In the meat and dairy section of many grocery stores you can now find packages marked with labels such as “humanely-raised“, “free-range”, “grass-fed”, “organic” or “cruelty-free.” Each label is designed in its own way to give the consumer a sense that the products that they are purchasing are eco and animal friendly.
You can read more elsewhere about the misleading nature of these labels with regard to animal welfare, but for now let’s take a look at what they mean in terms of land use, water, greenhouse gases and protecting native species.
Are you in favor of:
- Shutting down factory farms?
- Protecting our forest, rainforest and wild spaces?
- Protecting native species, both on land and in the sea?
- Reducing greenhouse gases?
- Protecting our rivers and streams from pollution?
- Taking real steps towards ending world hunger?
If you said yes to all of the questions above, then bravo! But here is the next question, and it might be a bit tougher. Do you think eating grass-fed beef, “cruelty-free” dairy, free-range chicken, turkey and eggs, organic pork and farmed or wild seafood* align with these beliefs?
Once you finish reading this article, the answer may surprise you.
*The environmental impact of eating animals from the sea is not covered in this article. Look for more information on the ecological impact of “seafood” coming soon.