Chipotle under attack, farmers upset over HSUS support


WOOSTER, Ohio — Known across the nation for their large, foil-wrapped burritos that satisfy even the heartiest of appetites, the fast food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill is becoming known for something less filling.

In the past couple weeks, the burrito giant came under fire from the ag community, as it reacted to Chipotle’s claim of producing “food with integrity.”

In March, Chipotle founder Steve Ells told the U.S. Senate his company is serving more “naturally raised meat” than any other restaurant, and from “animals that are raised in a humane way, and never given antibiotics or added hormones.”

The Chipotle Facebook page tells consumers, “we wanted to give you a break from junk, in our advertising … and most importantly in our food.” The page also says “we prefer to work with small family farms that raise their animals responsibly and humanely.”

Behind the scenes

But there’s another entity Chipotle is working with, and that may be what has upset farmers most — The Humane Society of The United States.

Chipotle is a business supporter of HSUS’ campaign to specify “certain minimum standards” to the newly formed Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

Several hundred comments have been left on the Chipotle Facebook page, under titles like “Done with Chipotle” and “Bashing Agriculture.”

Expressed dismay

Kristin Reese, of Baltimore, Ohio, had little patience for Chipotle, or HSUS. “HSUS had their way in CA,” she wrote in her post. “Now CA’s poultry industry is leaving the state (and) increasing food costs, costing jobs and hurting the economy.”

Reese said many of the things called for by HSUS are already law in Ohio, and concluded HSUS is “a vegan wolf in sheep’s clothing,” one that she and other consumers are eager to uncover.

Caitlyn, a 17-year-old family farmer, said, “I live on a farm where we believe that farrowing crates create a safe and clean environment to our livestock. As do many other farmers in Ohio and the United States.”

She said “(farmers’) livelihoods rest on these decisions, which is why we are so concerned. Think twice about other people (not just animals) before you support this issue. Have a heart.”

Losing customers

Mitch, of Columbus, said “you (Chipotle) just lost a customer by supporting the HSUS and their objective of pushing a vegan lifestyle on Ohioans. Doesn’t make sense to me. You sell meat but support a group that promotes a vegan lifestyle.”

Efforts to reach Chipotle’s Ells were unsuccessful, but in published interviews and news releases, Ells said his business philosophy “is solidly based on a foundation of not exploiting animals, the environment or people.”

Other names

Chipotle appears to be the only big-name food chain to support the HSUS ballot initiative in Ohio, but is among a long list of what HSUS bills as its victories.

HSUS has a history of buying stock in companies, and then as a joint owner, it promotes its “humane” standards to the company directors, using lawsuits and sanctions against businesses that do not comply.

HSUS lists Burger King, Wendy’s, Subway, Denny’s, Red Robin, Quiznos, Sonic, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. as some of its cage-free egg successes; as well as supermarket chains like Wal-Mart, Costco, Harris Teeter, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Safeway.


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Chris Kick served Farm and Dairy's readership as a reporter for nearly a decade before accepting a job at Iowa State University Extension. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University.


  1. As a lifelong Ohioan and regular Chipotle customer, I think it’s great that Chipotle is endorsing this important ballot measure. Don’t believe the hype being spread by factory farming proponents. Go to and learn about the measure for yourself.

    • Karen and others that dont understand farming if the Hsus keeps pushing livestock producers to way of farming that is not proffatabel then are livestock will come from over seas as well. And many more jobs will be lost you need to unerstsnd what the Hsus wants is not fair to farmers between them EPA livestock farming will be pushed right out of america then you will know what food really cost and the american economy will be pushed farther in to the hole you really need to understand both sides not just the Hsus wants.

  2. Good for Chipotle for standing up for animal welfare and smaller family farmers. I’m going to Chipotle today to support them.

  3. Ohioans like me are thrilled that Chipotle is against factory farming and is supporting family farmers who are concerned about animal welfare. Good for Chipotle.

  4. what Karen isn’t telling you is that Ohioans already voted for the creation of a Livestock Care Standards Board, comprised of a number of highly qualified Ohioans.

    this isn’t good neough for HSUS, who refuses to even allow the group to meet and discuss issues important to Ohio farms and residents, and the people across the country who purchase their fine products- they want to hijack the Board and force it to accept whatever recommendations they make.
    proving once again, that no action by any person or local government will ever be good enough for HSUS. unless they are in charge of every decision, they will just throw millions of dollars at the issue until they have control. HSUS is even suing the state, challenging a long standing law that says only Ohioans may circulate petitions in Ohio.

    micromanage everyone else much?

    let the newly formed Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board have the opportunity to do their job before permitting a deceptive group like HSUS to hijack their process. once gone, it can never be regained.

