Jeff Bezos is looming over San Francisco. Literally.
A group of animal rights activists mounted a 15-foot tall version of the CEO’s head atop the 24th Street San Francisco Whole Foods Monday morning, calling attention to the Amazon-owned chain’s work with factory farms allegedly engaged in animal abuse. What’s more, a second contingent has chained themselves together inside a San Francisco Amazon office located on Sansome Street.
The group responsible for the protest, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), explained to Mashable over Signal that this is just the latest effort to bring the issue of animal abuse to the attention of Bezos. An activist working with DxE, Priya Sawhney, also confronted the CEO on the stage of the re:Mars conference in Las Vegas in June.
“We’ve tried everything to help animals being criminally abused at these factory farms that supply to Amazon,” Sawhney told Mashable over Signal. “The authorities continually ignore the evidence we submit, then throw us in jail when we try to help dying animals ourselves.”
According to a DxE press release, activists have chained themselves together blocking the entrance to the store. They are streaming the action live.
“Amazon refuses to have a conversation with us,” continued Sawhney, who according to DxE faces seven felony charges for her efforts to help animals inside factory farms that supply to Whole Foods. “I tried to ask Jeff Bezos in person, but again it’s activists who are arrested, while animals continue to suffer.”
We reached out to both Amazon and Whole Foods for comment, but received no immediate response.
A DxE press release lays out the groups demands.
“DxE is asking Bezos to disavow the prosecution of six peaceful activists facing 7+ felony charges each after attempting to rescue dying animals from Amazon/WF-supplying factory farms, and to endorse what they’re calling ‘,'” explains the release. “Of particular relevance is the ‘right to rescue’ — one of the five planks of Rose’s Law — which would allow ordinary people to provide care to animals in distress, including animals in farms.”
DxE has a long history of entering factory farms at night and filming the conditions there. In some cases, activists with the group also remove a particularly sick animal and document its subsequent nursing back to health.
In this specific instance, DxE takes issue with Sunrise Farms and Petaluma Poultry, which supply to Whole Foods and Amazon, respectively. In an open letter to Bezos, DxE claims that its members have witnessed animal cruelty at farms belonging to both companies.
“[We] documented birds trapped in wire cages, birds suffering from large, untreated sores, and birds who were too sick and injured to reach food and water who were simply left for dead,” reads the letter. “Those conditions not only shock the conscience but may very well constitute criminal animal cruelty under California law.”