Compassion Over Killing

Compassion Over Killing ( COK ) is a nonprofit animal welfare organization based in Washington, DC, founded by Paul Shapiro and currently headed by executive director Erica Meier. Founded in 1995, COK primary campaigns to advocate against factory farming and promoting the vegetarian diet. Although it welcomes those who are interested in the welfare of the animals that eat meat, the group encourages a transition to a plant-based diet, although gradually or part time. [1]

Activities and campaigns

COK activities and campaigns include:

  • Organizing and hosting of the DC VegFest.
  • Organizing and promoting VegWeek.
  • Distribution of the pro-green material.
  • Outreach and campaigns that advocate for restaurants and companies include vegan food.
  • Creation and distribution of pro-vegetarian advertising on TV.
  • Writing letters and op-eds to local newspapers.

From 2016 COK has completed its eighth annual VegWeek. VegWeek is an international campaign in which people make a promise to eat a plant-based diet for one week. In 2016, more than 5400 people took 7-Day VegPledge. Participants in VegWeek campaigns have included federal, state and local officials, athletes and celebrities and community members. [2]

campaign success

  • The organization has since launched successful campaigns urges Morningstar Farms, Boca, and Light to use fewer eggs in their products.
  • Compassion Over Killing launched a campaign for Dunkin ‘Donuts to stock soy milk in its stores, [3] that the company did in some regions. By 2009, take measures Animal conference organized by the Humane Society of the United States introduced Erica Meier, Compassion Over Killing follow-up campaign to encourage Dunkin ‘Donuts remove animal products from their donuts.
  • A successful campaign, where COK supporters sent messages asking for vegan options on, helped lead to the menu options, including a black bean patty and Malibu Garden sandwich, placed by metro [4] -The world’s biggest restaurant chain. More than 1,000 Subway locations now offer these options.
  • Tim Horton’s Canada’s largest coffee chain, with more than 4,500 seats added soy milk [5] at the participating sites, after a campaign from COK.
  • COK teamed up with journalist and television personality Jane Velez-Mitchell to start a petition Starbucks to add vegan dining options to its menu, in the light of the positive steps the coffee chain has already been taken by offering soy and coconut milk. In response to the many messages received, Starbucks has told COK, “We are in the testing stage for several new products that are eligible to be vegan … we have our vegan customers at the forefront of our minds and can not wait to introduce some new food options to meet vegan diet and our loyal customers who have requested these options. ” [6]

covert investigations

Compassion Over Killing has conducted several undercover investigations in the prevailing conditions of animals raised for food in the US

Egg farms

The group conducted a survey of living conditions in Maryland henhouse, documenting corpses in group cages and rescue some of the hens are in the worst conditions. [1] One of the farms documented, owned by ISE America, housed more than 800,000 chickens. [7] After a tip about substandard conditions on the farm, COK requested permission to visit the farm before continuing with an undercover investigation. [7]

The spokesman for the owner of the farm in question said that the conditions on the farm was “normal practice in the industry.” [8] Even if one of the farms claimed that the video footage was not on his farm, took pity Over Killing filmed their GPS location and postal addressed to the farm in question. [9]

In early 2006, a Compassion Over Killing study in a Pennsylvania egg farm led to the prosecution of 35 cases of animal cruelty against the owner and manager of the farm, the first case of its kind. [10] Although charges were pressed by a local animal control officer after watching a video of COK, owner and manager of the farm eventually acquitted in 2007. [11]

Central Valley Meat

COK’s undercover video expose animal abuse at the Central Valley Meat Co. (CVM) prompted the USDA to close [12] California slaughterhouse in 2012 and suspend federal purchases from the plant, a major supplier to the USDA’s National School Lunch Program. California-based fast food chain In-N-Out Burger immediately severed ties with its former supplier CVM [13] on the release of COK findings, followed by national chains McDonald’s and Costco. In February 2014 the plant was closed again by the USDA for unsanitary conditions. [14]

