On Tuesday, October 25, Animal Equality protesters gathered outside of a Bank of America in Austin to demand that they break ties with Compass Group, the food service company that lied to the public when it declared an end to cruel cages for pregnant pigs. About 90% of the pigs it sources and sells still come from pigs locked in a crate so small they cannot turn around.
Compass Group Lied
In July 2022, Animal Equality launched a campaign calling on Compass Group to recommit to banning the use of gestation crates in its supply chain. Instead of fulfilling its 2012 commitment, Compass weakened it again and again and now has no clear path or deadline to stop allowing mother pigs to be locked in crates that are barely bigger than their own bodies.
The campaign, carried out by Animal Equality’s US office, has garnered support in the form of over 1,200 emails sent to company leadership, thousands of comments on Compass’s social media platforms, and more than 3,500 Tweets targeted at Compass Group USA and its partners in just one day.
Major Clients Impacted by Compass’s Inaction
Due to Compass’s inaction, Compass Group clients–such as Google, Nike, and Bloomberg–were then informed of the campaign and asked to take a stand against animal cruelty and break ties with the company. Bank of America was one of the clients that have remained silent on this issue. Animal Equality responded with an affiliate Bank of America campaign in early October and the protest on October 25.
Unimaginable Animal Cruelty
In the U.S. pig industry, a majority of the 6 million female pigs are confined in a gestation crate. These metal crates where mother pigs are often kept for the majority of their pregnancies for up to 4 months. After their piglets are weaned and taken away from them, they are forced into these crates again to repeat the painful cycle.
These 7-by-2-foot crates take a large physical and mental toll on the animals. In these crates, pigs are unable to walk, turn around, or even stand comfortably. Beneath them are hard floors with slats for the urine and feces to fall through before collecting in giant outdoor waste lagoons. Professor Ian Duncan, a scholar of animal welfare at the University of Guelph, has described it as “one of the cruelest forms of confinement devised by humankind.”
Hope for a Better Future
Gestation crates are so cruel they are banned in ten states in the US – Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon and Rhode Island – as well as in the United Kingdom and Sweden. Over 100 companies in the US have committed to banning gestation crates, including Aramark, Nestlé, Campbell’s, and Kraft Heinz.
Companies like Bank of America have a unique opportunity to decide which animal welfare standards it stipulates in its purchasing policy and can influence for good.
“We believe that integrity and the disciplined management of risk form the foundation of our business.” – BANK OF AMERICA
If Bank of America believes in integrity and doing the right thing, it must send a message to Compass Group by breaking its relationship with them.
Austin, Texas, United States