  5. Having misplaced ‘action alerts’ from agribusiness groups against Chipotle demonstrates how disoriented animal ag is on its strategy to oppose modest reforms. There isn’t any restaurant chain the country that has done more to support family farms than Chipotle. It purchases products for its nearly thousand locations from pork, beef, and chicken family farmers, keep them thriving with a consistent and large-scale buyer of their products.

    Aside from the very strange reaction from some in agribusiness against their own customer, it’s perhaps more perplexing that animal ag is fighting from giving farm animals enough room to simply stand up, turn around, and extend their limbs. Animal ag is simply out of step with consumers (i.e. voters) when it tries to justify immobilizing animals for their entire life. Instead of fighting modest reforms that are supported by the overwhelming majority of consumers, agribusiness could be more proactive by moving away from using battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates.

  6. what Karen is also not telling you is that her group is a front group of HSUS. For crying out loud, even their website is run by HSUS.
    Farm Sanctuary, the other ‘backer’, makes it very clear that they will accept nothing short of a vegan diet.
    So, if Chipotle talks about humane meat etc etc, they are either incredibly naive who they’re in bed with – or they plan to switch to vegan food soon.
    They should be honest and tell the public exactly WHAT they support – then again …. how much support would they get then?

  7. People don’t go to Burger King to eat a salad. They go to eat a burger. That is one thing HSUS can never change.

    • Some of us go for BK’s veggie burger (even more so since Dr. Oz recommended their veggie burger without mayonaise as a healthy, low-calorie fast food).

  8. I have always respected Chipotle for attempting to be ethical in their business decisions. I cannot respect them for supporting an organization that is founded on principles not only of removing animal protein from our diet and animal products from our lives, but also removing animals altogether as pets. And I am dismayed that Chipotle did not do its research better before supporting this PAC. And therefore, as much as I like Chipotle’s food, I will no longer be eating there. HSUS will not get any of my money if I can help it.

  9. What’s good for the animals is good for business, and highlights for Chipotle’s first quarter of 2010 as compared to the first quarter of 2009 include:

    1. Revenue increased 15.6% to $409.7 million
    Comparable restaurant sales increased 4.3%
    2. Restaurant level operating margin was 26.1%, an increase of 260 basis points
    Net income was $37.8 million, an increase of 49.1%
    3. Diluted earnings per share was $1.19, an increase of 52.6%

    Sorry Jessie and Dannielle but it appears the numbers prove they’re getting plenty of support from consumers. Money talks..then again, nobody knows that better than OFB!

    Speaking of OFB, you might want to check out who they’re in bed with – it sure as heck isn’t the small farmer.

  10. As an ag economist I support all agriculture. I support the consumer’s right of choice where to buy their foods and what diet they choose. Chipotle produces a very high quality product that consumers like or they would not purchase their burritos. Just like all American Companies they have a choice of what products to put in their burritos. The American Farmer has the same choice in how he markets his/her product. The food in this country whether animal production or plant production is produced by 2% of the population. They are responsible for feeding our country and 96% of the rest of the world. 97% of the farmers in the US are family farms. So saying Chipotle is supporting family farms and not factory farms is a statement I do not quite understand.

    As a producer of beef myself I would never choose to market my beef via Chipotle or any program like Certified Angus Beef or Laura’s Beef, etc., because it could not pay what I get for my beef because my customers buy from me. I have a choice of how to market my beef.

    What I can tell you from a family farm perspective is we do two things. First we provide for humane care for our animals before even our families needs at times. Second the average family farmer makes $85,000 a year give or take $10,000. We choose the lifestyle because it is good to us and good to our family. By this I mean we promote good values, good family interaction, and a love for our animals and land.

    American Farmers have no “beef” with how Chipotle chooses to purchase their products for their burritos. It is their support of HSUS who wishes to push an agenda by any means on the unsuspecting US citizen. All one has to do is read other comments as to the why. I encourage everyone to get to know your farmers, they are willing to show you how they do what they do. We want to produce the safest food in the world.

