Animal Equality has filed a brief in support of a legal challenge to Diestel Turkey Ranch’s misleading advertising. The lawsuit was filed against Diestel Turkey Ranch in California state court for claims of false advertising. The company raises and slaughters turkeys in California and supplies retailers like Whole Foods.1
Claims of False Advertising
Diestel Turkey Ranch advertises its products as “thoughtfully raised” on a “family farm.” However, as the case documents assert, these turkeys are raised in “deplorable conditions.” Diestel Turkey Ranch was found to house its turkeys in dirty, crowded warehouses during a 2015 undercover investigation by Direct Action Everywhere, an animal protection organization. Many animals were suffering from untreated injuries and illnesses.1
On its website, Diestel Turkey Ranch further claims adherence to the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) animal welfare criteria. GAP claims to have comprehensive standards focused on animal care and welfare. But the legal suit asserts that in fact less than one percent of the turkeys produced by Diestel are raised with the GAP Step 5 standards the company boasts adherence to.2
The court case further claims consumers have been paying a premium price for Diestel’s meat due to its claims of higher standards.1
Animal Equality Fights Against Misleading Messaging
The lawsuit against Diestel is currently on appeal. The brief filed by Animal Equality supports the lawsuit by asserting that these deceptive advertising practices harm the missions of animal protection organizations. This is in response to the lower court’s dismissal of the case on the grounds that the plaintiff, a Bay Area animal protection organization, did not have legal standing to sue because the organization itself was not defrauded by the misleading ads.
If the lower court’s ruling is upheld, this would severely limit the ability of animal protection organizations to challenge misleading advertising that is actively undermining our work to empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.
Animal Equality’s brief explains how the false advertising claims undermine the work of these animal protection organizations, which are working to educate consumers about factory farming and encourage dietary choices that are actually humane.
When a company makes inflated claims about its animal welfare standards, it forces groups like Animal Equality to divert resources to counteract those falsehoods. Real change for animals can only be achieved when the public is accurately informed about the realities of animal agriculture.
-Sarah Hanneken, Legal Advocacy Counsel
By filing this brief, Animal Equality is fighting to ensure companies cannot get away with making deceptive animal welfare claims.
Animal Equality Uncovers Turkey Cruelty
In 2019, Animal Equality released investigative footage from inside turkey hatcheries, factory farms and slaughterhouses in Spain. In these hatcheries, birds who do not meet the standards required by the meat industry are discarded alive, along with eggshells, yolks, and other waste. They die in the trash, crushed under the weight of the shells and other animals.3
Those who aren’t killed moments after birth have the tip of their beaks burned to reduce cannibalism–a common behavior of bird farms resulting from intense stress.3
Like “fast-growing” chickens, turkeys are genetically selected to grow unnaturally large in a short amount of time. Their legs cannot support their own weight and they suffer painful injuries. In the US, almost a million turkeys a year die from heart attacks because of the strain on their hearts. Another million every year are boiled alive during the slaughter process due to ineffective stunning.3
How you can help:
Animal Equality continues to work to bust the myth of “humane” factory farming. Deceptive claims are everywhere within the meat industry: “humanely raised,” “animal welfare certified,” “all-natural”…the list goes on. Help us fight against false advertising by reporting misleading labels.
You can also make the ultimate choice to protect farmed animals by switching to a vegan lifestyle. Animals on factory farms, like turkeys, don’t have to suffer. We have the power to end this cruelty. Making the compassionate decision to go plant-based and cruelty-free.
1‘Deplorable Conditions:’ Class Action Claims Diestel Turkey Ranch Falsely Advertises Birds as ‘Thoughtfully Raised:’ https://www.classaction.org/news/deplorable-conditions-class-action-claims-diestel-turkey-ranch-falsely-advertises-birds-as-thoughtfully-raised
2Global Animal Partnership: https://www.globalanimalpartnership.org/5-step-animal-welfare-rating-program
3Animal Equality Exposes the Cruelty of the Turkey Industry: https://animalequality.org/news/animal-equality-exposes-the-cruelty-of-the-turkey-industry/