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first experience with censorship

I had such a weird experience.  I usually rely on Yelp reviews and I always assumed they were really honest.  I posted a review about a place I used to love in Lexington, Massachusetts called Wilson Farm.  I love that they grow their own food there and it is sortof like a farm stand in a more urban setting.  I did recently learn, however, that the fresh eggs they sell are not free range or cage free.  A friend of mine was able to tour through the chicken facility and the hens were indeed in battery cages.  So, I put my review up on Yelp.  This is how it read:

I really used to love Wilson Farm. I stopped there at least once per week to pick dinner up on my way to a friend’s house in Lexington. Beautiful flowers and LOVELY produce. The “quick” prepared food was delish as well. There is something so special and charming about a store that sells produce grown in their back yard that also sells gorgeous flowers and plants AND yummy meals. Truly a rare find in such an urban place.

But sadly, I found out about their hens and I had to stop being a customer. Prior to that, I felt it was worth the higher prices because of the green/local/farm movement. If you are going to position yourself as a local place to buy food and produce, you can’t also have an overcrowded barn filled with hens producing very NON-cage-free eggs. It is so sad. They have something so special and they are just throwing it away.

I will happily become a customer again once I know their hens are free roaming, have lots of uncrowded outdoor time, are able to spread their wings, and are legitimately thriving and happy birds. Until then–I just can’t give them my money.

Then, I received a note today letting me know that my review was taken down because it didn’t follow guidelines.  Guidelines for reviewing an establishment? Their tagline is “real people, real reviews.”  I could see this happening if my review was not about the business at all and really aggressive, but I complemented their business!  I merely stated that I couldn’t support a company that had battery cages.

Wilson Farms could be perfect.  They have a great set up and a loyal following.  Oddly, they are one of just a few egg producers that still use battery cages in the state of Massachusetts.  That doesn’t make any more sense to me than my review being pulled from Yelp.

2 Comments

  1. Wow. This makes me really question the honesty and reliability of yelp reviews. I too, rely heavily on them and post reviews often. I’ve never heard of anyone’s post being removed like this. It’s really upsetting. The hen/egg situation is sad. The regulations on egg labeling make buying healthy cruelty free eggs hard enough as it is. For a local farm to sell the eggs of caged hens is so infuriating. If you can’t source free-range, why bother?

  2. Thanks Andrea! I agree with you. It is just such a bummer — the whole thing. I’d give anything to rid the world of factory farms.

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