  11. Chipotle has already explained that their endorsement is not one of HSUS or any other group, but of the ideals of the proposal itself. Many people in Ohio want improved standards for animal care; many people voted for the creation of the board because they thought it was going to address issues such as these. But the board has already said it’s not going to address anything found in this ballot proposal. So, for all us Ohioans who want these improvements for animals, this is the only way to get it. It doesn’t matter who hosts the website, it only matters what values Ohioans have when they go to the polls. Focus on the issues, folks. Gestation crates, batter cages, veal crates, and proper handling of sick and injured animals. That’s all this issue is about. Chipotle endorses it because it is in line with their corporate philosophy. Ohioans support it because we want to keep moving forward with more humane treatment of animals. This proposal does not undo the board, it merely gives the public a voice on the board, which we all know was a smoke and mirrors attempt to keep this proposal from happening, not an actual attempt to improve livestock care.

  12. Chipotle’s crap anyway. Go to Texas and try Freebirds. As for partnering with the HSUS–just one more reason NOT to eat there.

  13. The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is just what Ohio livestock farmers want, a board whose appointees are stacked in their favor. When all is said and done I don’t expect much change in Ohio livestock care. It’s unbelieveable to me that approx. 2% of the population (farmers) can determine how the food for the remaining 98% of the population is raised and cared for.

  14. It’s unbelievable to me that you wouldn’t expect the people who actually raise the food to know what they’re doing.

  15. maybe the 2 % should go on strike for a couple of weeks.
    Good luck!
    What a concept – let the experts do the job and not the city folks who watch too many Bambi movies.

  16. Perhaps Caitlyn (and others) should actually read the 3 measures that the HSUS and many others are supporting, none of which ban the use of farrowing crates. Perhaps less time should be spent jumping on the bandwagon and more time actually reading the initiative.

  17. Interesting comments about who serves who.

    Possibly the two percent of farmers are doing something the other 98 percent is unwilling or incapable of doing.

    Thus, that 2 percent commands a lot of respect, since 100 percent of population is biologically dependent on farmers.

    Anyone who wants to increase the two percent of farmers representing farm decisions can become one and do so.

    But the nature of the work and criticism of non-farmers could explain why only 2 percent still do it. Just a thought.

  18. I’m delighted that Chipotle is willing to take steps to make eating meat something a person of conscience can ethically do. And I agree with the post advocating for a factual discussion about the initiative, and, I would add, the Humane Society’s actual positions. I keep seeing a comment on these pro-animal cruelty sites stating that the Humane Society is against pet ownership, and that is simply nonsense.

  19. All you know-it-all morons that think you have the right to dictate how we farmers should conduct our business need to boycott us and starve to death!!! You have a constitutional right to purchase what you want but DO NOT have the right to tell us how to live and manage our farms!!! We farmers know what is best for our animals-not a bunch of ignorant city slickers, brainwashed restaurant owners, nor some trashy animal rights group that has an organized agenda against ALL animal ownership..If you all feel that you are above the constitution-get the hell out of this country and move to a communist country where you belong-STOP infringing on our rights!!!

    • Just so you know, a State has the constitutional authority to pass laws for the general health and safety of its people, and the only recourse you have, unfortunately, is the political process. Sorry.

      • Oh and that’s exactly how the constitution was intended to work, so it’s not communist actually its essentially Democratic.

    • David-you seriously need to take social-studies/government courses…this country is a REPUBLIC, with a constitution that specifically states our individual rights, including that of freedom.

      By the way, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with the general health and safety of people…repeat-NOTHING-PERIOD. It is PLAINLY a control measure-FORCING YOUR BELIEFS ONTO OTHERS-in NO way whatsoever is there a scientific reason for dictating how we should raise our animals…Dont like it??? We dont force our food products on you.

      • I’m sorry but your notions of “freedom” are incorrect. The “general health and safety” that I spoke of is a very broad power and I assure you it’s what gives your State the power to pass laws regulating business conditions. It’s also called the “general police power”. If you don’t believe me look it up. Have you read our constitution? There is no broad, unqualified right to “freedom”. Our freedoms are spelled out in the constitution, and don’t amount to “you can run your business however you want, even if the majority of citizens disagree”. So the notion is that your State legislature would pass such laws because they believed the majority of their constituency wanted it. It sounds like you are outnumbered, and if you forgot, this Republic is run by majority rule, and though it sucks to be in the minority, that’s how our government works. The idea is to get after your State government if you think you are right, and if you turn out to be in the majority, either laws like this won’t pass, or next term you can vote out your State officials. All that said, I think our political process is broken and doesn’t live up to that ideal. But don’t tell me to study social studies. A democracy is undoubtedly the majority forcing beliefs on the minority. If you don’t like that, well, there’s nowhere you can go because no other country would let you do whatever you want anyway! I suppose you’d have to move to some remote place and live in the wilderness. Good luck!

