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Sunday, September 12, 2010

It worked!

Less than three days after Mercy for Animals asked people to urge Costco to stop selling veal, Costco made an announcement: They would ban "treatment of veal calves that industry calls typical."

In a statement, CEO Jim Sinegal said:

"We are extremely disappointed, not only with the performance of our supplier in this instance, but with our own performance as well... "We hold ourselves to a high standard, and in this case, we plainly did not perform to that standard."

Jeff Lyons, Costco's vice president of fresh foods said,

"We're telling them flat-out that it's not acceptable to us, and we will not accept any veal from those farms, period...They're going to have to go by our guidelines and policy, regardless of whether that's considered normal practice. It's not for us, and that might sound arrogant, but we just don't think that's the way to treat an animal."

While I don't condone the raising and selling of veal, I recognize that this is a step. A small step but an important one. People are now more aware of the treatment of baby cows who are raised for veal. And one of the nation's largest vendors of veal is using its power to make the lives of these animals better. It made me happy again to be a Costco customer and shareholder.