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HSUS Files Complaint Against “Humane” Egg Farms

HSUS Files Complaint Against “Humane” Egg Farms

The problem that comes along as animal rights ideologies expand into the mainstream is that companies will inevitably look for a way to capitalize and profit from our most generous and kindest instincts. The more that the public becomes aware of the horrors of factory farming and modern industrial animal agriculture, the wider the chasm becomes between the two (loosely speaking) “solutions” to the problem.

There are those who have seen the plight of animals as indicative of a larger philosophical problem: that humans cannot view animals simply as resources or products and that we must recognize their right to exist, to live without pain or human interference. These people adopt a Vegan lifestyle because it is the natural first step to combating the use of animals as products.

Humane Watching
The other idea is to simply try to find a better, more ethical way to use animals as products. As the Vegan population is growing, there is also a growing market for “kinder” products such as free range meat, cage-free eggs, etc. There is a term for this phenomenon.  It’s called “humane washing”, advertising products as morally acceptable on the basis that the animals in question were treated kindly.

The idea of a humane animal product is a contradiction in terms, as evidenced most recently by The Humane Society’s complaint to the Federal Trade Commission against Rose Acre Farms. Rose Acre Farms, the nation’s second largest egg producer, has been making claims that their eggs are produced in idyllic conditions, with their hens able to roam as they please, socialize, and scratch and peck to their heart’s content. The halcyon picture painted by Rose Acre Farms however has turned out to be nothing but a marketing ploy to sell factory-farmed eggs to a public that is increasingly concerned with the treatment of animals.

According to the complaint filed by the HSUS, their undercover investigation found “birds trapped in the wires of battery cages, unable to reach food or water, birds with broken bones and untreated, prolapsed uteruses, the mummified corpses of hens in cages with live hens, and abandoned hens that had fallen into manure pits.”

The complaint asks that the FTC take action to force Rose Acre Farms to cease their advertising which the HSUS calls “deceiving”.

For years the industry didn’t want consumers to know how farm animals were treated, and now that the public knows about the conditions in factory farms there is an attempt to assuage consumers’ guilt through advertising.

One thing to do if you care about animal suffering is not to buy into advertising claims from the people who make money off of animal suffering; instead, go Vegan.

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Photo: Katie Brady

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203 comments

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2:16PM PST on Nov 19, 2010

I don't eat animals of any kind & haven't for most of my life.I'm 56yrs old & could never understand the need nor desire to do so,but frankly I've accepted that I'll never change carnivores,(although I'll never completely give up!). Recently I watched a movie about a brilliant woman with Autism who saw the respect that meat-eaters should have for cattle,not just in the caring but in the slaughtering of them.I don't know a great deal about Autism,but was under the belief that most people with Autism don't always connect with things the same way that others do,yet even 'she' could connect to the inhumanity of the entire system. If she could connect with it,what does it say about all the so-called 'normal thinkers'? Cattle,pigs,horses,chickens,& so on & so on & so on! THEY ALL COUNT! When will it ever end?!

6:32AM PDT on Sep 18, 2010

I think for those who eat meat, it's not a question so much of "humane" treatment of the animal as it is a health concern for the person who is eating the meat, i.e., a chicken pumped full of hormones, etc., versus one who is able to walk around and eat naturally.

3:12AM PDT on Jul 9, 2010

@Caroline L (sorry I sent this through personal message as well, I meant to put it here):

I disagree.

although this may indeed occur in some cases, it is not necessarily true.

personally, I cut off any feeling towards the animal I have killed.it's there, it's food, and I'm going to eat.

I feel neither love nor hate, any more than I feel love or hate for the carrot that I pull out of the ground or the rocks in my garden.

it's similar (same mental discipline) to how I deal with injured people in an accident situation. if I allowed myself to feel emotion, then I would be less efficient or incapable of helping the victims, which would in turn reduce the chance of victims surviving.

basically, if a job needs doing, then do it. letting emotions get in the way is a weakness. one that could, in the right circumstance, lead to an innocent human being's death, which is of course unacceptable.

9:13PM PDT on Jul 8, 2010

I have thought about this a lot and I think the problem with the animal industry is inherent in its purpose. When hire people to slaughter animals you encourage those people to hate and resent the animals. It is not a normal condition for someone to be able to slaughter an animal he or she cares about. In fact, the job of slaughtering in itself creates a need for contempt. If you can hate the animal, think of it as useless and stupid, then the job is easier. Consider the person who views another person ridiculing a disabled or unattractive individual. Doesn't the simple act of ridicule and disrespect create the atmosphere where more ridicule is acceptable? Isn't this the impetus behind an otherwise normal man joining a group of friends who are gang raping a girl? Isn't this pysch 101? I think the solution, if there is one that matters other than just not slaughtering at all, would be to hire more compassionate or caring persons. That is, if compassionate hearts can bring themselves to do this ugly job. Other than ceasing the murder of animals, I cannot see how the people doing that job could ever do it kindly. That's the truth of it.