  20. Shane. I’m just going to edit your post a little, but it will be very similar. Let’s see how this sounds:

    It’s unbelievable to me that you wouldn’t expect the people who work on wallstreet to know what they’re doing.

    sounds pretty dumb right? well so does your original post.

  21. The H$U$ is a terrorist organization whose ultimate goal is the complete criminalization of all human contact with animals, followed by the elimination of all humans. (Except themselves, of course). Chipotle’s Board of Directors are either morons or in collusion. Either way, I’ll never be eating there again.

  22. Elizabeth – Great comments.

    Why not wait and see what the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board does before we start trashing the group.

    By the way, how do you define a “family” farm? Is it based on the ownership? or number of animals? Or maybe how they treat their livestock?

  23. I am taking a guess here that there are probably about the same percentage of doctors as there are farmers. I am certain that just as I want the 2% making the decisions when it comes to my medical decisions I want the same when it comes to my food and farming. Just like farming there are choices you can make with your medical but that doesn’t mean that the people that have no clue should be making the decisions that effect everyone else.

    I see this term “factory farm” used a lot above. Can someone please explain what that is to me?

    Can anyone honestly say they would feel better importing the majority of our food from other countries? That is the route we are going down with these types of things.

    I for one thank the American farmer for providing us with the healthiest, most cost effective and safest food supply in the world. Ask any other nation in the world and they would take our model in a second.

  24. WAY TO GO, Chipotle! I was already a fan and now I am even happier about you. I promise to support you with my pocket book (even if I choose to buy the veggie burrito . . . )

    Thank you for taking the step ALL restaurants should take.

  25. Factory Farming def: The practice of raising livestock in confinement at high stocking density, where a farm operates as a factory.

    Horrible analogy… Doctors might make decisions about your welfare at the macro level, but its still your choice to get up and go see a physician, follow their instructions, and take meds. You could every well ignore them. Animals dont have that choice, and therefore decisions regarding their welfare and quaility of life should be left up to the people that actually care. Not farmers providing the most “cost effective food supply in the world”.

    “Anyone… would adopt our food model in a second” WHy because we’re leading the world with regard to Obesity? Right…

    And right, preventing intensive confinement situations like battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates (all on the ohio intiative) will lead to “imorting the majority of our food from other countries”. Thats about as valid as saying same-sex marriage will lead to beastiality.

    I 100% support chipotle in their backing of HSUS in Ohio. An organization doesnt have to be vegan to support the welfare and treat of animals. Although “sluaghter” and “humane” are two mutally exculsive terms. Animals should never be exposed to factory farming and intensive confinement situations, simply because they were made for food. They deserve respect and humane treatment, even if theyre only here for 6 months at a time.

    • Actually the argument is that the majority do make decisions about health care STANDARDS, which is what this is all about. People don’t have to be doctors to understand or desire certain standards in their health care, food system, or other things we consume.

  26. Overreact much? It’s in the meat industry’s best interest to have as little regulation on its practices as possible. Just like it is in Wall Street’s interest, or the oil industry’s interest. And we all know how those turned out. The meat industry is not your typical family farmer (who usually treat their animals with more respect). It is a giant well oiled machine that continues to treat animals, workers, and the environment with absolutely zero respect. This industry gives millions to politicians to oppose any kind of regulation and protect their enormous profits, and is undoubtedly going to be doing the same to oppose this ballot initiative. These are not small-time family farmers who are mainly opposing this initiative, these are greedy executives who only care about the almighty dollar.
    The ballot initiative is to ban only the cruelest practices that are perpetrated on factory farms (gestation crates, battery cages, and veal crates). It is not an attempt to destroy the economy, convert everyone to veganism, or switch to America importing all of our food (which is a pretty ridiculous statement, by the way). Ohioans will still be able to eat just like they did before. The only difference will be that the animals they are consuming will live slightly better lives. People should educate themselves about where their food is coming from and then decide if they want the animals that give them life abused, tortured, and then slaughtered.
    And congratulations Chipotle on taking a step that more restaurants need to take.

  27. Well Chipotle just lost over a hundred customers here in Warrensville Hts because of their stance on this petition measure.

    This measure is being pushed/funded by a Washington Lobbying group not Ohioans. Ohio voters (2/3rds of them) already decided that the best way to balance livestock care with the needs of farmers was with the creation of a Livestock Standards Board.

    All HSUS and their Ohio front group want to do is put small farmers out of business

  28. Reforms to ban the most severe cruelties in animal agriculture are widely supported by the public and long overdue.

    The members of the misnamed Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board have a history of fighting all reforms, no matter how modest.

