Whole Foods supermarkets will be implementing a new “animal welfare” rating system in their stores starting next year.
Beginning in January, the company plans to introduce signs in stores that will allegedly give customers specific information about how food animals were raised prior to slaughter. The company says this will give customers the ability to make “more educated” choices about food.
This venture works on the premise that there are certain methods of raising animals which rate as “humane” and others that rate as “cruel” and that there is a delineation between the two. Customers would, in theory, prefer to buy meat they believe comes from animals who were treated “humanely”.
As animal-related issues become more and more a part of the mainstream, many companies that produce animal products have attempted to co-opt the conscience of customers by creating arbitrary labels for animal products such as “cage-free” eggs, “free range” meats, etc. The goal is to capitalize on a growing consciousness without having to really change the methods of production.
As people start to question the morality of eating animals, they are faced with choice: to change their lifestyle in a meaningful way by refusing to eat animal products, or to buy into marketing by companies that claim their products are nicer, kinder, more compassionate.
Veganism is an easy lifestyle, but people are creatures of habit and would prefer not to change their lifestyles if they don’t have to. These supposedly “humane” animal products don’t serve to benefit animals, they serve to benefit people who want to feel better about their diet without having to change their diet.
A dead animal is still a dead animal, and the bucolic images these marketing campaigns attempt to conjure up are as vapid and immaterial as fairy tales. Even if your house is really comfortable, would you be happy knowing you could never leave it and that eventually a man would come for you and kill you so that someone else could eat you?
Whole Foods provides an amazing selection of fruits and vegetables, mock dairy and meat, and tons of other vegan-friendly foods. But they also cater to companies and consumers who want to perpetuate the idea that killing animals for food is acceptable under certain circumstances.
If you want to benefit the welfare and well-being of animals, go Vegan. Set the standard that animal life is worth preserving under all circumstances.
Photo: That Other Paper