Animal rights activists arrested at California Whole Foods

A 15-foot cut-out of Jeff Bezos’ head loomed over a Whole Foods in San Francisco Monday afternoon as animal rights activists chained and superglued themselves together to protest the store’s animal product suppliers. Thirty-seven of the protesters were detained, reports CBS San Francisco.

According to protesters with Direct Action Anywhere, Monday’s actions were necessary because the grocery chain sells goods from suppliers that allegedly abuse their animals and keep them in “cruel conditions.” The group claimed they demonstrated after “repeated attempts to start a dialogue with Amazon” resulted in no action.

Amazon, which Bezos founded, acquired Whole Foods in 2017.

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“We’ve tried everything to help animals being criminally abused at these factory farms that supply to Amazon,” activist Priya Sawhney said in a statement. “The authorities continually ignore the misconduct, then throw us in jail when we try to help dying animals ourselves. And through it all, Amazon stands by its supplier, refusing to even have a conversation with us.”

One person tweeted photos and videos of the protest, including a video of someone scaling the Whole Foods sign.

Police officers used bolt cutters to remove chains from some demonstrators and began making arrests. The organization told CBS News that all have since been released.

A smaller rally simultaneously took place at an Amazon office in San Francisco. Several activists, including former “Baywatch” actress Alexandra Paul, were arrested for handcuffing themselves together inside the office. The purpose, the group said, was to “further emphasize the gravity of this issue and to pressure a response from Amazon.”

Whole Foods released a statement to CBS San Francisco noting its use of “third-party certifiers like Global Animal Partnership,” a nonprofit that rates animal welfare for farmed products.

“We respect everyone’s right to voice their opinion, but our responsibility is to provide a safe environment for our customers and our team members,” Whole Foods added.

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