Signs Of Change: Chipotle’s “Farmed And Dangerous”

I am a Chipotle fan. Yes, they serve a lot of meat. But they are at least enlightened enough to make how meat is raised and produced an issue. That is a step in the right direction.

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More important, part of their business model includes recognition that there are people out there (hard to believe!) who don’t actually eat meat. So they have a tofu option for their burritos which is pretty darn tasty.

Now Chipotle is going on the offensive about the appalling cruelty involved in the production of meat used by all their fast-food competitors. But they are doing it in a funny, stylish way, with a four-part satirical comedy series that will air on Hulu. I don’t know if it will deliver real entertainment, or just come off as a clever infomercial.

But I love the fact that it is linking factory farming and the oil industry. That is in encouraging sign of the times, and an explicit attempt to change the zeitgeist on meat, which has long been seduced by too many ads depicting happy farm animals rolling around in the sun with cute kids.

Too bad they didn’t work in the tobacco industry, too.

Here’s the trailer:

Vegan vs. Factory Farm Industry Smackdown



Emily Meredith, a meat industry flack, tries to put a positive spin on factory farming (note to Meredith and industry: if you want to get your spin out there, don’t hide it behind a registration requirement), via a field trip to a sow breeding facility. Robert Grillo of Free From Harm, is having none of it.

Here’s the setup to the takedown that follows:

As I was browsing the meat industry news site,, I came across an article called “My Week on a “Fact”ory Farm: Part I” by Emily Meredith who is the communications director for the Animal Agriculture Alliance and who also writes a column called “Activist Watch” on the same site. Meredith defends the practices of the industrial pig farms she recently visited in her attempt to bring out the facts and debunk what she sees as distortions from the activist community. In the following article, I responded to various excerpts of Meredith’s original post.

Here’s a sample of the cutting that is done:

Meredith: “No matter the industry practices I observed that first day—from tail docking to castration to artificial insemination—that theme of respect carried through.”

What a disturbing oxymoron. How is it possible to “respect” someone that you are dismembering, amputating, impregnating and ultimately breeding for the sole purpose of slaughtering them against their will?

There’s lots more where that came from. This is the kind of ultimate fighting that is worth supporting.

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