  29. I’m a supporter of small local farms that raise animals on pasture, but HSUS is NOT our ally. Like locavore icon and libertarian Joel Salatin, I believe the way towards a better food system is by selling a great product that people feel good about buying, not by creating laws to punish people who do things we don’t like.

    Let’s get real, HSUS believe meat=murder and their ultimate goal is to make it as difficult as possible to sell it. Right now they are allying with locavores because they see public sympathy in that direction, but it doesn’t change their true goals and the fact they will turn on this movement. Read this blog post about a small backyard chicken keeper attacked by farm sanctuaries.

    I applaud Chipotle’s efforts to educate the public about meat production and their investments in infrastructure, but let’s not get into coercing people in another state into following our ideals.

  30. The lies abound from the animal rights zealots. Right now Europe is in a pickle because they were forced to adopt these laws pushed by the animal rights zealots. Now their animals that are free roaming are dying off very fast and their improper or non use of antibiotics at very low levels which can keep animals healthy is the cause. They are caught in a bind and anyone eating in Europe knows the cost of food their is very high. All these laws against using animals has not stopped people from eating meat. It has only made the cost of meat, eggs, and milk rise so that the poor suffer. Not Wayne Pacelle in is Armani suits and oil slick hair. Like the propaganda they put out about purebred dogs, hunters, medical researchers whose homes and families have been threatened with fire bombs and molotov cocktails these animal rights groups think they have the right to tell the world how to live. Interesting to note that Hitler used animal rights abuse charges to keep his opposition in check in Germany. The same strategy can be found in the HSUS and PeTA playbooks. If you really want to help animals then know that HSUS wants them all dead and killed 146 puppies claiming they were dangerous. Just like PeTA they kill everything they can get away with killing. They push mandatory spay neuter even thought 1% of those animals undergoing the operation will die. They push it on puppies and older dogs knowing that the stress of the surgery and the lack of growth hormones will cause these pupppies to have shortened life spans and risk death in older animals. These people don’t care about animals they only care about ending the relationship people have with their animals. PeTA and HSUS are for no more pets, no more meat, no more horses, no more any domestic animal. Waynes says One generation and out we have no ethetical obligation to support domesticated animals. He wants no animals. Got it.

  31. I hope Chipotle adds even more vegan items to it’s menu. There is no way to “humanely” kill animals for our own pleasure.

    • I agree its not cool to kill animal’s for your pleasure, but the few people that aren’t lazy and fat need protein to build their bodies and perform and where do they get that protein? Milk, eggs, meat. Yeah beans and certain vegetables have amino acids too but you’d have to eat a very colorful diet and that gets expensive, and i’ve never met a vegan person who was able to be competitive in a high physical intensity environment. Ovo-lacto vegetarians, yes, quite a few of them. Vegans, no. has nothing to do with pleasure for me, i have physical standards i need to meet if i want to be a Marine, and nutrition is half the battle. it would be inefficient for me to not take in milk, eggs, yogurt, all that good stuff. plus lean meats

  32. I would like to know from all the HSUS and Chipotle supporters, how many of you have actually visited a farm? If you have, you would know that it is not in the best interest for farmers to abuse their animals. Unhappy animals equals less production and less money. You would also know that gestation crates are used to protect the babies from being crushed by their mother, not to unfaily confine them. The saying “pecking order” comes from the fact that the dominant free range chicken will peck other chickens to death that it perceives to be a threat. Some animals actually prefer to be in confined spaces when given a choice.

    I majored in Animal Science in college. I was one of the few that was not from a family farm. I took a lot of animal behavior classes that were real eye openers. My favorite was the animal rights class. I learned that every organization has a hidden agenda and you need to be careful when watching their videos. They will only show you what they want and often stage them as “proof”. If you are seriously supporting the HSUS, then you need to know WHY farmers are using gestational crates and other various forms of “confinement”. Do your own research and you may see that they are based on animal behavior and not for increasing profits. What people view as inhumane may actually be for protection for the animal. Cows sleep lying down, so the idea that veal cows are confined to crates where they can not turn around and lie down is myth. If they don’t get any sleep they will get sick, and can’t be sold.

    On a personal note. It really bothers me to know that a lot of “animal rights” supporters have pets. Technically you are holding an animal against its will. How humane is that?

  33. As is Wendy. Animals that have evolved for millions of years to be on open grasslands actually prefer to be confined in crates? Are you seriously making that argument? And the “given a choice” comment? Are they actually given a choice? That is ridiculous.

