Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Wegmans' Success Makes it a Target

We in the Northeast are blessed with one of the best supermarkets in the US: Wegmans. They're rated highly for great products, great prices, great choices, uniformly friendly staff, and really tasty prepared foods. They also rank very high on Fortune Magazine's list of the 100 best companies to work for. (Disclaimer: Neither I, nor anyone I know is receiving Kosbucks).

Well, the Left can't stand such success, so naturally they have to start attacking Wegmans for not treating food sources nicely. This is from a site called Wegmans Cruelty; I'm not going to link it, but you can find it if you want to:

Wegmans still uses battery cages at its egg facility
Wegmans crowds up to nine hens into tiny, barren cages at its company-run egg facility, allowing each hen less than half a square foot of space. These animals are forced to live in their own waste and on top of the corpses of their cage-mates. A team of investigators from Compassionate Consumers found hens at Wegmans Egg Farm with severe infections and suffering from extreme dehydration. Some hens were trapped in the mesh of their cages, and others were drowning in liquid manure.

The cruel battery cage system used by Wegmans has been banned in the European Union, and many food service companies, universities, and national grocery chains such as Whole Foods and Wild Oats have pledged to no longer sell or use battery cage eggs. Please seek out alternatives to battery cage eggs, and ask Wegmans to work with The Humane Society of the United States to improve these inhumane conditions.

How inhumane is Wegmans? I have learned that they actually KILL animals (or pay others to do so), and lay the carcasses out in their stores!

Wegmans has responded here, with a superb reminder of why the free market is so wonderful:

Why choice is important…
The activists are asking that we operate a farm without cages. Eggs produced by cage-free hens are available at Wegmans. These eggs cost more to produce, so the retail price is much higher than Wegmans eggs. Three nationally-known specialty food stores are often lauded for switching to cage-free eggs only. Wegmans is a full-service supermarket, not a specialty food store. Price is important to our customers, who expect to find eggs at an affordable price and value them as an inexpensive source of high quality protein. Some simply can't afford to pay more. We don’t believe we should force all of our customers to pay more than double the price for a dozen eggs just because a few people think we should.

If you have shopped at our stores and know us well, we hope you trust us to be honest and forthcoming. If you don't know us at all, we realize that's a lot to ask, but we appreciate the chance to tell you about our egg farm.

We are proud of our eggs

Read the whole thing. Wegmans has been investigated by the County and State, and state that there was no evidence of animal cruelty. They question the honesty of their leading critics.

There is a map and list of all Wegmans locations here. If you live near one, you owe it to yourself to try it. And now that they are under unfair attack, you can feel good about supporting them with your commerce.

And for a crude, but highly amusing analysis of the animal rights movement and the code of conduct it seeks to impose, check out Penn and Teller.

Back to the top.

1 comment:

Joe Sixpack said...

Dude, you're seriously confused.

* Animal cruelty isn't a partisan issue. Ask George Will, Pat Buchanan, or Matthew Scully (speechwriter for Dubya and recent author of the animal-rights tome "Dominion").

* Wegmans' "success" isn't the issue here either. Wegmans runs the largest egg farm in New York State, where the consumer advocacy group Compassionate Consumers (whose website you refer to) is based. The farming practices used by Wegmans are so cruel that they've been banned in other countries, and the Humane Society of the United States has urged Wegmans to follow the lead of other national supermarkets by phasing out these types of cages.

* Wegmans' response is pathetic. To see, why check out this detailed debunking.

Finally, if you're really interested in the truth, you'll check out both sides of the debate. Watch the video footage that Wegmans sent a man to jail for, and then make up your mind.