by: Vicki Batts
(Natural News) Whole Foods has just filed a restraining order against a vegan activist group that advocates for animal welfare. The animal rights group, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) is known for going to extreme lengths to send their message — and this time, a Berkeley, CA storefront says, they took things too far.
A representative from Whole Foods told The Guardian, “DxE members have repeatedly entered our stores and property to conduct demonstrations that disrupt customers and team members by blocking access to our aisles, departments and cash registers, interfering with our business and putting the safety of both customers and team members at risk.”
DxE is known for their heavy-handed protesting: Some of their in-store tactics include chanting, covering eggs with fake blood, acting out animal slaughters and displaying graphic photos of butchered animals in the aisles.
Protesters banned from Whole Foods
The group also strung up a banner which read, “OCCUPY WHOLE FOODS” outside of the Berkeley location, though the restraining order did prevent DxE from entering the store to further harass employees. Whole Foods filed the restraining order in the days leading up to a week-long planned protest. DxE says they had hoped to call attention to the animal welfare rights violations they allege the grocery chain’s suppliers are committing.
Cassie King, a DxE organizer, commented,“We are not allowed to even step foot in the parking lot right now. We can’t go inside the store and ask our questions.”
It is important to note that DxE is not protesting at the company’s headquarters; they are protesting outside of regular shopping centers — and they are known for their disruptive protests at grocery stores. Fox News reports that in early 2018, a DxE activist covered herself in animal feces in front of a Trader Joe’s in San Francisco. Apparently, she was protesting living conditions at farms that supply eggs.
According to reports, Whole Foods is looking to get DxE barred from entering any of their locations in the state of California. In late October, a judge will review their request, but for the time being, DxE is only banned from Whole Foods stores in Berkeley.
The company’s complaint, which was filed at the Alameda County Superior Court, is that DxE protests prevent customers from being able to shop safely, and they are a danger to everyone in the store, including themselves.
Where do we draw the line?
Factory farming is a major concern for many people; the conditions under which animals are raised can be downright atrocious and there are many issues within the industry, including its effect on the environment. However, this does not give any group the right to do whatever they please when it comes to protesting and drawing attention to these problems. Harassing storefront employees is not going to change the way the livestock industry does business, nor will it help increase transparency in the food industry.
As is typical of the Left, it seems the new generation of vegans want to bully their way into getting what they want; some protesters have even said they’d like to see the sale of meat banned within the city of Berkeley. As The Guardian reports:
It’s not the first time the group’s approach in the liberal city has drawn attention. In 2017 it faced criticism for forcing a family-owned Berkeley butcher to hang an animal rights sign in its window; in exchange, the group agreed to cease gruesome demonstrations outside. DxE had declared it wanted to make Berkeley the first city to ban the sale of meat; the butchers called it “ethical extortion”.
DxE has said that they want to increase transparency in the food industry and want “answers” from Whole Foods, but claims that it is the company which is “escalating” the situation.
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