I got this message yesterday from a company I’ve been boycotting for over a decade. My response is below the original message. This shit had me CRACKING up!
My name is Caitlin Riley and I’m video producer at Dark Rye, an online magazine from Whole Foods Market. We produce short documentaries and written articles about creative, inspiring people crafting a more sustainable future. The theme of our upcoming issue is “Meat,” and I wanted to touch base with you to explore the possibility of profiling you in it.
If you’re open to the possibility and free to speak in the next few days, I’d love to chat.
Thanks and best,
I sincerely thank you for your interest in my work. While I would love have my work featured on such a wide platform, I must respectfully decline your offer to be included in any project related to Whole Foods Market. Considering that I spent a fair amount of effort exposing the hypocrisy and empty claims of Whole Food Market in my book and have always been vocal about my longstanding boycott of Whole Foods, I am frankly surprised that you would approach me to do so. The integrity of my work depends on my politics, and I fully intend to keep myself and my reputation far from the influence of those who are intent on profiting from the movement for good, clean food. Whole Foods sells itself as a champion of ethical eating, however, any quick glance proves that this is just a marketing ploy.
The actions of your CEO John Mackey, including his defense of GM foods, characterization of access to healthcare as a “privilege” rather than human right, as well as his disgusting goal of “rebranding capitalism”, are DEPLORABLE. In addition to Mackey’s questionable direction of his hyped-up super brand, the practices of shaming Spanish speaking employees & rewarding thin people with discounts are problematic and harmful, to say the least. Underpinning the racist and classist ideals inherent in the company’s culture, Whole Foods Market’s blatant pandering to the elite is a slap in the face to the hardworking farmers, low-wage workers and many others who are struggling every day to feed their families healthy food. Finally, as both a prison abolitionist and a chef/butcher who holds transparency and accountability in food sourcing in the highest regard, the fact that Whole Foods Market is associated with farms that use prison labor is just another reason for my continued boycott of your store.
Thanks to your message, I am realizing that I need to be even more vocal about my abhorrence of the Whole Foods brand. There is nothing respectful or holistic about a huge, now international, green-washed chain of stores shipping food all over the world. Whole Foods Market is a leader in the co-opting of grassroots movements for corporate profit and in the creation of Industrial Organic- the antithesis of everything that I stand for. Whole Foods Market is not what we need to bring local, seasonal, fresh and trustworthy foods to the table. All we need is for companies like yours to stop profiting from oppression. All we need is better leaders, fewer lies and oh, the fall of western capitalism.
John would hate that, right?