    The reason some mother pigs have crushed their piglets is because they were forced into a confined space with them. The industry solution? Put the mothers in an even smaller space, where she can’t even turn around. Pecking orders are natural chicken behavior, it is not chickens mass murdering each other. To prevent them from establishing a hierarchy is to protect the profit, not the chicken. Don’t try to pretend that modern factory farming practices are for the good of the animals. It is for the good of the company. And Wendy, the industry model for more profit is that the happiness of the animals doesn’t matter if they can be produced on a larger and larger scale for less money. Your arguments are so seriously flawed. What college did you go to? I want to make sure I never send my kids there.

  34. Good commentary Colin! My family owned a 320 acre dairy and crop farm for over 25 years and you are dead on the mark with your statements.

    Wendy, I (as well as many others) learned long ago that the OFB has a hidden agenda and YOU need to be careful when watching their videos! Sadly, they have sold themselves to the highest bidder and I can assure you it’s not the small family farmer.

  35. My husband and I dairy farm in Oregon, after reading the above comments it blows me away how the supporters of H$U$ are so brain washed. I am sure that none of you have ever been to a farm and have NO clue on what it takes to produce the products that american farmers work so hard 24/7 for consumers. Yes only 2% of the population produces ag products, so do you really want to import food from other countries that have no regulation on chemicals or environmental regulations? Before you condemn an american farmer for practices that you have only read about, educate yourself, go to a farm, don’t be a fool and give opinions you know nothing about.

  36. I have worked on a small family farm for nearly 10 years now. The area I live in is covered with small family farms. None of the farmers support HSUS….their legislation….or their ideas. They do support the farm bureau. They put there heart and sole into their farm, land, and animals. Lets let the farmers raise the animals that is their JOB. Farmers are not telling a construction workers….doctors….or accountants how to perform their job in a manor that would eliminate them. They do support them though and put there trust in the fact that they are the experts in their field. I really am scared to see what my kids are going to have to deal with some day. scares the hell out of me to be honest.

  37. First, just because a farm is “large” doesn’t mean it isn’t family. Second, let’s think critically about the consequences of driving efficiency out of farming. Despite a growing population here and across the world, Americans pay less now for food than at any time in our history. Farmers also have less of a carbon footprint today than they did even a few years ago and production is still up! If people who don’t really understand modern farming are allowed to dictate practice, the cost of food will truly skyrocket. Sure, we’ll all lose some weight. But American families, particularly the poorest, and our economy will genuinely suffer. Not only that but people across the world will starve. If you’re humane, you should care about that, too. This is not to say that farmers (both big and small) can’t get even better at what they do. There is always room to improve. But a lot of people go to our great universities to help them do that. If you didn’t, you’re likely not so qualified. Still, if you want to be a part of the process, and you want to make a legitimate difference, get off the fringe. Don’t let a single movie or book inform all of your world view. Visit a farm. Visit five farms. Or ten. Talk to REAL farmers (large and small). You’ll quickly learn that sick, unhappy and overly stressed animals just aren’t good for business. Period. You’ll learn that cattle that free graze have a greater incidence of internal parasites and HAVE to be treated with costly drugs. You’ll learn that dairy farmers have to pay steep penalties if antibiotics are ever found in the milk they send to market. Things simply aren’t always as books and movies would have you believe. Go learn for yourself. Now, if you believe people shouldn’t eat meat or that farmers don’t have the right to raise production animals then we simply have to agree to disagree. I also encourage you to have your canine teeth removed as proof of your support of the practice. But if you’re interested in learning about the real face of modern agriculture don’t go to a theater or bookstore or a web site…go to the country.

  38. […] Let me explain “integrity” to you.  It includes trading value for value, voluntarily. Chipotle does that quite well, so I know you understand the concept. Integrity does not encompass hiring guns to come onto farms to force farmers to farm the way you want them to, any more than it includes me going into the kitchen and drawing down on one of your cooks and telling him how I want my food prepared. […]

  39. 100% agree with Melissa. Good for Chipotle for choosing free-range meat. But bad choice to align in any way with HSUS.

  40. There is no problem here that the constitution and the free market can not solve. Chipotle can market their products any way they want and we are free to choose or not choose their products if we want. HSUS and their deceptive tactics are the problem. They promote themselves as an animal welfare group but they are really an animal rights group with a $100 MM annual budget. Their goal is to reduce and ultimately eliminate animals and animal-based products from our diets and out lives. They use deceptive ads and make emotional appeals to uniformed people to take away our rights to choose out diets and our livestyles.

