Is Humanely Raised Meat Better?

by Sarah Von Alt|
January 14, 2015

Is “humane meat” better? What about labels like free-range or organic? It’s a question many of us have asked, and with all of the seemingly conflicting information out there, we caught up with MFA staffer Matt Rice to get his perspective.
So… is “humanely raised” meat better? Here’s what Matt had to say:

When I was first confronted with the horrors of factory farming, I knew I could no longer support such a cruel industry. But, as an avid meat eater, I worried that giving up meat, milk, and eggs would leave me with only lettuce and broccoli. Surely there had to be humane alternatives to my favorite foods,
right?
While the small percentage of animals on cage-free, free-range, and other so-called humane farms certainly has it better than the vast majority of farmed animals who suffer in hellish factory farm conditions, let’s be honest: none of these animals are gently petted to death.
Hatcheries that supply cage-free egg farms (or even backyard hobby farms) still grind up male chicks alive or leave them to suffocate in garbage bags. Cows on organic dairy farms still have their calves ripped away from them and sold for slaughter, often as veal. In the end, “humanely raised” animals still have their lives violently cut short with a blade across the throat.If I wouldn’t want someone to cut the throat of my well-treated dogs, Ana and Tessa, why would I pay someone to do it to a cow or a pig or a chicken? After all, these animals are just as sensitive and intelligent as my dogs at home, and they each have their own unique personalities and interests.
Luckily, most of us in the 21st century have a wide variety of great-tasting vegetarian alternatives to meat, milk, and eggs to choose from, so we can enjoy the same tastes and textures we know and love without all the saturated fat,
cholesterol, and animal cruelty. Field Roast,
for example, has a huge assortment of truly humane meat alternatives. I promise, the only thing you’ll miss is the guilt. 

For a list of delicious plant-based meats, click here.
Have a question you want answered? Send me a message at SarahVA@MercyForAnimals.org.

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