Quanah Cattle Company

In 2013, there was a COK activist arrested (although charges eventually dropped) in Colorado to film alleged abuse cattle on Quanah Cattle Company and failing to report abuse “in time.” COK Executive Director Erica Meier said that this is a ‘photoshoot the messenger strategy designed to detract attention from the crimes actually abused animals. ” [15]

Pilgrim Pride chicken factory yard

In 2014, a survey COK exposed chickens buried alive in a North Carolina factory farm supplies Pilgrims Corp. (formerly Pilgrims Pride), the second-largest chicken producer in the world and a provider of Chick-fil-A, Burger King, Wendy’s and Walmart. CNN broke the shocking story. [16]

Foster Farms turkey hatcheries

In early 2015, a COK investigators documented horrible treatment of baby birds – including mutilation, fumigation and being ground alive – inside a Foster Farms Hatchery in Fresno, California.

Mountaire Farms

At a North Carolina chicken slaughterhouse owned by Mountaire Farms, Inc., the seventh largest chicken producer in the US, COK exposed [17] birds violently thrown and punched, their feathers ripped out, and sick or injured birds left in piles on the die slowly.

Kvalitet Pork processorer (Hormel)

In 2015, a Compassion Over Killing investigators revealed the conditions in a Minnesota plant that kills and treats animals for Hormel. This plant is one of the largest pig slaughterhouses in the United States, and one of five facilities enrolled in the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP), a pilot USDA program that enables faster treatment of animals with reduced state supervision.

The Washington Post broke the story about the survey, write, [18] “months worth of film has aroused great concern the same conditions, one of the largest pork processors in the United States, and started a government investigation.”

In 2013, an audit report [19] issued by the USDA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) underlined the concerns of HIMP may pose food safety risks.

legal advocacy

Compassion Over Killing innovative legal Advocacy Program has been working since 2004 to use the legal system to oppose injustice system factory farming. Use of existing criminal and civil cases, the program focuses on combating large scale animal cruelty on factory farms and work to protect consumers from manipulation and abusive practices by the animal agriculture industry. Because farmed animals are given almost no protection under the law, is vitally important this challenging work.

Forensic Advocacy Program seeking enforcement of existing criminal laws against owners and employees of facilities for harming animals, and develops a legal analysis to get landmark lawsuits and other legal actions. The program also conducts outreach and education, provides lawyers, legal students and the general public with information on the production animals and the law.

  • In 2005, egg producers dropped an “Animal Care Certified” label from its products by Compassion Over Killing a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising on the part of the egg business. [20]Compassion Over Killing said that the egg label meant that the care of the animals had met a certain standard animal conditions that egg producers were not; The National Advertising Review Board agreed that the label was misleading. [20] The FTC complaint was dropped when the egg industry agreed to replace the label in favor of a task, “United egg Certified”. [20]
  • In 2011, [21] dairy consumers, including members of compassion than Killing (COK), filed a class action [22] on behalf of consumers intend to several dairy companies and industry groups-including Land O’Lakes national milk producers federation, and the Dairy Farmers of America joined the cooperative collaborates (CWT) for participating in a price-fixing system that inflated the price of milk. This resulted, according to the complaint, over $ 9.5 billion in illegally obtained profits and could affect the price of milk for years.
  • COK joined organizations Animal Legal Defense Fund, Farm Sanctuary and Animal Welfare & Rescue League, and individuals, to file a lawsuit against the USDA [23] to allow the sale of foie gras, a sick bird product. The Agency is required by the Poultry Products Inspection Act, [24] to condemn sick poultry adulterated. Force-feeding of ducks and geese [25]to produce foie gras resulting in a condition called fatty liver, or “fatty liver,” where the birds live swell up to ten times its normal size. [26]


