Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) animal advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. Working to end animal abuse since 1995, Animal Outlook exposes cruelty to farmed animals and promotes vegan eating. Our mission is to change the world for animals.
Started 4 petitions
Martha Stewart: Cut ties with cruel salmon and make a splash with vegan seafood!
I recently worked as an undercover investigator for Compassion Over Killing (now known as Animal Outlook) at a massive industrial salmon hatchery in Bingham, Maine, operated by Cooke Aquaculture. I captured footage of senseless violence against fish on a daily basis and witnessed horrendous living conditions. Fish here were being raised for human consumption in filthy tanks, covered in fungus and suffering immensely. This hatchery farms and raises Atlantic salmon to be sold under its marketing branch, True North Seafood—which has recently partnered with homemaking icon Martha Stewart to supply salmon for her new seafood line. During my time at the hatchery, I witnessed workers throwing improperly anesthetized fish across great distances. Sometimes they were thrown into another tank; other times, into waterless buckets, where they were left to either be crushed by others or suffocate to death. Imagine the horror if this violence were committed against any other animal, like a dog, cat, or chicken! At Cooke, it was like a game to the workers as they attempted “trick shots” and blocked each other’s tosses. I also frequently saw hatchery employees stomping on fish's heads and slamming them against cement tanks and poles multiple times in failed efforts to kill them. Often, they were left on the ground, still conscious and writhing in pain. Fish at Cooke are routinely vaccinated, yet this procedure, along with fin-clipping (cutting of the fish’s fins in order to identify them), is performed sloppily and carelessly, resulting in even more injury because the fish are often not even properly anesthetized first. The salmon at Cooke are also confined in such filthy, overcrowded, and putrid tanks that fungal infections are the norm. I even saw many fish who were missing eyes because the fish are starved and forced to live in such filthy water conditions that they can mistake each other’s pupils for food as they desperately search for nourishment. Fish are intelligent, sensitive animals who feel pain, stress, and fear just like other animals. Recently, researchers have found that they use tools and can recognize themselves in mirrors. Fish pain receptors are remarkably close to our own--likely from a shared common ancestor. Fish scientist Becca Franks says it best: “The science on fish sentience is clear: fish have the capacity to suffer and feel pain.” Yet they are denied even very basic protections afforded to other animals. Martha Stewart, a self-proclaimed animal lover, shared that she’s happy to partner with True North because the company touts sustainable practices and claims to care about its community. As the world’s major wild fish populations have been cut in half since 1970, commercial fishing is clearly unsustainable for our future. Yet my footage reveals just why factory farming fish is not the solution. The salmon True North is feeding to the public are suffering from painful deformities and are housed in tanks riddled with fungi. Sadly, the cruelty that I caught on camera at Cooke Aquaculture is not an isolated case. As long as there is a demand for Atlantic salmon meat and seafood in general, these murky practices will continue as employees in facilities all over the country are forced to cut corners to turn a profit. Luckily, millions of consumers are realizing that the best way to help fish and to keep our bodies and oceans healthy is by leaving animal products out of our shopping carts and off of our plates, leading to the proliferation of delicious vegan seafood like those from Good Catch, Sophie’s Kitchen, and Ocean Hugger Foods. Even animal meat giant Tyson Foods has jumped aboard with its recent investment in vegan shrimp maker New Wave Foods. After being contacted about COK’s investigation, Cory Baker, COO of Marquee Brands (which owns the Martha Stewart True North Line) replied right away, stating that the company will be opening its own investigation immediately and is committed to “sustainability and of course ensuring cruelty-free practices.” The only way for Martha Stewart to cut out cruelty from her salmon line is to drop it completely. Please join me today in urging Martha Stewart to make waves for sea animals by ending her True North salmon partnership and instead pave the way to the future of food by investing in a plant-based seafood alternative. In solidarity,“Pat”Undercover Investigator, Compassion Over Killing
Tell the USDA to Halt High-Speed Slaughter Horrors!
