Three Activists Indicted in Wegmans Break-Ins

In early October, a grand jury indicted three animal rights activists in a series of break-ins at Wegmans Egg Farm in Wolcott, New York.

Adam Durand, 25; Melanie Ippolito, 21; and Megan Cosgrove,22, were indicted on several counts each including burglary, criminal mischief, petty larceny and criminal trespass.

The three activists allegedly broke into the egg farm several times in May and August 2004. They videotaped conditions at the facility and later released a short video through their group Compassionate Consumers. The activists also removed 11 hens from the facility.

Although not indicted, Compassionate Consumers activist Jodi Chemes was fired from her job at Deloitte & Touche after publicizing the tape’s release (Wegmans is a client of Deloitte & Touche).

According to the Times of Wayne County,

In the initial arraignment, it is alleged that the Durand and Ippolito used wire cutters to gain access to the manure rooms below the chicken houses. It was also stated that they took a total of 8 hens from the buildings on at least two occasions.

The grand jury indictment has Durand charged with three counts each of Felony Burglary in the 3rd Degree, Misdemeanor Petit Larceny and Criminal Trespass. Ippolito was charged with two counts each and Cosgrove with one count each.

The Times also reported that Compassionate Consumers offered to end its campaign against Wegmans if the egg producer agreed to reduce or drop the charges against the activists (the prosecutor in the case has said he will not reduce or drop the charges without Wegmans’ consent), but apparently the company refused such a deal.


Jury indicts 3 in Wegmans Egg Farm case. Misty Edgecomb, Democrat and Chronicle, October 4, 2005.

Trio plucked by County Grand Jury for WegmanÂ’s Chicken Farm break-in. Times of Wayne County, 2005.

PETA Organizes Mad Cow Protests in Canada

With the announcement that mad cow disease had found its way to cattle in Alberta, you knew it would not take long for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to show up there as well.

Bruce Friedrich visited Alberta to protest outside an Edmonton grocery story. He and other activists carried signs reading, “It’s Mad to Eat Meat — Go Vegetarian.”

In an interview with the CanWest News Service, Friedrich said,

When industries deny animals everything natural to them and turn them into machines, it can come back to haunt us. . . . If you eat meat, you already have to worry about salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure and cancer, as well as your weight. Now you can add mad cow disease to the list.

Oddly enough, Valerie Fitch of the Calgary Vegetarian Society seemed a bit suspicious as to whether or not fear over mad cow disease would lead Canadians to go vegetarian,

I think that initially meat consumption will drop. It may come up again, but people will be questioning what they eat.

Given how isolated the first case of mad cow disease among cattle in Canada was, I doubt there will be a significant drop in meat consumption there. Now if a human case of vCJD is found, that would be a different story.


‘It’s mad to eat meat’, PETA to tell shoppers: Animal rights group pushes vegetarianism. CanWest Global Communications Corp., Mario Toneguzzi, May 22, 2003.