Most of the meat, poultry, dairy and eggs sold in American grocery stores and restaurants come from animals raised under intensive conditions on “factory farms.” Animals on these operations suffer pain and distress as a result of extreme confinement, bodily mutilations without pain relief, and denial of the opportunity to behave normally.
Farm Welfare in the US
Consumers have the power to change this through the food choices we make every day. Farmers will produce, and retailers will sell, what shoppers demand. Seemingly small changes—like switching brands in favor of a more humanely raised product or consuming fewer animal-based foods—can make a big difference in the lives of farm animals.
Unfortunately, the knowledge required to navigate the complicated world of food labeling claims is not always easy to obtain. If consumers are not provided with clear information on the significance of animal-raising claims such as “free range” and “humanely raised,” they can be easily misled into purchasing a product that is not consistent with their personal values.
AWI is committed to helping compassionate consumers locate food from animals raised to high-welfare standards, as well as revealing inaccurate and misleading labeling schemes.
There are several options for finding higher-welfare animal products. You can locate farmers markets throughout the country where you can meet farmers and learn about their animal raising practices. If you purchase animal products at Whole Foods Markets, please look for those labeled as Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Step 4, 5, or 5+.
The Cornucopia Institute’s organic egg and dairy scorecards can help you find products from higher-welfare farms. The scorecards include links to the farms’ websites to locate where to buy their products. You can also go to http://buyingpoultry.com and enter the name of a retailer near you to find information about the welfare standards associated with the poultry products it sells. If you cannot find higher welfare products in a store near you, please speak up and tell your local store that you would like to see these products on its shelves.