News and Commentary

Hashtag Demanding A ‘Boycott’ of Jimmy John’s Blows Up On Twitter After Old Photo Of Owner Posing With Dead Elephant Makes Rounds
A logo of the sandwich restaurant chain, specializing in delivery Jimmy John's hangs outside one of their shops in downtown Washington, DC, June 9, 2016
A logo of the sandwich restaurant chain, specializing in delivery Jimmy John’s hangs outside one of their shops in downtown Washington, DC, June 9, 2016

On Friday, the hashtag #BoycottJimmyJohns was trending on Twitter after actor Mark Hamill and several others retweeted a post from user @yossarian317 featuring an old photograph of Jimmy John’s sandwich company owner Jimmy John Liautaud posing with a dead elephant:

@yossarian317’s original tweet, which was from April and appears to have been deleted, had accumulated over 30,000 “likes” and been retweeted more than 35,400 times. Hamill’s tweet, which states: “Thumbs up to a boycott of all @jimmyjohns restaurants! (with apologies for posting this obscene photo)” has over 85,000 “likes” and 26,800 retweets.

Hamill later sent out another tweet featuring three more photos of Jimmy John’s founder Liautaud posing with killed game:

Just wanted to let the coward who deleted yesterday’s tweet know that sadly enough, if you Google “@jimmyjohns Trophy Hunter images” – there’s plenty more obscene photos to choose from.

Kelvin Peña (@BrotherNature), an internet personality famous for his photo and video content with animals, also retweeted the @yossarian317 tweet from April, and suggested boycotting Jimmy John’s. His tweet has been “liked” and retweeted a combined 423,000 times as of publication.

Others got in on the boycott train:

Only jerks give two thumbs up after murdering a peaceful animal in their home. This is the CEO of @JimmyJohns over the body of an elephant he killed. Use the viral hashtag #BoycottJimmyJohns to spread the word that KILLING ANIMALS IS NOT A SPORT!

When an elephant was tasked with laying down logs in pre-dug holes, it outright refused when a dog was sleeping in one. It wouldn’t do anything until the dog left. Elephants have so much empathy and compassion for others. The owner of Jimmy Johns is a monster. #BoycottJimmyJohns

Elephants are majestic creatures. The owner of Jimmy Johns is a sadistic butcher for mutilating and murdering elephants. #boycottjimmyjohns

The owner of Jimmy Johns is a repeat offender. Feel free to stop buying his sandwiches and funding his inhumane exploits.

The owner of Jimmy Johns has just posted a pic of himself sitting on a mutilated elephant that he killed with a “thumbs up.” I refuse to re-post that sickening image. Needless to say, [if] you are not already doing #BoycottJimmyJohns, you really should.

Some of the photographs of Jimmy John Liautaud were taken on a hunting trip facilitated by Johan Calitz Safaris in 2010, according to Snopes. Other records have Liautaud game-hunting as far back as 2002. The photos resurface every few years, often sparking backlash against Liautaud and his sandwich chain.

Speaking with the Chicago Tribune in 2015, Liautaud said:

I choose to hunt and I choose to fish. … Everything I’ve done has been totally legal. And the meat has been eaten, if not by me than by someone I’m with. I don’t hunt big African game anymore.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there are approximately 415,000 African elephants living today.

Meanwhile, according to MarketWatch, which gathered data from Pew Research, “The average American now [2016] eats roughly 193 pounds of beef, pork and/or chicken a year (or more than 3.7 pounds a week), up from roughly 184 pounds in 2012.”