A sinister calculation is at work for Chipotle. On the one hand, it waxes rhetorically about its high welfare standards and this rhetoric serves to improve the company's popularity. On the other, this intensified popularity means that Chipotle's demand for meat and dairy will outstrip the supply of meat and dairy available from the farmers it earnestly claims to support.
The upshot is almost criminal: the company benefits financially from a pro-animal welfare reputation while giving the idea a token presence at best in its increasingly expansive supply chain. At the end of the day, if Chipotle needs commodity beef, chicken, or pork, it gets it.
Not terribly far beneath the media scrim, though, some critics are becoming aware of Chipotle's disingenuous dedication to sustainable and humane animal farming. A rancher named Mike Callicrate, for one, has been on a one-man mission to highlight the disparity between Chipotle's rhetoric and reality. He demonstrates with compelling evidence that, as Chipotle was trotting out its "Food with Integrity" program it was also buying standard commodity beef from Australia. Others are following the same scent.