Whole Foods Protest: Caviar Is Too Cruel To Sell

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Caviar and roe are garnishes that cause extreme suffering to fishes, and concerned citizens are speaking up! 

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On Saturday, April 6, over a dozen animal advocates protested outside a Whole Foods Market in Toronto to demand the grocer stop selling caviar and roe, also known as “ikura”, which is often used as a topping on sushi.

The protest drew plenty of attention. The busy area was filled with families shopping and people driving on Yonge Street. Passersby, intrigued by the posters highlighting the cruelty of caviar, paused to learn more, and many signed our petition asking Whole Foods to drop caviar and roe, adding their voices to the growing demand for change. 

This protest follows the release of a shocking new undercover exposé by Animal Justice showing the horrifying truth about caviar farming. The hidden-camera footage was filmed by a worker at Northern Divine Aquafarms, a fish farm on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast selling organic and so-called “sustainable” caviar from endangered sturgeons. Northern Divine also raises coho salmons for their eggs, which are sold as roe.

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Horrible practices shown in the investigation include sturgeons being stabbed in their abdomens repeatedly during their lives, workers sucking eggs out through straws with their mouths, and salmons being thrown onto ice during the slaughter process—a practice that is not acceptable even under the aquaculture industry’s own guidelines. Animal Justice has started a petition asking Canada to ban the sale and production of caviar across the country.

Northern Divine keeps large breeder sturgeons alive for decades, languishing in tiny tanks. One sturgeon, named Gracie by the workers, had lived for over 25 years in a tiny, filthy tank. It’s heartbreaking to imagine the anguish and boredom she is enduring. 

Whole Foods is well-known for its claims of high animal welfare standards, including its “seafood” products. But while the retailer boasts about doing better, Whole Foods is stocking its shelves with caviar, a garnish of extreme animal suffering.

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Thousands of concerned customers have also taken to Whole Foods’ social media pages, demanding the retailer to stop cruel caviar. Despite the overwhelming outcry, Whole Foods has remained silent. 

But we’re not giving up. Please join us in taking action to demand that Whole Foods bans the sale and production of caviar, and consider joining our Animal Justice Action Team to discover how you can help keep up the pressure and hold corporations accountable for cruel practices.

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