With the incredible support of our volunteers and donors, 2010 was a landmark year for Mercy For Animals. Together we confronted cruelty and promoted compassion - leading to historic victories on behalf of farmed animals.
Around the country, we expanded our grassroots campaigns and undercover investigations - opening the hearts and minds of millions of consumers to the plight of animals raised and killed for food.
This year, MFA:
- Revealed shocking animal cruelty at Conklin Dairy Farms, exposing sadistic and malicious abuse of cows and newborn calves. As a result of the investigation, the primary abuser was arrested, jailed, and convicted on six counts of cruelty to animals.
- Teamed up with Bob Barker to expose the hidden cost of veal at Buckeye Veal Farm. The covert footage revealed baby calves chained inside tiny stalls - so narrow that they could not turn around, walk, run, or play. One day after the investigation aired, Costco Wholesale, the third largest grocery retailer in the U.S., banned the sale of veal from farms that use a crate-and-chain production method.
- Pulled back the curtains on the largest dairy factory farm in New York State, Willet Dairy. Our footage showed calves having their tails cut off and workers hitting, kicking and shocking cows. This investigation led to Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal proposing a statewide ban on tail docking and prompted Leprino Foods to drop the farm as a milk supplier. The investigation generated national headlines, exposing dairy's dark side to millions of Americans on such programs as Nightline and ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.
- Prompted a landmark civil settlement for factory-farmed egg-laying hens. Stemming from our 2009 Maine investigation, the owner of Quality Egg of New England, one of the largest egg producers in the nation, pleaded guilty to 10 civil counts of cruelty to animals. The factory farm also agreed to pay over $130,000 in fines and restitution, as well as hand over authority to the state of Maine to conduct unannounced inspections of the factory farm for the next five years. The settlement marked perhaps the largest fine ever levied against a factory farm on grounds of cruelty to animals.
- Launched pro-vegetarian billboards in Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Toledo, Boston, Michigan and New Jersey. Some featured a loveable piglet and puppy side-by-side asking, "Why Love One but Eat the Other?" and others depicted animals imprisoned on factory farms and asked, "How Much Cruelty Can You Swallow?" Our powerful ads spoke up for farmed animals and urged Americans to "Choose Compassion, Choose Vegetarian." Overall, these six campaigns drove the message home, with a combined viewership of over 70 million.
- Urged consumers to pardon turkeys on Thanksgiving. Just in time for Thanksgiving, we rolled out a provocative new ad campaign in Chicago and Detroit. Featuring an emboldened turkey declaring, "I Beg Your Pardon - Spare a Turkey," the campaign encouraged travelers to forgo the traditional turkey dinner and replace it with tasty meatless fare. In all, the campaign reached over 3 million viewers.
- Attracted nearly 1 million visitors to ChooseVeg.com through online advertising. MFA's online ad campaigns - featured on Google, Facebook, and other popular sites and blogs - brought millions of web surfers to MFA's pro-vegetarian campaign website, where they could watch undercover factory farm videos, search vegan recipes, and more.
- Held over 700 pro-vegetarian public outreach events nationwide, including leafleting events on college campuses, humane education lectures at high schools and colleges, educational exhibits at festivals and community celebrations, lectures, demonstrations, marches in parades, feed-in events, and much more.
- Opened our newest advocacy center in Dallas, bringing our lifesaving campaigns to the heart of cattle country, under the direction of our Texas Campaign Coordinator, Eddie Garza.
- Staged "Recall All Eggs, Choose Vegan" demonstrations. In response to the largest egg recall in U.S. history, our "biohazard crews" handed out emergency Vegetarian Starter Kits to consumers in Chicago, Dallas and Columbus.
- Veganized restaurants for World Go Vegan Week. We worked with over a dozen popular, mainstream restaurants around the country to offer delicious new vegan options during the weeklong celebration, which garnered national and local press coverage and introduced tasty vegan food to countless people.
- Distributed over 1 million pieces of pro-vegetarian literature, including our popular Vegetarian Starter Kits and Compassionate Living magazines.
Our investigations and grassroots campaigns made international headlines - generating over 2,000 news stories - and prompted countless people to move toward a compassionate, vegan diet.
Thank you for making 2010 a landmark year for animal rights! Please stand by our side as we work to give farmed animals the power and effective voice they deserve in 2011.