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010711 Actor Arrested at Virginia PETA Protest

July 3, 2001

Chicago - Actor James Cromwell was among six animal rights activists arrested at a Wendy's restaurant, a spokesman for the protest group said.

Cromwell, who was nominated for an Oscar for the 1995 film “Babe” and starred in its 1998 sequel, was taken into custody with the other demonstrators at a Wendy's in Vienna, Virginia while urging customers to eat elsewhere, a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said.

The group was protesting what a PETA spokesman said was the mistreatment of cows and chickens by Wendy's.

In a statement released by PETA, Cromwell credited his hit movie -- which features a talking pig and other farm animals -- with generating new sympathy for abused animals.

“After 'Babe,' people recognized that pigs and other animals abused on factory farms are sensitive, gentle animals,” he said. “It is high time that big corporations like Wendy's stopped treating these wonderful animals like meat machines.”

Denny Lynch, a spokesman for Wendy's International Inc., said that he wasn't aware that the actor was among those arrested at their restaurant but defended the animal treatment standards of the country's third-largest burger chain.

“Our animal welfare guidelines equal or exceed those of McDonald's or Burger King,” Lynch said, adding that the fast food chains as a group have done more to ensure good treatment of animals than other restaurants.

Lynch said Wendy's had conducted animal welfare audits of suppliers since the early 1990s and had strengthened the program recently to exceed government standards as well as industry standards.

The PETA spokesman said its protest was a “warning shot” to Wendy's to take more responsibility for the way that animals are treated before they end up on the menu.

Wendy's, which has 5,800 restaurants worldwide, also owns Tim Horton's the top coffee and doughnut chain in Canada.


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