Money

  • Sep
  • 24

Shareholders’ Victories!

Posted by at 6:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)


ShareholdersIt is the stockholders-not the CEOs, other officers, or employees-who own many of the largest and best-known companies (although many company executives and officers are also stockholders). And stockholders have a right to speak up at annual meetings and submit shareholder resolutions to voice concerns about how the company is being run-and suggest changes. No nonprofit group speaks up more often than PETA to give animals a voice in corporate America (it’s true). I’m proud to say that we submit more shareholder resolutions than any other nonprofit anywhere in the country, for any cause. We’ve become the biggest player in “shareholder activism” (buying stock in companies for the purpose of moving the company on a social issue)-not just in the animal world but in the whole NGO world.Only about half of all shareholder resolutions that PETA files actually come to a vote. Often, companies negotiate with us in order to avoid our resolutions and statements at their shareholder meetings.

Recent victories from the negotiating table include the following:

  • Chipotle Restaurants agreed to give purchasing preference to chicken suppliers that use controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK), the least cruel method of chicken slaughter.
  • Safeway created an animal welfare council, and it began phasing in cage-free eggs, crate-free pork, and poultry killed by CAK the next year.
  • Burger King is phasing in cage-free eggs and crate-free pork and giving purchasing preference to chicken suppliers that use CAK.
  • Harris Teeter and Winn-Dixie increased their use of cage-free eggs and are phasing in crate-free pork and poultry killed by CAK.

In the realm of animals who are subjected to testing in laboratories, PETA has opened the doors to a number of the largest corporations in the world and meets with them annually as a result of shareholder resolutions. Change is coming: PETA is moving the industry forward to reduce, refine, and replace animal testing. Consider the following victories:

  • General Electric has initiated major enrichment measures for animals.
  • Dow Chemical is now publishing with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine on in vitro test methods relating to skin absorption.
  • Exxon and the American Petroleum Institute are developing a computer model for toxicology that will save tens of thousands of animals.
  • Schering invited PETA’s Deb Durham to speak to its animal caretakers.
  • Johnson & Johnson created a new position to implement PETA’s recommendations.
  • DuPont formed an animal-issues team with senior leadership and is funding a computer-based alternative to save animals from test procedures.
  • Medtronic will meet with PETA twice per year and will extend its animal welfare guidelines to foreign operations.

Much remains to be done, of course. If you do happen to own stock in abusive companies, you can help by donating it to PETA, which will enable us to speak up as shareholders or negotiate with company executives. What companies should PETA target next, and why?

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5 Comments

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    kerry says...

    September 24th, 2008, 1:07 pm

    This is one of the many things that PETA does that makes me such a PETA fan. I own small amounts of stock in many different companies, and even my dinky 10 shares gives me the right to vote. I always watch the mail for the proxy statements and I always vote FOR the shareholders proposals that the companies advise that shareholders vote AGAINST. Many of them are for reducing executive compensation which I am all for. And I am happiest when I see that I can vote FOR stopping animal testing, and when I see a shareholder proposal to stop animal testing on the proxy voting statement I know that PETA is out there fighting for the animals!!!!!!!!!!!!! keep up the good work………..

    Claudine Erlandson says...

    September 25th, 2008, 1:34 pm

    I am not very financially savvy…but I have some of my humble savings with what used to be Lutheran Brotherhood and is now called Thrivent.
    The young man there knows me well and knows that none of my money must be used in “bad companies”, especially none connected with Procter & Gamble who still do Animal testing and experimentation. I also told him that KFC was a dirty word. Indeed, money talks and PETA is always on top of everything that’s best for all Animals.

    kerry says...

    September 25th, 2008, 6:18 pm

    Claudine, i think i know you. Did I met you in 1991 in Washington DC at an animal rights convention? You were there with Robin, another member of PAWS of LynnWood Washington. We rode the subway together and lobbied our federal legislators on animal issues. If it is you, its cool to meet up with you this many years later on PETAPRIME. If its not you, then there are 2 wonderful people out there with the same name.

    Steve says...

    September 25th, 2008, 6:25 pm

    Claudine-
    We are seeing the effects of financial “savvy” in the meltdown of our entire economy. I’d say you have your priorities in good order – savvy in the most important way! Thank you.

    Kerry -
    I SO like your approach to voting your proxies. Let your voice be heard!

    -Steve

    Claudine Erlandson says...

    October 1st, 2008, 6:48 am

    Yes dear Kerry, it is moi! We actually met for the very first March for the Animals in D.C., June 1990. It was then so exhilarating to be with so many people wanting to help Animals! I also met your Mom then. And it is so wonderful that both your Mom and Dad started this rescue and activist group here in WA, East of the mountains…I believe near Spokane. Bravo!
    I am not too agile w/ the computer and blogging is something fairly new to me. But when it comes to helping Animals, you can’t shut me up!
    It is so great to be older, to never be bored and to have so much to do for a cause you truly believe in.
    Best to your Parents and you dear Kerry!
    claudine
    ps: Thank you Steve for the invaluable financial advice.

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