We traveled from Illinois to California to deliver our petition of nearly 370,000 signatures in person on March 14, 2018. We met with some management at Trader Joe’s headquarters. Because of our efforts and your support, soon after our meeting, Trader Joe’s announced a timeline to phase out gestation crates from their supply chain.

Many of us are loyal Trader Joe’s shoppers who appreciate the grocery chain’s somewhat healthy, low-priced foods, upbeat atmosphere, and superior customer service. That’s why it was especially disheartening to learn that unlike every major grocer in the U.S.,

Trader Joe’s still doesn’t have a policy to eliminate gestation crates from its supply chain.  

We at Crate Free USA decided to do something about this. With the help of Change.org, we created a petition urging Trader Joe’s to take the humane road like so many others and commit to a 100% gestation crate free supply chain.  

At the time this post was published, our petition had garnered more than 368,000 signatures.

Trader Joe's Picket Sign

Gestation crates are widely recognized as cruel and inhumane. They confine breeding pigs throughout their four-month pregnancy in a space so tiny that it’s roughly the same size as the animals’ bodies. The crate is so narrow it prevents them from even turning around. The pigs are subsequently transferred into another crate to give birth, are then re-impregnated and put back into a gestation crate. This inhumane cycle repeats, pregnancy after pregnancy, for virtually their entire lives, adding up to years of immobilization.

pig crates

Almost every major company in the food industry—from restaurants like McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, Cracker Barrel, and Quiznos to retailers such as Costco, Whole Foods, Kroger and Wal-Mart—have recognized the need to catch up to public opinion and end the use of gestation crates.

It is time for Trader Joe’s do the same.

Trader Joe’s cares about customer satisfaction so let’s let them know that their customers are no longer satisfied with a healthy, fresh-format grocery chain that sells pork from suppliers that have inhumane and dated animal practices.

After several weeks, Trader Joe’s did respond to public concerns over its pork suppliers, but did actually not to say anything concrete about eliminating the crates.

This is the first time TJ’s has publicly acknowledged its use of gestation crates, a practice animal welfare groups consider inhumane.

Please sign our petition here.


Author bio:  Lisa Lubin is an Emmy-award winning video consultant, producer, travel writer and photographer. She’s a life-long animal lover from New Jersey who’s been living in Chicago for 20+ years. Lisa has also volunteered PAWS and Feline Friends Chicago as a cat foster. She joined the Crate Free USA team in August 2016 and is now the executive director, website editor, and volunteer coordinator.  

Crate Free USA Logo

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Crate Free USA. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

We are now Crate Free USA!


We have some news to share that we are pretty excited about…

We have changed our name to Crate Free USA!

But our mission remains the same: to reduce the suffering

of animals on factory farms.


We are still based in Illinois and will continue our grassroots efforts to support local farmers who pasture raise and treat their animals and the environment with respect. And, we’ll be as vocal as ever about the growth of factory farms in Illinois and beyond and all of the negative impacts on animals, the environment, and rural communities.


That said, we have also been working on national campaigns for a few years now — starting with our success in 2018 in getting Trader Joe’s to commit to a largely crate-free pork supply chain.  And now we are deeply engaged in two other campaigns, both national in scope, to get Aldi and Costco to take a strong stand for pig welfare and commit to a public timeline to go 100% crate-free.  


Our new name more clearly reflects the scope of our work and we are excited to continue our work on behalf of farmed animals across America. We hope you will continue to support us in this important work. Onwards!

Thank you!