January 18, 2018
Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations
PO Box 1958
Vista, CA 92085
Dear Mr. Fletcher:
I was introduced to Dr. Bronner’s in the mid-1980s by Farm Sanctuary, where I was one of their first live-in volunteers at their first location in Avondale, Pennsylvania. They used Dr. Bronner’s soaps and from then on, so have I – until December 2017 when a fellow activist forwarded a Dr. Bronner’s fundraiser email to our office citing the company’s support for Farm Forward.
I sent Dr. Bronner’s a brief email on December 12, 2017 and received no reply. Since then, I have read quite a lot of your material, which includes, along with vegan advocacy, grants and so forth, warm praise for Farm Forward and support for – in plain terms – raising and slaughtering chickens and turkeys and cows in the guise of “conscientious” non-factory-farming production and consumption of these animals. It is always a jolt when an organization, proclaiming to oppose animal cruelty and to practice “peacemaking,” betrays the mission these terms and phrases represent. For example:
On May 15, 2012, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced a $151,100 grant to Frank Reese, owner of the Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch, in Lindsborg, Kansas. A company that produces 72,000 chicken eggs and 30,000 turkey eggs per season will now “be able to increase this amount to 600,000 chicken eggs and 100,000 turkey eggs per season,” said ASPCA spokesperson Bret Hopman, who calls Good Shepherd “the market leader in the sale of chicken and turkey products that come from birds raised entirely outside of the factory farm industry.”
Mr. Fletcher: Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch, which Farm Forward supports, IS a factory farm. If, instead of the coy language, Dr. Bronner’s staff would personally visit, videotape and post the entire process, from hatchery incubation to slaughter (killing cones, slaughterhouse, gas units?) of the thousands of chickens and turkeys going through this sequence, it would at least be an act of truthfulness toward the birds. I therefore urge you, in the name of full disclosure of what you mean by “more humanely sourced meat, raised to high-bar pasture-raised animal welfare standards” and similar talk, to take this step. Show us the details from start to finish.
Until Dr. Bronner’s severs its financial and promotional ties with Farm Forward and all operations that breed, raise and kill animals for cuisine, I will not purchase your products, and United Poultry Concerns will continue to advise people that Dr. Bronner’s mixes financial support for violence to defenseless animals with veganism in a hodgepodge of euphemisms. If, however, you sever your ties with these violent operations, we will gladly and gratefully resume our support for Dr. Bronner’s and urge everyone to join us.
Thank you for your time. We look forward to your company’s decision.
Karen Davis, PhD
United Poultry Concerns
12325 Seaside Road, PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405
United Poultry Concerns is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the
compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. http://www.upc-online.org
Federal ID: 52-1705678