Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management


Date of this Version

Spring 2023

Document Type



Janke, B., Johnson, C., McWilliams, K., Morrow, J., & Schmidt, I. (2023). Dealing with “Humanewashing” Claims: Vital Farms’ Crucial Next Step. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Vital Farms prides itself in their ethical and environmentally-friendly production of pasture-raised eggs, butter, and ghee. A popular tagline for the company is “keeping it bullsh*t-free.” This is core to their company mission and values. However, they are currently facing a PETA class action lawsuit for potential humanewashing and greenwashing, essentially false advertising. So, what happens when the Certified B-Corporation is under attack for the very thing that sets it apart from its competition? Is it possible to rebuild trust with the public and regain ethical standing after bad PR? What are humanewashing and greenwashing, and is Vital Farms guilty?