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Advocacy-Industry Collaboration

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Deconstructing the Myth

This press release raises important questions about the price paid for the public relations synergy that happens when animal advocacy organizations collaborate with corporations that use and kill animals for profit. By joining with Wolfgang Puck in a marketing and public relations campaign, are Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) not transferring some of their credibility as "animal protection" organizations to Puck and his new product line? If so, does this then improve Puck's ability to charge higher prices and sell more of these products to the public? If animal advocacy organizations are helping those who use and kill animals make greater profits, doesn't that raise questions of conflict of interest?

Puck claims that these "new and improved" animal products are good for human health, good for the animals, and good for the environment. In the past, animal rights advocates have used the same type of arguments focused on health, ethics, and the environment to encourage the public to adopt a diet free of animal products. What might the long-term consequences be of animal advocates not challenging the animal-using industry's use of this kind of argument, of their not pointing out the fallacies and misinformation behind such claims, but rather, reinforcing them with their participation?

The authors of this press release share the plans for how Puck's corporate media apparatus will educate the public about how to use "humanely treated ingredients." How does the use of such language affect public awareness of the individuals whose lives are taken by the thousands to become these "ingredients"? Even while labeling sentient animals as objectified "ingredients," this press release attaches the virtuous word "humane" to the meat and by-products that result from the killing of these animals.

When collaborating animal organizations raise funds and recruit members by calling Puck's introduction of this new product line a "victory," are their successes not coming at a cost? By teaming up with Puck's public relations department, are they protesting or condoning the use of animals and the taking of their lives? Is this relationship helping the public grapple with the moral questions that surround our society's use and killing of animals, or is it rather sending a message that there is a correct way to use and kill animals? If so, then who will be profiting most from this message, the animals or Puck with his new product line enthusiastically endorsed by animal advocacy organizations?

If animal advocacy organizations do not unequivocally state that using and killing animals is wrong, who will?

To learn about the hidden truth of the dairy and veal industry, see the slide show Happy Cows: Behind the Myth."

For further background on the politics of advocacy/industry collaboration, see Project for the New American Carnivore: From Niman to Lyman in 10 Short Years
Invasion of the Movement Snatchers: A Social Justice Movement Falls Prey to the Doctrine of Necessary Evil and Hogwash!: Or, How Animal Advocates Enable Corporate Spin

"Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

--Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize Winner


Chef Wolfgang Puck Takes Eating Well to New Level
Benefiting Farm Animals and Customers

By joining with Wolfgang Puck in a marketing and public relations campaign, are the animal organizations not transferring some of their credibility as animal protectors to Puck and his new product line?

Source: WOLFGANGPUCK.COM   Mar 2007   3/22/2007
Click here for direct link to source

LOS ANGELES (March 22, 2007) -- Wolfgang Puck and the Wolfgang Puck Companies announced today they are taking what they are already known for -- creating the most innovative tastes and style in natural, fresh and organic cooking -- to a new level with a comprehensive program that formalizes Puck's healthful culinary philosophy, Wolfgang's Eating, Loving and Living (WELL). The new program will affect the culinary standards and methods in all Wolfgang Puck Companies, including 14 fine dining group restaurants, more than 80 Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express fast-casual restaurants, and 43 catering venues across the nation, where 10 million customers dined in 2006.

Making the announcement, Master Chef Wolfgang Puck said: "Our guests want to know the meals they eat in my restaurants are made with fresh, natural, organic ingredients. They want to know where the produce comes from and how the animals are raised. In short, they want to eat healthy food in good conscience, and they know that we can make healthy taste delicious."


A key initiative of Wolfgang's all-natural and organic evolution is a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind humane farm animal treatment program created in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and with advice from Farm Sanctuary. This historic nine-point program aims to stop the worst practices associated with factory farming, and positions the Wolfgang Puck Companies as the first food establishments in full compliance with all of the HSUS' progressive recommendations. In the next few months, Wolfgang Puck Companies and dining venues will:

1. Only use and serve eggs from cage-free hens not confined to battery cages.

2. Only serve all-natural or organic crate-free pork. Crates prevent pigs from turning around.

3. Only serve all-natural or organic crate-free veal. Crates prevent calves from turning or walking.

4. Only serve certified sustainable seafood

5. Eliminate foie gras from its menus. Force feeding swells ducks' livers up to 10 times their normal size.

6. Only serve all-natural or organic chicken and turkey meat from farms that are compliant with progressive animal welfare standards.

7. Continue to feature and expand certified organic selections on all menus.

8. Continue to offer and expand vegetarian selections on all menus.

9. Send a letter to suppliers regarding methods of poultry slaughter that involve less suffering.

Chef Puck said, "We want a better standard for living creatures. It's as simple as that."


In discussing his new program's commitment to eating well, Wolfgang Puck said "I am concerned about the increase in diseases such as diabetes and obesity in our children. I believe we have a responsibility to teach young kids not only about nutrition, but about where food comes from, and provide them with healthy food they like to eat. Providing children with healthier foods that are free of hormones, antibiotics, preservatives and pesticides is truly a step in the right direction to ensure the wellness of further generations."

The Wolfgang Puck Companies, in partnership with the Las Vegas Clark County School District, are initiating a program to better understand the needs of children and their taste and menu preferences when it comes to affordable, fresh, all-natural, organic dishes. The program is expected to result in more attractive and healthier school menus, as well as better sourcing standards for Clark County students and other interested school districts across the country.


The Wolfgang Puck Companies will use its television activities, newspaper columns, book publications, media partnerships and collateral to educate and provide "how to" information on using fresh, natural, organic and humanely treated ingredients and making healthy taste delicious -- simply and affordably. Wolfgang Puck merchandising programs will further support the customer's ability to get involved with the brand philosophy. "Taken as a whole, these activities underscore what our company stands for," said Joe Essa, Executive Vice President of Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. "We passionately believe that a meal offering the most healthful food that reflects the humane treatment of animals and respect for the earth, the most innovative and delicious tastes, served with genuine hospitality, provides our customers with the very best in eating and dining WELL with Wolfgang's Eat, Love and Live.

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