  41. There is a difference between animal rights and animal welfair.
    Animal welfare is that humans use animals for their benefit and as a result have a responsibility to care for them.
    Animal rights is giving animals the same rights as humans.
    HSUS supports animal rights. HSUS wants all animals to be set loose, including pets.

    PLEASE support WELFARE not rights.

  42. Farmer, care to provide a link or any shred of evidence that HSUS wants all animals to be set loose, including pets? I’ll be waiting, thanks.

  43. HSUS Foe: “They use deceptive ads and make emotional appeals to uniformed people to take away our rights to choose out diets and our livestyles.”

    And the Industry doesn’t do the same?? In 2002, PETA and other organizers filed a lawsuit in California against the California Dairy Industry (a state agency). The states award winning “Happy Cows Come from California” campaign was a DIRECT violation of the “Unlawful Competition Act” which protects consumers from false advertisement.

    Do you know why the California Dairy Industry WAS NOT prosecuted? A california court ruled that the “Unfair Competition Law” protected consumers from “natural persons, corporations, firms, partnerships, joint stock companies, associations and other organizations of persons” and the State Agencies were not included in that group. The case was dismissed.

    So who’s putting out messages to deceive “ignorant” people and not let them make their own decisions about their diets?

    I’d suggest knowing your stuff before accusing people of deceptive messaging. And who’s more ignorant? Those who are uneducated, or those blindly point their fingers at without doing some research?

    I’d suggest knowing your stuff before accusing people of deceptive messaging.

  44. One more thing:

    Does anyone else find it disturbing that you can sue a person, a firm, or an organization for false advertisement and deceptive messaging… but you cant sue your own state government.

    Your government (USDA, FDA, California Dairy Board) can lie to you about what you eat and how it was made, and you can’t do a single legal thing about it. Scary??

    Sometimes it isn’t hard to see how this industry got to where it is now… I mean, I’d be pretty set if I could make a product however I wanted, lie about how I made it, and then try and prosecute those who challenge me. I’m Just saying….

  45. Anyone who is supporting HSUS is a coward. It drives me crazy to read all of these posts opposing farmers and agriculture in general. It is just a big slap in the face to farmers everywhere. HSUS does not stand for anything good so why in the world do you people support them? You would be way better off to support your state’s agriculture than Wayne Pacelle’s checkbook. Give your money to your local FFA Chapter or 4-H Club. Not HSUS. They are a fraud!

  46. Based on the idiotic backwards comments of some of the industry people on here, I think consumers across American should boycott farm products from Ohio. These people are too ignorant to be in charge of caring for animals if they don’t feel humane farming is important to both the animals and the people like me that eat meat and dairy.

    Eat at Chipolte. They are doing the right thing. They are supporting family farms, not factory farms.

    And the Humane society is right to try and protect farm animals from inhumane treatment. They are right to protect farm animals and try to pass laws that end factory farming.

    And yes, we will pay more for animals that are humanely raised and slaughtered.

  47. Ohio farm animals are treated right, if you believe the isolated cases by the hsus then you should wake up, Ohio farmers are no different than farmers all over the world, what the hsus is trying to get on the ballot in ohio will close down poulty, veal and pork production in ohio, it will destroy people’s and families lives, but when asked about it, the hsus plays dumb and acts like its no big deal. Then Ohio will get their products from another state, producing the same way as Ohio, all because a special interest group came into Ohio and snowballed people into believing what they tell them. The hsus is the worst enemy the state of Ohio and other farming states have.We don’t need a emotion based group coming to Ohio and telling us what to do.

  48. i dont understand how a place that sells meat products can support people who are vegan… does not make much sense to me

