Australia’s leading supermarket chain Coles announced it is phasing out the use of factory farms one year ahead of schedule. The grocery made the declaration in support of Animals Australia’s largest campaign to end factory farming practices.
Coles reported their pledge means it will “free 34,000 mother pigs from cramped stalls and 350,000 hens from cages.”
Animals Australia blames factory farming “as the single biggest cause of cruelty to animals in the country” and they want to see it end. The animal rights group has developed a very effective campaign which includes a TV ad, featuring flying piglets that tell the hellish story of animals sentenced to life in cramped cages.
Animals Australia is counting on the fact that consumers will demand more humane conditions for farm animals when they are informed and see how the food on their dinner plates were treated during their lifetime.
“We know that factory farming only exists because their secrets are secured behind high walls and closed doors – and that an informed community would not knowingly support such cruelty,” said Lyn White, Animals Australia Campaign Director.
“This campaign will inform, inspire and empower Australians to make compassionate choices that will improve the lives of these animals, by refusing factory farmed products, buying fewer animals products, or by going meat free,” she added.
The campaign has worked so well Cole’s main competitor, Woolworths has also pledged to phase out factory farmed animals. The company said all of its “fresh pork” will be produced by farmers who operate stall-free farms by mid-2013.
More grocery stores are making the change to humanely raised meat products. In 2011 Whole Foods Markets started a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating System that informs consumers how chickens, pigs and cattle were raised. All of the 1200 farms that supply to Whole Foods participate in the program.
Humaneitarian.org has a list on their website of national and regional food companies that label meat: grass-fed, pasture-raised, free range, organic or humane certified. Their suggestion is to shop at co-op grocery stores and natural food stores for the best source of food raised by individual farmers.
Some of the stores listed on their site are: Hannaford, Organic Prairie, Whole Foods, Murray’s and Vermont Smoke and Cure.
Below is a non-graphic video from Animals Australia which explains the “Make It Possible” campaign. Famous Australians such as former tennis star Pat Rafter, singer Missy Higgins, TV host Rove McManus and comedians Dave Hughes and Judith Lucy are featured. The first two minutes of the video shows the TV ad, “Pigs Fly” which was aired across Australia and led to a change of policy for the two grocery giants.
Photo Credit: jennicatpink