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Dawn Lafreeda, Please Lead the Way: Protest Against Denny’s Largest Franchisee

Animal Equality has taken further action in its campaign to ban cruel cages, demanding that Denny’s keeps to its promise to end the use of crates for mother pigs.

Last month, Animal Equality attended the Philadelphia premiere of a documentary.

One of the film’s producers is Dawn Lafreeda.

Her film, ‘Show Her The Money’ spotlights the gender funding gap for female entrepreneurs, underlining her commitment to advancing women in business.

Yet, it’s disheartening that her commitment doesn’t extend to another group of females: pregnant pigs, whom we’ve repeatedly asked her to help.

That’s why we showed up with signs and banners asking her to oppose animal cruelty, and to use her power to help end the use of tiny crates for pregnant pigs within the Denny’s supply chain.

Animal Equality’s activists even brought a light-up, mobile billboard displaying a photo of a pig in a gestation crate.

Movie-goers were shocked by what was shared.

This is just the latest of our actions to-date.

In January 2023, Animal Equality launched a nationwide campaign against Denny’s, urging the company to fulfill its decade-old promise to end the use of crates for pigs in its supply chain.

On 1st July, protests were held in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Conway, Arkansas, with individuals displaying posters outside their local Denny’s.

On 15th July, a larger protest took place in Chicago, Illinois. Advocates intensified the campaign, drawing support from honking cars. One concerned passerby even joined the protest after learning about Denny’s practices

On 30th July, the most recent and largest protest was held in Los Angeles, California, with over 30 individuals gathering outside Denny’s, catching the attention of diners.

Photo Credit: Michelle Del Cueto

On 11th August, a billboard organised by Animal Equality went live in New York’s Times Square, displaying the message: ‘Denny’s, animal abuse is bad for business’, while a video showed two pigs inside ‘gestation crates’ clawing at the bars of the cages.

On 16th August, The Times Square billboard displayed a new message, calling on Denny’s President at the time, John Dillon, to be honest about the restaurant’s ties with cruelty.

On 6th September, Animal Equality escalated its campaign against cruelty in the Denny’s supply chain, with President Sharon Núñez and Campaigns Manager Dane Charbeneau conducting interviews on the streets of New York City. They distributed leaflets and showed video footage of the extreme confinement of mother pigs, capturing the reactions of New Yorkers who shared their thoughts on Denny’s association with cruelty.

We will not give up until Denny’s fulfils its commitment to pregnant pigs. It’s the least these sensitive animals deserve.

What about pigs in the UK?

Fortunately, gestation crates are already banned in the UK, but the UK meat industry continues to use other cruel practices on pigs.

In 2021, Animal Equality released footage from a UK pig farm called P&G Sleigh Pig Unit and what we discovered was shocking.

The investigator filmed how female pigs used for breeding are repeatedly artificially inseminated, then forced to give birth and nurse their young in cages called ‘farrowing crates’. Much like gestation crates, these metal cages make it impossible for the pig to turn around or engage in natural behaviours.

This is standard practice on UK pig farms.

Several mother pigs on the P&G Sleigh Pig Unit were also suffering from torn vulvas and severe prolapses. In a particularly harrowing scene, a pig struggling with a very large uterine prolapse was forced to walk for over one and a half minutes before being killed.

Many pigs we filmed were kept in squalid, dark conditions and some were even forced to live in pens flooded with water and faeces, with no access to dry bedding.

Animal Equality has investigated a number of UK pig farms over the last few years and we consistently find suffering.

How you can help pigs

The best thing we can do for pigs is to leave them off our plates and replace meat with delicious, plant-based alternatives.

Get a free plant-based cookbook by signing up to Love Veg at the link below.

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