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Shareholders: Achieving Victories for Animals

Posted by at 1:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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Many of the biggest, most well-known companies in the U.S. are owned not by their CEOs or their employees but by their stockholders. And these stockholders have the right to speak up at annual meetings and submit shareholder resolutions to voice concerns about how the company is being run—and to suggest changes.

When it comes to “shareholder activism,” PETA is unequaled. Thanks to our generous supporters, PETA has submitted more shareholder resolutions than any other nonprofit organization anywhere in the country, for any cause. About half of our shareholder resolutions for animals—covering everything from glue trap sales at hardware superstores to improving conditions for animals raised for food—won’t actually come to a vote, as companies will often negotiate with us in order to avoid having these statements read at their annual meetings.

This year alone, PETA has submitted shareholder resolutions to General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Bayer, Proctor & Gamble, Covance, and Merck, all regarding the companies’ use of animals in archaic tests and training exercises. Occasionally, companies like Merck and Johnson & Johnson will try to block our resolutions—but our legal team fights back to ensure that shareholders’ rights to vote on important animal welfare policies are enforced.

PETA’s shareholder resolutions have already led to a number of important victories. Companies such as Safeway, Burger King, Denny’s, and Winn Dixie have upgraded their welfare standards for the animals killed for their food, and Dow Chemical, Exxon, and DuPont are all moving away from cruel and invasive animal testing in part because of PETA’s lifesaving shareholder activism.

Of course, there’s a lot left to do, and there are many animal-abusing companies in which PETA doesn’t yet own stock. If you happen to own stock in a company that may support the abuse of animals—directly or otherwise—you can help by donating that stock to PETA. Your gift will enable us to speak up as shareholders or negotiate with company executives—and win even more groundbreaking victories for animals!

PETA owns stock in companies in many industries—from the food industry to the pharmaceutical industry to the fashion industry—and is always looking for the next opportunity for shareholder activism. So tell us: Which companies do you think PETA should target next, and why?

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5 Comments

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    Thelma Briedé says...

    May 20th, 2011, 6:37 pm

    Congratulations – keep it up.

    Michael says...

    May 20th, 2011, 6:48 pm

    I just need to say that I am so very very impressed with you PETA. You amaze me. Not only does compassion and kindness live in you but so does great intelligence. What a team. No wonder you have more and more victories piling up. Thank you for everything you do for animals. I love you.

    Colleen says...

    September 10th, 2011, 9:54 pm

    “Ditto” to everything Michael said above!

    I have an idea for PETA.
    Background info: I’m a stockholder in Procter & Gamble. I have their ballot in front of me & am looking for info on “Shareholder Proposal #2-Animal Testing”.

    Idea: It would be wonderful if PETA could have a website or link that recommends how stockholders in a company should vote on proposals. That way, when PETA members receive proxy materials, we have a one-stop website that we can log onto, quickly look up our company and find out how to vote. Maybe it could include a paragraph summarizing the shareholder proposal. It could also list companies that have shareholder proposals that PETA knows about and wants us to vote against.

    Other things it could include: does PETA attend the annual meetings in person and would if be helpful if we came along? What about including a ‘pledge’ section under each company listing where PETA members can pledge to vote their shares according to the animals’ interest? What about a registration section where PETA members can click the boxes next to the companies they own stock in, then when PETA has a proposal on the ballot, you can email us an alert?

    Just brainstorming. Hope you find the ideas helpful and thanks for all you do!

    Garrey says...

    September 29th, 2011, 8:33 am

    I’d like to add support for Colleen’s suggestions – simple but effective.

    I am lucky to hold a range of shares and would dearly like to use them for the benefit of animals( apart from leaving a legacy to PETA) For example it concerns me owning Burberry shares when they make fur products. Any suggestions in wielding shareholder power at London AGMs( where I live) would be gratefully received

    Brendaveggie says...

    January 12th, 2012, 11:24 am

    Check out Moxy Vote. This group tracks how various groups(including PETA and HSUS) recommend voting their proxies. I have recently started a Humane Investing group on Facebook to aid folks in researching the animal welfare policies of various money managers and mutual funds.

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