On Compass Group’s “Be a Flexitarian” Initiative

One of my primary reasons for writing this blog is to call animal agribusiness on its blatant lies and unethical business practices: its bad faith defenses of cruelty, its horrendous conditions for workers and animals alike, and its reckless behavior toward the environment and the public health.

As important as it is to cover these issues, it’s even more important to recognize companies that are taking serious measures to improve the lives of animals. One of the best such examples is Compass Group, the world’s largest food service company. Compass operates 8,500 cafeterias at schools, government buildings, and corporate headquarters in the United States.

In 2010, Compass launched its “Be A Flexitarian” initiative in which the company increased its vegetarian options at its accounts nation-wide, while encouraging its customers to eat more plant-based foods. Never before had a large food service company embarked on such a measure, and this initiative exposed hundreds of thousands of people to the benefits of leaving animals off our plates. This is the second far-reaching initiative undertaken by Compass to help farmed animals. In 2007, Compass switched all of its whole eggs (at the time, totaling 48 million eggs per year) away from battery egg farms.

As animal advocates, we have a duty to expose companies that act unethically where animals, workers, and the environment are concerned. At the same time, we should laud companies like Compass that strive to reduce the number of animals in our food system, while reducing needless cruelty.


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