  49. PLEASE know whats going on in the state of Missouri. Hsus is using the dog breeders as a way to take control of all livestock eventually here. Farm Bureau knows this and is fighting them. But they have millions and millions of dollars for there propaganda tv and radio ads. The dog breeders and farmers as scraping to get by and are giving and doing all they came. Mainly leg work and putting up signs and calling people. If the Prop B passes there is no dog breeder that will be able to stay in business with their strict codes. They already have 34 pages of super strict rules now. If it passes a breeder will be jailed if a piece of food is found in a water bowl. There are many many other things that are virtually impossible to do. For instance the space of a 3 bedroom house could only house around 5 dogs depending on the size of the dog. They will never be allowed to touch the ground again and can only be fed once a day. They call all breeders puppymills. Now an unlicensed breeder, the sometimes bad breeders, are exempt from this bill so is Husu and friends. They know they couldn’t adhere to the rules. They are wanting to get their foot in the door in Missouri in order to work on the cattle and chicken farmers next. This is HUGE we don’t have the big money to fight them. Once it becomes rule they are coming after livestock products.
    Please go to thealliancefortruth dotcom and mofed dotorg for more information. HELP Missouri now. The war is on here too. If it gets passed here they already plan to go other places using this bill if it gets passed. Help stop the enemy!
    HSUS ONLY gives less than 5 cents for every 100.00 it takes in. They are money hungry frauds working with an agenda. TO close down ALL farmers except of course their buddies that pay them off. The rest of the money goes to their retirement fund and more donation propaganda. They gave zero zero point zero to help the local shelters in Missouri. Yet they come into this state to shut down breeders then farmers. Wake up America we have to learn and hold the front lines against the actually enemy of the citizens of this country. Don’t be fooled by pictures they show you on the tv of poor dogs and puppies. Those are Not from licensed breeders. Breeders have inspectors coming in sometimes several times a month. Everything has to be spotless and in order. You’ll never see Hsus showing you what a real breeders operation looks like. Only unlicensed backyard breeders that the licensed breeders sometimes turn in!

  50. The USA now would have a hard time sustaining itself in case of an unforseen “event”. All our goods are shipped from China, not much is manufactured in the USA anymore. (Look at your DelMonte fruit can.) We have vegan animal rights activist attacking our protein food sources because they believe in abolition of animals for human “use”. How long would it take to reduce the USA to a third world country unable to feed, clothe,or provide needed goods if we were for whatever reason shut off from those countries that now supply us?

  51. everything this article states is the very reason Chipotle is successful and has a line of customers all the way out the door.
    Delicious food too!!!!!! LOVE CHIPOTLE!!

  52. It frusturates me that people do NOT investigate things on their own but come to conclusions via…other peoples thoughts. I am a farmer and I am 100% against foreign trade in this country…and against the FALSE advertisment placed out to viewers in regards to the Human Society. Take some time people to READ what is in YOUR food that you buy at the grocery store….are you REALLY getting quality GOODS? HELL NO!! We put radiation in meats so that our meat has that nice RED color to it when you buy it…this is done so that meat does not “loose” its appeal to the buyer…so you ARE buying OLD meat that is “painted’ red. GOOD FOR YOU. It is in LOW doses but continuting to consume this over and over again will eventually hit home. I HONESTLY believe this is why we are immune to many of the medical drugs on the market as well as why we have seen an increase in cancers etc….I can’t convince you WHAT to eat or HOW to eat it…but seriously people READ about what your eating if you care about yourself or even your family.

  53. HSUS has no buisness telling anyone how to raise thier animals,,Pacelle stated that he has never owned an animal in his life not even a hampster.Farmers and ranches have been careing for animals since time begain.We know how to care for our livestock and pets and we know how to produce the best meat and crops for the public.HSUS dose not care about animals, they want no human animal contact at all,they want no animals to be used as a food sourceeven though animals were put on this earth for that reason. They think animals should have the same rights as humans.You can check on all this by going to the HSUS web site.We as farmers and ranchers do vaccinate our livestock and worm our livestock,just like we vaccinate our children,it is for thier health,these medicins we give our animals all have a withdraw period they are out of the system before processing.HSUS also claimes that people should stop breeding thier animals,then turn around and say casteration and gelding is cruel. They say branding is cruel,dehorning is cruel,seperating a calf from its mother at 6mo.old is cruel,they have no idea how to care for animals,I know this just from the statement they make.HSUS and the other groups like them need to be kicked out of OHIO,they need to be investigated in thier involvement with terrorist groups like ALF and MFA,they need to be investigated for missuse of donated funds also.

  54. I read the article but wasn’t convince there is a link between Chipotle and HSUS. Why not some footnotes, links to Chipotle statements, or campaign contribution records. Chris Kick have you verified the statements in the article? I am a supporter of animal Agriculture but please show supporting documentation before writing an article that disparages a business that supports small processors and ranchers like myself.

  55. Way to Go Chipolte.. its nice to see a company in the food industry taking the time to make a difference and to show compassion for all creatures who have no voice to speak up for themselves. I am a happy customer of Chipolte and support the Humane Society in all their efforts to make a difference in how animals are treated. I have watched shocking video after video of the meat industry practices as well as dairy farm factory practices and it sickens me. Thank you Chipotle for taking this stand. I am and will continue to be a customer.

  56. Letting agribusiness have free reign on how they raise, mutilate, confine, and slaughter farmed animals to produce the most meat at the cheapest cost without oversight is like letting the fox guard the hen house.


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