7:48AM PDT on Jul 2, 2010

Oh Victoria- I just realised today that, in my heartfelt apology, I wrote the word "shamelessly" instead of the word "shameFULLY"! Lol! That just goes to show how literate I am in the wee small hours! My sincere apologies, Victoria, for the mixed message that must have sent, and I hope you enjoy a good laugh over it too!

5:51PM PDT on Jul 1, 2010

Katherine Maar:

Thanks again for your educative contributions. The grasp you have of the extended circle of compassion is most admirable and inspiring.

If only I could send a galaxy of green stars your way!

;-)

5:02PM PDT on Jul 1, 2010

You are most welcome, Katherine! And thank you for your kind words.

My study of cats is ongoing, and I have recorded your anecdotal information regarding vegan cat food.

4:55PM PDT on Jul 1, 2010

And Diane, your comment, “cows will produce milk whether they have a calf or not” is so uninformed and senseless, I was tempted to not even respond to your ignorance of common anatomy. But I believe in education so I thought I’d clear a few things up.

After ‘coming of age’, dairy cows are kept pregnant all the time through artificial insemination or other means. This usually continues for 4 years, possibly 6 if it’s an organic factory. They’re like any other 'lactating' species. Pregnancy comes first, then milk.

People either go vegan for dietary needs, religious purposes, or ethical/moral reasons. For me, it’s the latter. Veganism to me is a way a life, something to base your decisions on.

By ‘experimenting’, I meant experimenting with the idea and talking with a vet who isn’t close-minded.

As you said, correctly, hens do lay eggs whether they’ve been fertilized or not. But ethical vegans like to treat animals as we’d like to be treated. If I were a laying hen, I wouldn’t be very happy if people never let me be near any charming, sexy studs. Roosters are known to protect/guard their females, clean them, bring them bugs, and cuddle next to them. If you take the rooster out of the equation, they aren't allowed this intimacy, and they’ll never be able to raise any offspring. It’s their right to have a mate, and babies.

3:39PM PDT on Jul 1, 2010

Lynda H, I have so much respect for you right now. However, I do still think - or rather know, from experience and research - that cats can be fed a healthy vegan diet; AMI CAT or Evolution. I thank you for considering some of the known facts. But AMI and Evolution have both gone through the proper testing. A friend feeds AMI to her cat - Madeliena - and takes her to regular checkups, and she's never been healthier. Before Liena went 'vegan' (as in diet) she had horrible breath and course fur. Now she smells fantastic (not that I go sniffing her breath) and her coat is so soft.
Perhaps being a healthy vegan differs from cat to cat, but from what I've seen and heard, it's not only perfectly safe, but healthier. While these are the facts, as I know them, I think it’s fantastic that you’ve put so much time and thought into this. And I truly thank you for choosing the most ‘humane’ way of feeding your cat.
I guess that this is the sort of thing that people just don’t agree on, no matter how many ‘facts’ we both have. It’s kind of like a home birth, or giving birth in a hospital. I’ll never have children, but if I did, a hospital wouldn’t even be an option. The factors that make this hypothetical decision for me are the same for a vegan cat.

So, I guess we'll just agree to disagree, but thanks for being so friendly.

12:41PM PDT on Jul 1, 2010

(Cont.)

Most "pet" foods come from the unhealthiest and most abused factory farmed animals to be found. I've SEEN the dead piles myself; there are no words to describe the sickening experience. It's also wise to be skeptical about "human" or top grade animal flesh, or that of the so-called "highest quality", considering the confusing standards and dubious practices of the industry; this also comes from the advice of a former mega-cattle rancher. That also includes fish, which has become factory-farmed and has always been poorly regulated. What about "fresh", wild-caught fish and seafood? The toxicity is through the roof and the animals lives are NEVER considered.

As for me, I advocate AMI CAT non-GMO Vegan cat food. AMI CAT is the result of 15 years of intensive research and are scientifically formulated and veterinarian approved. AMI vegan cat food began as a personal "do-gooder" project. AMI was founded by Prof. Michele Ghezzo, also the founder and president of the Franca Melchiori Fasan Foundation, which cares for and advocates on behalf of over 900 feral cats in Italy. All of these cats are fed AMI GMO-free vegan cat food. Michele is also an official advisor to the Italian Parliament on matters relating to legislation that affects animals. (See: http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/petfood-newvegan.html)

Thank you.

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