PETALUMA (KPIX 5) — Hundreds of animal activists swarmed a North Bay farm Tuesday afternoon in a dramatic confrontation that led to dozens of arrests.

With the Tuesday protest, the activists were trying to free birds from an egg farm in Petaluma.

It was about as peaceful as a mass arrest can get.

Forty activists from Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights organization, held flowers and sang songs as they volunteered to be placed in handcuffs and charged with misdemeanor trespassing.

“We tried everything in our power to negotiate with them. But there were 40 people who were determined to elevate their cause and voluntarily get arrested,” said Sonoma County Sheriff Sgt. Spencer Crum.

“We’d like this to be a national discussion. Like, President Trump how do you feel about this issue?” said Direct Action Everywhere activist Paul Picklesimer

A wall of protesters walked out of Cal Eggs Farm in Petaluma, carrying chickens they believe are being mistreated.

Members of Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE, as they are sometime referred to believe they have the legal right to do this.

It’s an argument they’ve made after more than a dozen arrests to date. It’s an argument that has worked, as all previous California charges against them have been dropped.

Farmers KPIX spoke with disagree.

“It’s bull crap,” said Petaluma resident Phil Brooks, who lives nearby and works in the industry. He said Cal Eggs farmers are close personal friends of his.

“I understand what they’re trying to do, but they don’t have the right to come onto private property [and] disturb a legitimate business,” said Brooks. “These people take care of these animals better than some people care for their kids.”

But DxE is desperate for public discussion. The activists are willing to provoke or go to prison if necessary.

DxE’s co-founder and organizer Wayne Hsiung specifically called out Whole Foods and Amazon executives, as the Amazon-owned grocery chain is one of the customers the farm sells its eggs to.

“It’s time for Whole Foods to have a conversation with the activists. They’ve been ignoring and I think the executives will recognize there’s something profoundly wrong about what they’re selling.”

Comments (2)
  1. You have missed the point – these eggs are marketed as humane and organic – and “cage -free” well those chickens are sick, mistreated and their toxic food is entering children’s bodies. Get it straight – don’t just quote those who have a vested interest in profiting from their heinous practices. This issue isn’t going away and we are mainly highly educated people who happen to love animals, too!

    Animals, domestic and wild, have for centuries provided emotional and economic value to people. It is important for everyone to understand the need for animal welfare and what factors of animal care and use are really in the animal’s best interest. We have a responsibility to provide quality care to all animals that touch our lives, especially those we have domesticated and purposely brought into our world. While animals have a “right” to that care and protection, “animal rights” – as used by activists in today’s animal rights (AR) movement – has an entirely different meaning.
    Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), PETA, ASPCA, Humane USA, Fund for Animals, Animal Legal Defense Fund, In Defense of Animals, Doris Day Animal League, Farm Sanctuary, Animal Protection Institute, Animal Liberation Front, SHAC, Institute for Animals & Society, Sea Shepherd – nearly 100 animal rights organizations in all – support “animal rights”, which means ABOLISHING HUMAN OWNERSHIP AND USE OF ALL ANIMALS. In varying degrees, these are vigilante groups that take the law into their own hands and have made it onto the FBI “Homeland Terrorist” lists.

    It is actually an attack against PEOPLE, not animals.
    Unfortunately, some of the “lower echelon” that donate their time to these groups, and whose hearts are probably in the right places, have been duped as well. They think they are working for the “protection” of animals, when, in fact, their leaders have an entirely opposite, underlying, goal. This goal is kept from them, lest these folks might abandon the cause. Yes, some followers understand completely what the secret goals are; others are totally oblivious, having drunk the AR Kool Aid, and honestly believe these organizations mean well.

    • Promotes humane treatment of animals, especially those we have domesticated
    • Believes that humans have a responsibility to care for animals and insure their well-being
    • Supports education to improve the well-being of animals, both domestic and wild
    • Supports the human-animal bond; acknowledges the benefit to people from interacting with animals
    • Supports good husbandry practices
    • Supports managing animal populations by hunting
    • Supports keeping animals in zoos, enjoying animal sports, animal shows and fairs; supports animals in movies, circuses, and on stage
    • Supports responsible pet breeding and ownership
    • Supports use of animals in research under appropriate guidelines for advancement of technology and medicine
    • Supports training and use of animals in service to assist people with disabilities, search and rescue, and law enforcement
    Animal Rights:
    • Is based on a moral and ethical philosophy that no species, including humans, is better or more important than another
    • Believes pet ownership is a form of slavery
    • Believes humans have no right to use animals for food, clothing, research, or for entertainment, or any kind of service (including zoos, aquariums, rodeos, circuses, and pets)
    • Believes all animals should be liberated, to run free and fend for themselves, lead their own lives, without “human intervention”
    • Believes the life of a human and life of an animal are of equal value (despite the Bible decree that Man shall have dominion over animals)
    • Opposes purposeful breeding of domestic animals, from farm animals to pets
    • Opposes hunting and fishing
    • Believes current legal definition of animals as “property” should be ended or changed (to “guardianship” where an animal will no longer be “owned” by anyone.
    • Believes animals should either be “self-owned” or have legal standing of “personhood”
    • Plays on sympathies of true animal lovers to pass laws that restrict owners’ rights, claiming that all interaction with animals is abusive.