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Whole Foods Market Arrests Renowned Vegan Activist

Well-known vegan and social justice activist arrested during peaceful protest against the sale of rabbit meat.

Food Empowerment Project Founder and Executive Director, Lauren Ornelas, was arrested this weekend after participating in a peaceful demonstration to protest the sale of rabbit meat at Whole Foods Market. After the store complained to local police—who did not make any arrests in the legal protest—the manager of the Sebastopol, CA market made a citizen's arrest in order to silence the message Ornelas and other activists were giving to customers. Whole Foods Market began selling rabbit in stores earlier this year, and organizations like House Rabbit Society and SaveABunny have led vocal efforts to protest the decision ever since. According to Marcy Sherman-Schaaf, Executive Director of Northern California's SaveABunny, rabbits "are as intelligent and sensitive as cats and dogs, can use a litter box like a cat, and live with millions of Americans as beloved family members. We expected better community values from Whole Foods Market." The international grocery chain has allegedly gone so far as to block social media users who speak out against the sale of rabbit, and delete any comments regarding the issue on the company's Facebook pages.

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