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?