Most chicken slaughter plants in the US kill up to 140 birds each minute. That’s more than two birds every single second. I’d seen the haunting footage, and I knew that even at these speeds, suffering is rampant. But then I worked undercover for Compassion Over Killing (now known as Animal Outlook) inside an Amick Farms slaughterhouse, which operates under a dangerous USDA high-speed slaughter program, where many government inspection duties are placed in the hands of the plant itself. At Amick Farms, birds are killed at a reckless pace, putting their welfare, along with workers and consumers, at risk. The cruelty I documented inside this high-speed house of horrors was a living nightmare.At Amick, which kills more than one million birds per week, violence and critical errors were rampant as workers struggled to keep up. I saw birds being punched, shoved, and thrown down the recklessly fast-paced kill line. Other birds slowly drowned in the electrified stunning baths during equipment breakdowns. I also captured footage of “red birds,” with blood visible under their skin—a sign that they were scalded alive.Throughout the chicken industry, birds endure egregious abuse, severe overcrowding, filthy conditions, and the crippling effects of unnaturally rapid growth—all before being trucked, sometimes for several hours, through all weather extremes to a gruesome death. And even at the already staggering rate of 140 birds killed per minute at most slaughterhouses, workers are forced to keep birds moving down the rapidly running kill line as quickly as possible, risking their own safety and animal welfare. At even higher speeds, these dangers are alarmingly exacerbated.Amick is one of 24 chicken plants that the USDA allows to run at these incredibly high speeds. The National Chicken Council recently petitioned the USDA to completely eliminate any speed caps for plants nationwide—and although the USDA denied that request after hearing from more than 100,000 concerned consumers, it is now granting waivers to individual plants to run at up to 175 birds per minute, like at Amick Farms. Up until recently, there were 20 increased speed plants, but the government just handed out four more individual waivers, with plans to give out more.At such speeds, animals can endure even greater suffering. Not only do machines break down, trapping birds in electrified water baths where they drown, but workers are forced to take inhumane and dangerous shortcuts to maintain the fast pace, often causing harm to themselves in the process too. Working at Amick even for just a short time, my knuckles were swollen and my hands were in constant pain. I couldn’t close my hands, and my fingers would not touch when extended. In the filthy and fast-paced assembly-line environment, many workers also removed their shirts in the extreme heat, putting themselves at further risk as they operated dangerous machinery without even basic protection.This is the second time in just a few years that a COK investigation has exposed the horrors of high-speed slaughter, yet instead of abolishing this inhumane and dangerous program, the USDA drives it forward.In late 2015, a COK investigator worked inside Quality Pork Processors, a high-speed pig slaughter plant supplying Hormel Foods, revealing pigs shocked, dragged, and pulled to the kill floor; pigs covered in feces and pus-filled abscesses processed for human consumption with a USDA seal of approval; and much more. COK has since hand-delivered over a quarter million signatures against high-speed slaughter to the USDA’s offices.Slaughterhouses are already hell on earth for birds, who aren’t even afforded the minimal protections granted to other animals under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA). And now, instead of taking steps to reduce the suffering of these animals, the USDA wants to speed up kill lines to boost industry profits under the guise of “modernization.”Please join me in urging the USDA to put the brakes on cruel and reckless high-speed slaughter today—and instead grant these birds bare minimum protections under federal law.In solidarity,“Jordan”Undercover Investigator, Compassion Over Killing P.S. The easiest way you can protect chickens, and all animals, from this abuse is to try healthy and delicious vegan eating. Click here to get started!
Dunkin’: A Vegan Donut Would Be a Slam Dunk in Our Non-Dairy Coffee!
