Happy cows and chickens on sprawling, grassy farms may smile at you from packages of “humanely raised,” “free-range,” “cage-free,” and “pasture-raised” meat, eggs, and milk at the grocery store, but animals are suffering for these foods. Ninety-nine percent of animals used for food in the U.S. are confined on massive, industrial factory farms. They’re crammed by the thousands into wire cages, metal crates, or other restrictive enclosures, often inside foul, reeking, windowless buildings. Animals exploited for foods with “humane” labels are also often subjected to cramped, filthy conditions—making it clear that there’s simply no such thing as “ethical” meat, eggs, or milk—or anything else that’s taken from an animal.
PETA needs your help to stop misleading “humane” claims and to help animals whose misery is funded by unsuspecting consumers. We need to hear from shoppers like you who may have been duped by “humane” meat, egg, and dairy items.
‘Humane’ Labels Hide Horrific Cruelty
“Humane” meat, eggs, and dairy are a myth and a marketing scheme that often dupes well-meaning consumers into feeling better about buying inherently cruelly produced items.
Animals used for food have very few protections, and existing “humane” certifications fail to prevent suffering. Humane Farm Animal Care certification, for example, allows producers to cut off young chicks’ beaks and obtain chicks from hatcheries that kill newborn male chicks in devices that resemble meat grinders because they don’t profit the industry, and it doesn’t require that “laying hens” have access to the outdoors at all.
At Plainville Farms—a former Whole Foods supplier that claims to produce “humane” turkey in a “stress-free environment” and is expected to meet higher welfare standards under its (now suspended) Global Animal Partnership certification—PETA uncovered turkeys who were thrown, kicked, and beaten.
At a supplier for Nellie’s Free Range Eggs—which claims to use “certified humane” eggs—PETA eyewitness video footage revealed that roughly 20,000 hens had been crammed into a single shed with just 1.2 square feet of space per bird, which is barely enough room for their bodies.
Cows used for milk, regardless of the “humane” labels on the packages, are separated from their babies, often within a day of their birth, and the strong emotional bond between mother and calf is traumatically severed. Mother cows will often cry out for their babies for days after they’ve been kidnapped.
Have You Unwittingly Funded Cruelty?
Have you purchased foods with labels like “free-range,” “humane,” or “grass-fed”? Do you opt for the more expensive brand with “humane” statements on the package and believe that you were misled? If you care about the way animals are treated and regret buying items with humane-washed phrases that you understood to represent the actual conditions on the farm and believe that you were misled, we want to hear from you!