Highlights from Compassion Over Killing 2012

Thanks to the kindness of our wonderful members and the dedication of our amazing volunteers, 2012 has been a tremendous year for COK—and for animals. It’s because of your support that we’re able to bring about such important and meaningful changes for animals.

With you at our side this past year, we released an undercover video that prompted the USDA to shut down a California slaughter plant. We’re persuading major companies, like Subway, that vegan eating is the new business as usual. We permanently closed the doors of a chicken and duck hatchery. And so much more. Together, we’re making incredible strides, and we’re thrilled to share our year-in-review video and more highlights below.

The Power of Compassion: Highlights from 2012

Undercover Video Prompts USDA to Shut Down Slaughter Plant: After viewing COK’s investigative video exposing rampant abuse inside a California dairy cow slaughterhouse, the USDA immediately shut the facility down. The story garnered international headlines, and several major companies, including McDonald’s and In-N-Out Burger, severed ties with this meat supplier.

Subway Campaign Progress: Through COK’s campaign website, WeLoveSubway.com, thousands of consumers have been encouraging the world’s largest restaurant chain to offer hearty vegan options. In June, eight select locations in the DC-Metro area launched a vegan test menu that was so popular, stores ran out in less than a month.

Animal Cruelty Lawsuit Settled; Hatchery Ceases Operation: COK and the Animal Legal Defense Fund settled an animal cruelty lawsuit against Cal-Cruz Hatcheries, which agreed to cease all animal operations, putting an end to suffering at this factory farm. The lawsuit, based on COK’s undercover investigation inside this chicken and duck hatchery, was filed after the District Attorney’s office refused to take action to stop the abuse.

Cruelty at Pig Breeding Factory Farm Exposed: A COK investigator wore a hidden camera while employed at Hawkeye Sow Centers, a pig breeding factory farm in Iowa. The footage reveals the day-to-day miseries forced upon thousands of female pigs nearly immobilized inside tiny crates and their piglets who endure painful mutilations without any relief.

Millions of HULU Viewers Are Served a “Side of Truth”: In 2012, COK took our award-winning pro-vegetarian commercial campaign to the next level by running ads on HULU.com, a video-streaming website, reaching millions of viewers as they tuned in to watch their favorite TV shows and movies. The response was incredible!

Dairy Price-Fixing Case Moves Forward: After COK exposed the dairy industry for killing 500,000 young cows to reduce milk supplies and artificially inflate prices, a $9.5 billion class-action lawsuit was filed late last year against industry giants. In October, the court denied the defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, so the case will now move forward.

COK Co-Files Lawsuit against USDA To Stop the Sale of Foie Gras: To produce foie gras, ducks and geese are force-fed until their livers abnormally swell, causing hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease). According to the lawsuit, the USDA is required through the Poultry Products Inspection Act to condemn as adulterated all diseased poultry and should, therefore, not permit the sale of foie gras.

Quorn Expands Vegan Product Line: Last year, we announced that after working with COK, Quorn Foods created its first-ever all-vegan product that was launched in the US. The Vegan Burger debuted to rave reviews and strong sales – and inspired the company to begin making plans to expand its vegan line into the UK market. Stay tuned for updates.

Thousands Take Our VegWeek Pledge: Inspired by Md. Sen. Jamie Raskin, our 2012 VegWeek celebration included over 30 elected representatives – and thousands of people nationwide – pledging to go veg for at least seven days.

LA Adopts Meatless Monday Resolution: After COK met with several city council members about the benefits of vegetarian eating, Los Angeles became the largest US city to adopt a resolution encouraging residents to participate in Meatless Monday.

Thousands Celebrate at DC VegFest: Over 8,000 people joined us in September for our fourth annual DC VegFest. From dynamic speakers – including CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell – to delicious vegan food, the event was a huge success.

A Vegan Win at National Grilled Cheese Invitational: For the first time in its 10-year history, the Grilled Cheese Invitational handed out an award for a vegan sandwich. Entered by COK, the all-vegan Aurora Borealis received a trophy in the professional category.

Extending Our Reach Nationwide: Throughout 2012, COK staff and volunteers hosted hundreds of events nationwide – from California to Maine to Texas to Florida – giving out thousands of vegan food samples and tens of thousands of free pro-veg materials.