Like most Americans, I love a good donut—sprinkles, chocolate icing, cream-filled, you name it. But I was disappointed to see that Dunkin’, the nation’s largest donut chain, doesn’t offer a single vegan donut for millions of potential customers like me who are choosing to eat plant-based for animals, the environment, and their own health.Several years ago, thousands of Animal Outlook’s supporters asked the donut giant for vegan options, and Dunkin’ responded to this demand with a statement on its website: “You’ve Asked and We’ve Heard,” as it poured out almond milk (which it now offers nationwide!) for its coffee. And yet all of Dunkin’s donuts still contain egg and/or milk ingredients. Now it’s time to make our voices heard once more: Join me in telling Dunkin’ we want a vegan donut to dunk in our coffee!More and more Americans are choosing plant-based fare as the public grows increasingly aware of the vast animal suffering in the dairy and egg industries, in which exhausted mother cows are slaughtered when no longer able to produce milk, and male chicks, considered useless, are even ground up alive. Many consumers are ditching cholesterol-packed dairy and eggs for their own health or to cut their carbon footprints. With plant-based eating on the rise, sales of dairy alternatives are soaring, and big brands like Starbucks, Duncan Hines, sweetFrog, and Breyers are already dishing up vegan sweet treats.But consumers are hungry for a vegan donut nationwide, and as the leading donut chain, Dunkin’ has a major opportunity to attract a massive segment of potential customers by offering one. In fact, industry magazine QSR recently cited offering vegan options as #7 in its list of “100 Ideas for Improving Your Restaurant Brand,” while international restaurant consultants Baum+Whiteman named plant-based eating the 2018 trend of the year.Please join me today in asking Dunkin’ for a slam dunk in our coffee today: a vegan donut on its menu!Sincerely,Antoine Knighton, the Vegan Ref
Not So Fast, USDA: Stop the Unhealthy & Inhumane High-Speed Slaughter!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working to expand a flawed pilot program that allows select slaughterhouses to dramatically speed up their slaughter lines, while simultaneously pulling back on government oversight. I recently worked undercover for Compassion Over Killing (now known as Animal Outlook) at one of these pilot facilities, and captured on video the shocking ways this program fails to protect animal welfare—and American food safety. Please join me in telling USDA and Hormel it’s time to stop this high-speed, reduced-inspection pilot program, known as HIMP. By shifting key inspection responsibilities to the slaughterhouses themselves, while also allowing these plants to operate at extremely high kill speeds, this program is allowing animal abuse and food safety problems to increasingly go unchecked. Consumers deserve more, not less, oversight in food production. Before going undercover at Quality Pork Processors in Austin, Minnesota, I knew that I would see appalling abuses and nightmarish animal suffering—that’s unavoidable at a slaughter plant, especially one that processes 1,300 pigs each hour. But what I didn’t expect was how rare it would be to encounter a government inspector, or how many pigs would be processed into SPAM or other Hormel products despite being sick, injured, riddled with pus-filled abscesses, or covered in feces. Even knowing what I did about animal cruelty, I naively believed that the government was at least making sure that the food supply was safe—but I don’t believe that anymore. Now, I know that our government has rubber-stamped a program that gives the profit-driven pork industry free reign to “monitor” itself. I documented plant employees, under pressure to keep up with the facility’s high operating speeds, dragging, kicking, beating, and excessively shocking pigs. I even saw pigs regaining consciousness on the slaughter line—a major violation of federal law. Let’s demand that USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service live up to its name and do just that—meaningfully regulate and inspect our nation’s slaughterhouses. It can’t continue to bow to pressure from industry giants like Hormel. We must end this high-speed slaughter program, which replaces highly-trained inspectors with untrained, industry employees—with devastating results for animals, workers, and consumers. In Solidarity, Scott David (former Compassion Over Killing undercover investigator) October 2017 Update: With a proposal to expand the dangerous HIMP pig slaughter program on the horizon, chickens and turkeys are facing a similar threat. The industry has petitioned the USDA to lift the current maximum line speed of 140 birds per minute (that’s already more than 2 birds every second!). Such a waiver of the cap would essentially allow plants to operate at any speed—a serious danger to animals, workers, and consumers.In 2015, I worked inside Mountaire Farms in North Carolina—operating at speeds of up to 140 birds per minute. I saw live birds being thrown into piles with the dead as workers only had time to perform split-second checks of their condition, fallen birds being thrown across the room, and birds having their heads caught in the shackles as workers rushed to keep up. As investigations and government inspection records reveal, improper shackling can even lead to the kill blade slicing birds open in places other than their throat, and the birds then entering the scalding tank alive. Yet the industry has ignored these risks in a sly attempt to line its own pockets by trying to make slaughter lines run even faster. Please join me in telling the USDA, “Not so fast!”