Humane Meat: Are You Buying It?

Comedic New PETA Video Short Takes On 'Humane,' 'Grass-Fed,' 'Cage-Free,' and Other Advertising Tricks of the Meat Trade

For Immediate Release:
June 25, 2014

Wendy Herman 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – You can’t go to a grocery store today without being urged to buy meat that’s “humane,” “farm fresh,” “compassionate,” or “all-natural”—but what does that mean? PETA cuts through the static in its new video “Humane Meat: Taste the Happy!” which delivers a heaping helping of facts, along with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

In the video, which is styled like a ’50s sitcom, an ethically minded shopper looking for “certified humane” meat encounters a “meat expert” eager to share what labels such as that mean—or, more accurately, don’t mean, from “humanely” raised cows who are castrated and branded without painkillers to “cage-free” chickens who spend their lives in severely crowded, ammonia-filled sheds.

“The meat industry is deceiving well-intentioned people with empty promises of ‘compassionate’ meat,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “If these ‘humane’ labels spelled out that the animals still had body parts removed with a hot blade or a pair of clippers and were transported in all weather conditions, hung upside down, and had their throats slit, shoppers would swap their burgers for vegan meals in a heartbeat.”

As the meat expert points out in the video, “compassionately handled” chickens are often dunked alive into scalding-hot water. “Free-range” birds are genetically altered to grow four times their normal size—so, as the expert points out, “They’re ‘free,’ but they can’t walk. So being ‘free’ isn’t really much of a perk.” “Grass-fed” cows commonly ingest pesticides, and as for “all-natural”? “No one knows what that even means,” says the meat expert.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind