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Dawn Lafreeda, Lead the Way: Protest Against Denny’s Largest Franchisee

Animal Equality has taken further action against Denny's in its campaign, demanding the corporation keep to its promise to end crates for mother pigs.
September 26, 2023 Updated: September 28, 2023
Denny's Protest at Dawn Lafreeda's premiere Denny's protest in front of Dawn Lafreeda's premiere

On Thursday, September 21st, around a dozen animal advocates attended the Philadelphia premiere of a documentary produced by Denny’s largest franchise owner, Dawn Lafreeda.

While the film raises important questions about the disparities women face in the business world, Lafreeda remains silent about a crucial issue in her business world at Denny’s.

Around a dozen advocates showed up with signs and banners asking Dawn to “oppose animal cruelty” and influence Denny’s to end the use of tiny crates for pregnant pigs.

Curious attendees stopped to ask protestors more about the issue while entering the premier. They were shocked by what was shared. 

When the premiere was over, movie-goers walked out to a light-up, mobile billboard displaying a photo of a pig in a gestation crate.

Piglet in a factory farm


Pigs are highly social animals who are often considered smarter than dogs.

You can protect these intelligent animals by simply choosing plant‑based alternatives.

The Denny’s Controversy

Back in 2012, Denny’s made a public commitment to eliminate gestation crates from its operations, joining other popular restaurant chains such as Chili’s and Cracker Barrel in this effort. In an issued statement, Greg Linford, Denny’s former vice president of procurement and distribution said: “Denny’s takes its role as a responsible corporate citizen seriously. We will endeavor to purchase products from companies that provide gestation crate-free pork and are committed to influencing our suppliers to share in a gestation crate-free vision for the future.”

Following its commitment to eliminate gestation crates from its operations, Denny’s provided a follow-up statement two years later. In that statement, a Denny’s official stated that removing crates from the company’s supply chain was the “best for our company, our guests, and our continued work to improve animal welfare.” Additionally, the statement outlined Denny’s efforts to request regular updates from its suppliers on the progress being made toward transitioning to crate-free housing for pigs.

Denny’s has since reported little progress, sparking the launch of a nationwide campaign by Animal Equality this past January. The animal protection group is urging the restaurant chain to “keep its promise to mother pigs”. 

The fight to end cruelty is an ongoing battle, and Animal Equality is leading the charge with this powerful campaign urging Denny’s to commit to end this cruelty. However, despite these efforts, Denny’s has remained silent on the issue. Even though the road ahead may be long, Animal Equality remains dedicated to fighting for animals, one where they are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. 

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