PETA, long known for its tough PR tactics, also puts pressure on companies to stop animal rights abuses by becoming a shareholder and submitting shareholder resolutions with graphic and potentially embarrassing anecdotes, that will then be mailed to every investor. “No company wants to show that to their investors,” said Matt Prescott, director of corporate affairs for PETA.
“We’ve been doing this since the mid-80s, and in the past few months, we’ve made more recent purchases [including California Pizza Kitchen and Papa John’s],” said Prescott. “Recent stock purchases are the result of a company’s unresponsiveness.”
PETA presently owns stock in more than 80 companies, and has submitted resolutions to companies, including Denny’s, GE, Tyson Foods, Wal-Mart, and Yum!Brands.
Two years ago, in exchange for withdrawing shareholder resolutions, Safeway created an animal welfare advisory counsel and also agreed to encourage poultry suppliers to use more humane slaughter methods.
Prescott said, “Most companies are willing to engage in dialogue, when that fails we have to purchase stock, take it to the public, and adopt a PR strategy for getting the word out.”