Kroger, one of the largest grocery chains in the United States, recently announced their plan to phase out the use of gestation crates—a cruel method of confining sows—by the year 2025. Often used in the pork industry, gestation crates are roughly 6 ½ feet long and 2 feet wide, hindering the sow from walking or even turning around, and she is often confined to it for periods of three to four months while she is pregnant. Once she gives birth, she is moved to a farrowing crate which is just a tad larger—just large enough so she can lay helplessly on her side while her piglets suckle.
Kroger’s decision followed that of Smithfield Farms, the world’s largest pork producer, who stopped using gestation crates in their factory farms last year. The United Kingdom, Sweden, and also nine states in the U.S. have outlawed their usage already.
This is all happening because these massive meat producers are listening to their consumers. As more people question where their food is coming from, more people are demanding factory farms treat livestock more humanely. Although this move may seem insignificant when compared to the grand scale of mistreatment of farmed animals, as more corporations bend to the demands of their consumers, even more corporations will follow suit. We still have a long way to go before animals in the farming industry get the treatment they deserve, but this is one step in the right direction.
Take Action: Write a letter to the CEO of The Kroger Co. letting him know how much you support his decision to end the cruel practice of using gestation crates in factory farms. Also consider taking action on a personal level by limiting the amount of meat you consume on a daily basis. Consider incorporating a more environmentally sustainable and compassionate vegetarian/vegan diet into your lifestyle. Even a small change can make an impact!
Attn: W. Rodney McMullen, CEO
The Kroger Co.
1014 Vine St
Cincinnati, OH 45202-1100
Phone: (513) 762-4000