Petitioning University of Michigan and 14 others

University of Michigan: Stop Investing in Animal Cruelty!

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As a college student, I want to know that the university I choose to attend not only takes pride in listening to and acting upon the concerns of its students but also upholds high ethical standards. For this reason, I’m encouraging the University of Michigan to reconsider its decision to invest in Roark Capital Group, a prominent private equity company involved in a widespread animal cruelty scandal.

By not doing what is in its power to help urge the companies it invests in to announce comprehensive welfare policies for the chickens in their supply chains, Roark is failing to respond to consumers’ booming calls for better animal welfare. As a Roark investor, the University of Michigan is profiting from this animal cruelty.

Chickens raised at conventional factory farms are bred to grow so unnaturally fast that they often collapse under their own weight. Many may suffer from constant leg pain so severe they spend nearly all their time sitting in their own waste. Continual contact with wet litter causes extreme feather loss and painful sores on the chickens’ bodies and feet. The air, filled with the stench of waste and acrid ammonia, even makes breathing difficult.

To prevent chickens from walking around, many farmers keep the farms in near darkness all day long. Most birds will not see the sun until the day they are killed. Many die from organ failure. And the lives of those who do survive these houses of horrors end the same way: The birds are shackled upside down by their feet, have their throats cut open, and bleed to death, often while still fully conscious.

Roark investees that lack comprehensive and effective chicken welfare policies have fallen behind several leading food companies, including Burger King, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Subway, Boston Market, Qdoba, Chipotle, Panera Bread, Pret A Manger, Starbucks, Aramark, Bon Appétit Management Company, Compass Group, Sodexo, Centerplate, and Delaware North, all of which have already publicly committed to ending the use of chickens raised in these unconscionable conditions.

Please sign my petition to urge the University of Michigan to take a stand against horrific animal cruelty by reconsidering investing in Roark unless the company agrees to help ensure that its investees stop using chickens raised in houses of horrors. All Roark investees should commit to sourcing only chickens from farms that use higher-welfare strains of chickens; do not use live-shackle slaughter; and provide enrichments, reduced stocking density, and improved light and litter quality. Roark investees should also set an aggressive timeline for meeting this commitment.

Thank you!
-Sam Plouff

This petition will be delivered to:
  • University of Michigan
  • Chief Investment Officer, University of Michigan Endowment
    Erik Lundberg
  • EVP, CFO University of Michigan Endowment
    Kevin Hegarty
  • AVP Finance University of Michigan Endowment
    Nancy Hobbs
  • Senior Advisor, Roark Capital Group
    Anthony P. Scotto
  • Principal, Roark Capital Group
    Kenneth Collins
  • VP of Procurement, Roark Capital Group
    Thomas Owens
  • VP Investment Professional, Roark Capital Group
    Clayton Harmon
  • VP Investment Professional, Roark Capital Group
    Chadwick Hume
  • Investment Professional, Roark Capital Group
    Rajiv Asnani
  • Investment Professional, Roark Capital Group
    Edward Sampognaro
  • Senior Managing Director, Roark Capital Group
    Erik Morris
  • Managing Director, Roark Capital Group
    Steven Romaniello
  • Executive Manager, Alumni Association of the University of Michigan
    Audra Asher
  • Administrative Assistant to the President, University of Michigan
    Lauren Belpedio


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