Claiming that your meat is “humanely raised” and “natural” may end up costing a business more than simply finding specialized suppliers. Especially if its consumers want sustainable, humanely raised meat and dairy products and learn that what they have been consuming isn’t in any sense of the word.
When you advertise meat to environmentally aware consumers, you need to be aware of what goes on in your meat producers’ farms. The fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain Dos Toros is now learning that when you are marketing meat products to conscious consumers, you better understand what takes place on the farm. The chain is being sued for making false claims about “humanely” and “naturally” raised meat while serving chicken and pork from suppliers who engage in animal torture.
The lawsuit describes in nauseating detail how the meat producers used to supply the fast-casual Mexican restaurant franchise. Clemens Farms, which makes pork for Dos Toros, is accused of operating an “inhumane” facility with “unnatural” industrial conditions that did not allow pigs to see sunlight for their entire lives. It cites allegations dating back to 2018, when a Clemens Farms slaughterhouse was shut down by the USDA for “widespread egregious animal suffering.”
In addition, FreeBird, the site’s chicken supplier, was accused of having documented cases of chickens suffocating, being “boiled while still alive,” and sustaining injuries like broken wings.
A response has been issued by Dos Toros, which claims that it is “taking (the allegations) very seriously.”
Although any treatment on a farm that generates meat may not be “humane,” the lawsuit claims that any “rational customers” would consider the events documented at the vendors’ farms to be unethical. The suit also says Dos Toros is guilty of “trying to deceive consumers about where its goods come from,” for financial gain, by displaying prominent signage in its restaurants stating that its pork and chicken are “naturally” and “humanely” raised.
As a growing phenomena, customers are increasingly concerned about where their meals come from. Whole Foods and Chipotle have both been targeted in recent years for claims of “naturally raised” and “humane meat,” despite the fact that the actual source practices were unclear. Now, even investors have forced chains to improve their suppliers as Carl Icahn recently did at McDonald’s regarding its pork supply.
Dos Toros has 22 locations in New Jersey, New York, and Illinois. The restaurant specializes in fast-casual Mexican food and fresh ingredients.