On Saturday, September 27 an animal rights activist group named Direct Action Everywhere staged a protest at Bloomington’s Chipotle Grill on Kirkwood street.
Jeff Melton, the local organizer for Direct Action Everywhere, says he and another protester went to Chipotle to protest their business practices and claims.
Melton says that the group takes issue with all fast food chains for their source of factory farmed meat products, but that businesses like Chipotle and Whole Foods that brand themselves misleadingly are a high concern. The protest matches others nationwide as part of a larger month-long effort by Direct Action Everywhere against species-ism.
Species-ism is defined as the exploitation of nonhuman animals for their meat, skins, their labor, or in scientific experiments. Melton says that they did not receive the hostility that protesters elsewhere have received, and that some people approached the protesters after the demonstration to gain more information.
Chipotle advertises its offerings as “food with integrity” and offers information on their website about the benefits to “naturally” raised farm animals. They also state that “Though the process is more complex, we are trying to find suppliers who can provide us with pasture-raised poultry and pork. Eventually, we want all of our meat to come from suppliers who meet these standards. We’re definitely working on it. Stay tuned.”
Direct Action Everywhere estimates that more than 100,000 animals are killed to be eaten each minute world wide, and points out that undercover investigations have shown factory farms to terminate animals in cruel ways while they are still conscious.
Melton says that he chooses to demonstrate support for animals because they can not advocate for themselves.