Celebrities and Customers Call on Costco to Address Chickens’ Suffering

May 28, 2021


A recent investigation by Mercy For Animals into a Costco-supplying farm revealed chickens suffering from sores, injuries and horrifying, inhumane conditions. In response, we published a letter and appealed to Costco to address this urgent issue by adopting meaningful welfare standards. More than 100,000 advocates have signed the letter to the retailer’s executives, and a wide range of public figures—from Ricky Gervais to Margaret Atwood to Katherine Schwarzenegger—shared the letter appealing to Costco to do better.

Notably, more than 60% of those who signed the letter self-identified as Costco customers. We followed up with those customers to learn more about where they stand.

Of the more than 8,200 Costco shoppers who participated in our survey:

  • Roughly 68% of those who buy chicken at Costco would be willing to stop doing so if Costco does not take meaningful action to improve chickens’ welfare.
  • In addition, 93% would be more likely to shop in another store if Costco refused to make these changes.
  • A whopping 97% believe that big box stores like Costco bear responsibility for improving our food system through the products they sell.

This outpouring of support and survey results show that regardless of what people eat, they will not accept mistreatment of animals and feel strongly that retailers must set meaningful standards.

While Costco has yet to adopt the changes we recommend, we will continue to appeal to them to do what animals deserve and shoppers demand. If you are looking to buy welfare-certified chicken or plant-based alternatives, please check out our Shop With Your Heart Brand List.