Factory-like industrial farms subject billions of animals raised each year for meat, milk and eggs to painful practices and confine them in ways that stifle their basic needs and urges.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the problem. But as a consumer, you have more power than you may know.
By shifting demand away from factory-farmed products and, if you buy animal-based foods, seeking out products that come from higher-welfare conditions, concerned consumers show companies that there is no market for cruelty.
If you eat meat, eggs or dairy, look for certifications on packages that require better treatment and independent farm audits, specifically Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane and Global Animal Partnership. Unfortunately, common terms like “humane,” “hormone-free,” and “natural” can be meaningless when it comes to animal welfare. Download our label guide and take it with you the next time you hit the grocery store so you’re armed with facts.
Go to the Source
Farmer's markets are a great way to connect to local food producers and find out more about their practices. You can locate a market near you here. If you're buying animal products, start by asking whether the animals have pasture-access, what breeds they use and what their policies are on antibiotics. Farmers tend to appreciate an informed consumer, so don't be shy!
Ask and Receive
Don't forget that you have the power to insist on more humanely raised products in your stores! You can impact which brands your grocery store carries by demanding those bearing one of the meaningful welfare certifications listed above. Our supermarket request letter is easy to print and give to store managers.
Big changes to diet can be daunting, but programs such as Meatless Monday or VB6 are gaining popularity because they challenge us to replace animal-based foods with plant-based foods for just one day or even one part of the day. Reducing demand for animal products forces animal agribusiness to focus on improving their practices.
We can all make a difference for farm animals with every welfare-conscious choice!