PETA began its criticism of the Mepkin Abbey's egg farming practices in February of this year, saying it had under-cover videos of thousands of hens crammed into small cages. The group also said it had evidence the Abbey's hen suppliers cut off the animals' beeks and killed off the males, which PETA says are cruel practices.
As you can see from what we wrote to PETA above, we believe they should have extended a hand to you rather than threatening a boycott. It seems that's all the group knows how to do.--boycott. But, did you, the good fathers of the Abbey, extend a similar hand to PETA? Ask them for help? Perhaps they would have helped you transition to a "cruelty free" egg farming operation?
But, we will never know, will we? The Mepkin Monks are phasing out the egg farming business over the next 18 months. Calling it quits. PETA has moved on. After all, the group has too many "battles" to fight to give too much thought to how they handled this one.
The Ending: Meanwhile, in the low-country of South Carolina, there's a little more fear about what a "big city" activist group can do to a farmer who's farming practices they believe are cruel. Local grocers also have a new fear, and will likely double-check farmer's they buy local products from.
There's also many questions left unanswered. Chief among these questions is why a God-loving, devoted group of Trappist monks wouldn't change their egg farming ways and create a model for God and man on how to humanely raise eggs and care for hens? There will be lots of loathing for some time over how this story was played out, and how it ultimately ended.
Had PETA and the Mepkin Monks talked, contemplated the greater meaning of things, and reached a compromise, this could have been a merry Christmas tale. Instead, it's merely a tale of fear and loathing.