This week, Whole Foods Market filed a lawsuit against co-founder Wayne Hsuing and 1-150 unnamed members of animal-rights group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE). The suit alleges that the group—which conducts protests inside of Whole Foods stores to bring attention to animal cruelty present in its supply chain—is illegally disrupting operations.“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,” a spokesperson for Whole Foods told Eater. The lawsuit was filed in Northern California ahead of a one-week occupy event that DxE planned to execute at Whole Foods’ Berkeley location starting September 23. Despite a pending temporary restraining order filed by Whole Foods against the group, DxE plans to continue its actions against the supermarket chain, modifying its strategies depending on the anticipated legal restrictions to come. “We may be legally restricted from being near the facility,” a DxE spokesperson said, “but we will be taking some sort of action during that week and ongoing.” In May, Hsuing and other members of DxE were charged with theft after rescuing a sick turkey that a Utah prosecutor deemed was property that belonged to meat company Norbest.
Whole Foods Sues Vegan Group to End In-Store Protests