Factory Farming in America

Month: February, 2014

Promoting Sustainable Farming in America

In 2012, Chipotle Mexican Grill launched an advertising campaign entitled “Food with Integrity” with the slogan “Cultivate A Better World.” Chipotle’s website states that Food with Integrity is their “commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers.” Chipotle began using sustainably raised ingredients about thirteen years ago. The goal of the campaign is to inspire a demand for change. However, the campaign may be bias because of Chipotle’s underlying desire to promote its fast food restaurant.

Chipotle commissioned the making of a short film entitled “Back to the Start,” as well as the film’s soundtrack.

video courtesy of Chipotle

Although Chipotle’s ultimate motive in launching this campaign might have been to promote its restaurant’s organic food, the film also succeeds in promoting sustainable agriculture in America.

In 2013, Chipotle launched another short film entitled “The Scarecrow.”

video courtesy of Chipotle

This video can only be found on YouTube. In many instances, “The Scarecrow” has been praised as an innovative piece of marketing and applauded for its anti-factory-farming message. An article in The New Yorker discusses the possibility that Chipotle is a “‘giant corporation,’ tugging at our heartstrings not because of genuine interest in sustainability or animal welfare, but to make us buy burritos.” However, the end of the article does state that Chipotle’s attempt to source ingredients that avoid harmful practices seems sincere.”

Chipotle has also recently begun to utilize a stealth marketing strategy: the release of a four-part comedy series called “Farmed and Dangerous” that satirizes industrial-scale farming:

video courtesy of Farmed and Dangerous

In contrast to “Back to the Start,” there are no references to Chipotle in these episodes. The miniseries is available on Hulu, an extremely popular media-streaming website, under TV-comedies. However, according to a New York Times article covering the series, Chipotle hopes that “preaching the gospel of sustainable agriculture will translate into consumers buying their fast food at Chipotle.”


Promoting an End to Animal Cruelty in Factory Farms

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) runs its own campaign on Factory Farming. According to the HSUS, its goal is to “reduce the suffering of animals raised for meat, eggs, and milk.”

There are a number of news articles and videos about factory farming on the Humane Society’s website. The first news article was released on January 27th, 2014, so the campaign is relatively recent. There are only 10 news articles in total, most of which cover progress in the fight against animal cruelty in factory farms. The Humane Society discusses the promotion and passage of legislation in favor of animal rights, the closing of establishments with abusive practices, and in one instance, the rescue and relocation of factory-farmed cows. The intention of the HSUS in highlighting victories in the fight to end animal cruelty in factory farms is to inspire hope by showing that the situation can change, and people can make a difference.

Laura Marano, star of the Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally,” is featured in the Humane Society’s  “Meatless Monday” poster campaign.

photo courtesy of the Humane Society

Meatless Monday encourages people to go meat-free one day a week to help animals and the environment. The poster campaign launched at Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, CA. According to the Humane Society, “Laura joined students for a Meatless Monday lunch and spoke to a culinary class about the benefits of enjoying more plant-based meals.” Thousands of posters were mailed out to schools across the country, and some of the nation’s largest school districts now participate. The advantage of bringing a famous icon on-board is the ability to influence a wider audience.

The Humane Society’s videos function to raise awareness by exposing the practices of factory farms through footage caught on camera by undercover investigators. These videos also promote a return to what farming used to and should be.

video courtesy of the Humane Society

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most well-known animal protection organization. It’s no surprise that there is an apparent bias in favor of ending factory farming ingrained in the HSUS’s media coverage of the issue.