Thanks to your unwavering support, it has truly been a landmark year for Compassion Over Killing. With you at our side, our undercover investigations are exposing the truth, our legal team is fighting for justice, and our corporate campaigns are changing menus and minds.
To wrap up 2018 and get inspired for the new year ahead, we’re excited to share with you 18 ways that COK has changed the world for animals this year.
In no particular order, here’s what we’ve been able to accomplish in 2018 because you are standing united with us.
1. Exposing High-Speed Slaughter Horrors
COK’s shocking investigative footage taken inside Maryland chicken slaughterhouse Amick Farms is reaching tens of millions of people around the world after breaking in the Washington Post and sparking international coverage. This footage uncovered the horrors of high-speed slaughter of birds as the federal government allows more chicken plants to increase already dangerously fast kill line speeds from 140 birds to 175 birds per minute.. The gut-wrenching video shows birds being punched and thrown, as well as evidence that birds may have been scalded alive.
2. Documenting Factory Farming’s Toll in Hurricane Florence
In September, COK investigators were on the ground — and in the air — in North Carolina, documenting how the devastating toll of Hurricane Florence was multiplied by destructive factory farms Among devastating flooding, they documented the heartbreaking aftermath: animals left to die, and huge factory farm waste cesspools spilling into waterways and heavily populated communities along the Cape Fear Watershed.
3. Providing Vegan Food to Local Families
In partnership with Martha’s Table and the Capital Area Food Bank, COK’s TryVeg was able to become a proud sponsor of the Joyful Food Market at Drew Elementary school in Southeast DC for the 2018-2019 school year, providing nutritious vegan food to kids and families. This fully vegan “market” pops up at the Ward 7 school every month, offering students 15lbs each of fresh produce and healthy non-perishables. Simple recipes and lessons on nutritious plant-based eating are also served up.
4. Serving Vegan Food, Inspiration & Resources to Thousands
TryVeg’s Vegan Food & Lifestyle Coach Jessica Carter shared vegan eating across the country this year, creating simple and delicious original recipes on TryVeg.com, and hosting many live vegan cooking demos for pre-vegans hoping to learn how to make their plate more compassionate–including giving everyone a taste of delicious vegan cooking, with thousands of free samples given out this year. These demos included some of her 40+ new recipes on TryVeg.com, including jackfruit croquettes, fricassee chickpea & cauliflower collard wraps, and cookie dough nice cream–yum!
5. Our vegan BOCA campaign’s encouraging Kraft Heinz to think vegan
We’ve been pressuring Kraft Heinz to “kraft” a better BOCA brand by fully ditching dairy in their vegetarian line. This year, the company even debuted the first-ever vegan “turkey” burger, and just recently announced that a majority of the brand (8 of 12 products!) is now vegan! As we continue to make steps towards a dairy-free brand, Kraft Heinz is also investing more in plant-based options.
6. Urging the USDA to Halt Dangerous High-Speed Slaughter of Birds and Pigs
In addition to our new investigation of Amick Farms, this year COK fought high-speed slaughter, one of animal agriculture’s most dangerous developments, on many fronts. We mobilized against high-speed pig slaughter by delivering a quarter million petition signatures to USDA headquarters in Washington, DC, submitted legal comments to the federal agency, grilled the USDA at the Maryland Poultry Conference, and even teamed up with Rob Zombie to stop the high-speed horrors.
7. Taking Tyson to Task For Torturing Birds
A COK investigation prompted cruelty charges against the owner of a Tyson-contracted factory farm.This year, we also continued to put the pressure on Tyson with a presence at Tyson’s hometown marathon, and a message in the sky over a Tyson-sponsored poultry festival saying: cruelty won’t fly!
8. Making History in California
In collaboration with other animal protection organizations, COK encouraged California voters to vote yes on historic Proposition 12 this Election Day. The landmark legislation passed with 60% of the vote, and will ban cages for egg-laying hens, gestation crates for pregnant pigs, and veal crates for calves, as well as ban the sale of products made from keeping animals in these cages, which are so small they can barely move their entire lives.
9. Record-Breaking VegWeek VegPledges!
2018 brought our biggest VegWeek ever, with over 9,300 people pledging to explore vegan eating. With support from celebrity endorsers like Alicia Silverstone, VegWeek inspired more people than ever to enjoy the flavorful and fun world of vegan foods for at least seven days! Polls taken after the VegWeek showed that at least 53% of participants who went into the week as meat-eaters had eliminated meat from their diet entirely.