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b Montgomery, David (2003-09-08). “Animal Pragmatism: Compassion Over Killing want to make Anti-Meat notice a little more appealing.” The Washington Post. p. C01. Archived from the original on 30/12/2012. Pulled 01/01/2013.
  2. Jump up ^ US VegWeek. May 15, 2014.
  3. Jump up ^ Rueb, Emily S. (2008-05-14). “Real world, real annoyance in Brooklyn.” The New York Times. Pulled 07/30/2009.
  4. Jump up ^, Compassion Over Killing | (3/10/2015). “Subway expands General Vegan Menu in DC and LA!”. Compassion Over Killing. Pulled 04/26/2016.
  5. Jump up ^, Compassion Over Killing | (12.15.2014). “You asked, Tim Hortons answers: Soy milk now!”. Compassion Over Killing. Pulled 04/26/2016.
  6. Jump up ^, Compassion Over Killing | (9/30/2015). “Campaign Update: Starbucks & Vegan food options!”. Compassion Over Killing. Pulled 02/05/2016.
  7. ^ Jump up to: ab Singer, Peter (2005). In Defense of Animals. New York, New York: Scribner. p. 174. ISBN 0-7432-4769-8.
  8. Jump up ^ “Md. Egg Farm accused of cruelty. ” The Washington Post. 06.06.2001. Pulled 07/30/2009.
  9. Jump up ^ McNeil Jr., Donald G. (07/25/2004). “The Nation: march, finally, a company take PETA seriously”. The New York Times. Pulled 07/30/2009.
  10. Jump up ^ “Pennsylvania egg farm hit with cruelty charges”. USA Today. 11.01.2006. Pulled 07/30/2009.
  11. Jump up ^ “Update: Pennsylvania Court considers animal abuse at Egg Factory Farm is legal.” Compassion Over Killing. In 2007. Pulled 07/30/2009.
  12. Jump up ^ “USDA closes California slaughterhouse over cow cruelty video.” Reuters. 08.22.2012. Pulled 04/26/2016.
  13. Jump up ^ “facility closed by the USDA supplied beef for In-N-Out Burger.” ABC News. 08.22.2012. Pulled 04/26/2016.
  14. Jump up ^ Times, Los Angeles. “USDA closes troubled Central Valley slaughterhouse of cleanliness”. Pulled 04/26/2016.
  15. Jump up ^ Taylor Radig Filmed Alleged Cattle Abuse At Ranch, but was arrested for not reporting it immediately. Huffington Post, 24 November 2013.
  16. Jump up ^ “can Undercover animal abuse videos soon be banned”. CNN. Archived from the original on 04/02/2016. Pulled 03/29/2016.
  17. Jump up ^ “New video claims to show animal cruelty at North Carolina farm.” Yahoo News. Pulled 03/29/2016.
  18. Jump up ^ Ferdman, Roberto A. (11.11.2015). “” It was definitely alive “: A secret video of one of the nation’s largest pork processors.” The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Pulled 03/21/2016.
  19. Jump up ^ “Food Safety and Inspection Service – Inspection and supervision at slaughterhouses” (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General.
  20. ^ Jump up to: abc Hernandez, Nelson (2005-10-04). “Eggs Label changed after Md. The group complains. ” The Washington Post. Pulled 01/01/2013.
  21. Jump up ^, Compassion Over Killing |. “The Dairy Industry’s price-fixing sheme – Defendant”. Compassion Over Killing. Pulled 04/26/2016.
  22. Jump up ^, Compassion Over Killing |. “The Dairy Industry’s $ 9.5 billion price-fixing Scheme”. Compassion Over Killing. Pulled 04/26/2016.
  23. Jump up ^, Compassion Over Killing | (07.05.2012). “Sued the USDA to allow the sale of sick Poultry Product.” Compassion Over Killing. Pulled 04/26/2016.
  24. Jump up ^ “Poultry Products Inspection Acts”. Pulled 04/27/2016.
  25. Jump up ^, Compassion Over Killing |. “Hudson Valley Foie Gras Factory Farm Investigation”. Compassion Over Killing. Pulled 04/26/2016.
  26. Jump up ^ “What is foie gras? | “. Pulled 04/26/2016.