The Unexpected Connection Between Kroger And PETA

This story includes information regarding animal abuse.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Kroger Co. have known each other for a long time. Back in 2010, Cincinnati CityBeat covered how the animal rights organization approached Kroger with the question of whether it will move towards controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK) of its poultry. CAK, which involves the slow replacement of oxygen with a gas, was considered more humane than putting shackled birds onto a conveyor belt, breaking their legs before cutting their throats.

In the years that followed, Kroger received further praise and criticism from PETA. In 2021, PETA announced that after the organization's campaign, Kroger would stop stocking Chaokoh coconut milk, which has been shown to rely on monkey labor. A few months later, PETA also praised the range of vegan foods Kroger makes available and published a list of these items. PETA is known for its activism and so the organization's criticism isn't out of the ordinary. It merely pushes its mission of advocacy along. However, the unexpected connection between Kroger and PETA has only occurred in 2022.

PETA is a shareholder of Kroger

PETA and Kroger connected in January 2022 when PETA decided to buy stock in Kroger. PETA explained that the reason it decided to purchase stock in Kroger was the same that decides most of the organization's activity: Advocacy for better treatment of animals. PETA specifically took issue with Plainville Farms, the turkey supplier of the smaller supermarket chain Harris Teeter, which Kroger owns. PETA reasoned that the best way to enact change was to have a seat at the table.

The actions that drew PETA's ire include workers of Plainville Farms stomping on turkeys, letting the turkeys convulse after workers failed to break the birds' necks, and throwing hens at other hens. In June, PETA in a press release stated that its intention was to use its presence at the shareholder meeting in order to ask Kroger executives when they would reconsider this business partnership. As of this writing, Kroger has not made any announcements regarding if it will source its turkeys from another company.