10. First-Ever Virtual DC VegFest
After DC’s state of emergency forced us to cancel our annual DC VegFest for the first time ever, COK got creative — inspired by the many festival-goers who love our event — and took the fun to thousands on Facebook in our first Virtual DC VegFest. Exciting speakers including Carol Adams and Ginny Messina, RD (Protest Kitchen), Dr. Neal Barnard (President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), and Mike Wolf (COK’s Director of Investigations) joined us for the live broadcast, as well as some of our DC VegFest sponsors like Busboys and Poets and Karner Blue Capital.
11. COK’s Outreach & Education Team Took Part in Over 70 Events
This year our Outreach team was reaching out nationwide, taking part in over 70 events and directly connecting with people to inspire compassion and we shared over 5,000 free vegan food samples! Through our go vegan in 8 weeks program and MeatOut Mondays newsletter, we sent over 2 million supportive emails to pre-vegans. We also stayed in touch via Facebook Live events where we reviewed new vegan products (like the Boca Turk’y Burger and Hungry Harvest), and interviewed awesome vegan chefs and activists like Elysabeth Alfano, Vegan Evan, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and Dotsie Bausch.
12. Beyond The Lies Reached over 12,500 people with Truth behind Big Ag
Throughout Summer 2018, over 12,500 people spoke with our dedicated Beyond The Lies tour crews and watched our 4-minute video exposing the truth behind the closed doors of the meat, dairy, egg, and fishing industries. Our team traveled with Warped Tour and held pay-per-view outreach events in 36 cities in 24 states.
After a Compassion Over Killing campaign prompted Starbucks to start pouring out non-dairy milk options, we continued to ask for more vegan items on the coffee giant’s shelves. In 2018, we prompted Starbucks to announce a new line of vegan foods, and the chain debuted vegan ice cream pops in select locations and released a fully vegan cookie nationwide! In light of these victories, we’re continuing to pressure the chain to release another vegan cookie flavor.
14. Dunkin’ Donuts told COK they are testing vegan donut recipes!
Consumers nationwide are asking Dunkin’ for a vegan donut to dunk in their dairy-free coffee, and after pressure from COK campaigns and a letter from former Dunkin’ executive Glenn Bacheller, the massive donut chainhas told COK that it’s testing recipes for a vegan donut!
15. COK + Blue Horizon’s Groundbreaking Partnership to Change Farms
In a game-changing new project, Compassion Over Killing has partnered with Blue Horizon to launch the development phase of an exciting project that will convert animal farms to farms growing plants.
16. Ending a Barbaric Chicken Industry Practice
After COK’s investigation of a Tyson Foods farm revealed the cruel practice of using “nose bones” on hidden camera for the first time (promptly ending it at Tyson, Perdue, Wayne Farms, and House of Raeford), COK has campaigned tirelessly for the end of this archaic practice — and nearly wiped it out industrywide. This year, we were able to confirm that at least 17 out of the top 20 poultry producers in the United States have stopped using, or do not use these cruel practices. We are continuing to put pressure on the National Chicken Council to abolish this cruel practice entirely.
17. COK Put Animals in the Media Spotlight
COK’s work for animals and our hard-hitting investigations were splashed across headlines from major news outlets this year including Washington Post, the Guardian, Mother Jones, VegNews, and many more.
18. New Empowering Vegan Resources
To help thousands of people turn over a new leaf by trying vegan eating, we’ve updated our Vegan Starter Guide. Full of delicious vegan recipes, reasons for going vegan, and handy tips and tricks, our TryVeg Vegan Starter Guide is completely free and available online. This year we were also able to update our Veg Guide to DC. Free as well, this is the go-to comprehensive list of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. Between these fresh new resources and our guides to Eating Sustainably, Easy Vegan Recipes, and more, we distributed a whopping total of about 28,000 pieces of literature this year!
It has been quite the year, and your support has made it possible for us to achieve all of these victories for animals–and more. Help us ring in the new year and hit the ground running in 2019 by making a matched donation this December.
With a generous donor doubling all December donations, your gift will go twice as far. Plus, donors will receive an exciting free gift!
As we forge ahead into the New Year, thank you for standing at our side and helping us demonstrate the power of truth, justice, and compassion!