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Enough already: Whole Foods sues animal rights group over years of in-store protests

Whole Foods has been granted an injunction at its Berkeley, California, store, against an animal rights group that has been harassing the grocery chain for years. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Whole Foods is taking legal action against animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere, following years of protests the activist organization has launched against their stores.

What are the details?

According to KPIX-TV, for several years DxE has staged events such as chicken funerals, sit-ins with cow crates, and interrupting store ribbon cuttings in its assault on Whole Foods locations across the country.

Finally, the Amazon-owned grocery chain decided it had had enough. Last week, Whole Foods' Berkeley store in California, was granted a restraining order against DxE ahead of its planned protests of the location planned for this week.

Whole Foods issued a statement saying, "DxE members have repeatedly entered our stores and property to conduct demonstrations that disrupt customers and team members by blocking access to our aisles, departments, and cash registers, interfering with our business and putting the safety of both customers and team members at risk."

DxE member Cassie King told KPIX, "It's interesting that Whole Foods tries to paint us as a danger to the public, when we believe what we're doing is actually a public good."

She continued, "In terms of breaking the law, we see it as establishing the right to rescue and the right to know for every customer who wants to shop at Whole Foods to actually know what's happening to these animals."

The group is famously provocative, with members racking up long rap sheets for everything from felony theft of animals (which they call rescues) to criminal trespass (such as chaining themselves to animals and refusing to leave).

What else?

DxE cofounder Wayne Hsiung was arrested at a Whole Foods in Boulder, Colorado, earlier this year for trying to film interviews with store employees and customers. He told Boulder's DailyCamera that his group is targeting Whole Foods because he asserts the chain makes false claims that its animal products are "cruelty-free."

Whole Foods will return to court on Oct. 26 regarding its injunction against DxE and will have the option at that time to make its second request to have the group banned from its stores nationwide.

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