protest. Since October, DxE has held monthly protests against Chipotle as part of the group’s “It’s not Food, It’s Violence” campaign. The activists say that, despite Chipotle’s marketing itself as a purveyor of humane and “responsibly raised” meat and dairy, animal agriculture – including inevitable slaughter – is inherently violent. The monthly international demonstrations have now reached 29 cities in 8 countries.
“You’ve heard of white washing,” said DxE organizer Saryta Rodriguez. “Well Chipotle is engaged in humane washing. The company is trying to market killing as humane, but there is no escaping the reality that slitting an animal's throat is violent. At bottom, Chipotle’s marketing amounts to moral fraud.”
Despite being widely praised for its simple and elegant product line, industry-leading business methods, and brand new vegan option, Chipotle has faced recent challenges over its corporate practices, including its failure to provide sustainability reports and its controversial use of so-called “humane” marketing. Today, protesters brought images of animals rescued from slaughter to the restaurant and, in a choreographed display, shared the animals’ stories with the public.
In the United States alone, approximately 10 billion animals (not including fish and other sea animals) are killed annually to be eaten. Animals who are killed for their flesh endure intense psychological and physical trauma, and undercover investigations have found that they are routinely eviscerated while still conscious.
Direct Action Everywhere is a network of animal rights activists working to challenge speciesism throughout society. We use creative protest to challenge the use of animals for food, clothing, experimentation, and entertainment. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on facebook and at http://directactioneverywhere.com/. Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.