Demand Better From Your Chicken Suppliers! Olive Garden Unlimited Cruelty

Demand Better From Your Chicken Suppliers!  Olive Garden Unlimited Cruelty

In the first six weeks of their lives, chickens raised for Olive Garden’s supply chain will live through the worst suffering imaginable.

They are unable to move, not only because they have been selectively bred to grow so large, so fast that their young legs cannot hold the weight, but because they are crammed inside filthy sheds with hundreds of thousands of other birds. They are forced to lay in litter soaked in excrement, and the toxic ammonia burns their feet, chest, and lungs.

How can Olive Garden’s motto be “we’re all family here,” when thousands of birds are suffering, in some cases literally to death, for its menu items? Animal abuse is not a family value.

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Cow’s Milk is Done For – Dairy Industry Sees Plant-Based Milk as a ‘Serious Threat’

Cow’s Milk is Done For – Dairy Industry Sees Plant-Based Milk as a ‘Serious Threat’

Last week, the American Dairy Products Institute and the American Butter Institute held their annual conference in Chicago, Illinois. Conference attendees, which included manufacturers, marketers, and suppliers of dairy products all gathered downtown to listen to industry leaders discuss the state of dairy in the U.S. And surprise, surprise … they talked about plant-based milk. According to Dairy Reporter, the ADPI/ABI Conference was a space for several industry leaders to voice their concern over the threat that plant-based milk poses to the dairy industry.

Mike McClosky, co-founder and CEO of Select Milk Producers, expressed his beliefs that plant-based milk is “a serious threat” to the industry and added “many people have stolen the identity of milk over the years.” He closed his remark stating “we as an industry have sat back and not responded like we should have.” If McClosky is referring to the recent debacle in which members of Congress sent a letter to the FDA claiming that labelling plant-based milk as “milk” is “misleading to consumers … and a violation of milk’s standard of identity,” when he says they haven’t responded as they “should have”…  then we agree — dairy producers and processors could have responded to declining sales a little better.

Sheryl Meshke, co-president and CEO of Associated Milk Producers, Inc., expressed concerns about milk’s stolen identity: “If you think of the word ‘milk’ as a brand, they stole our brand which really conveys the fact that it’s a powerful nutrient-packed product.” Meshke believes that the solution to fixing the dairy industry is to “be more relevant to the Millennial consumer.”

However, research has shown that Millennials prefer to make choices that have a better impact on both society and the environment — but can the dairy industry ever really be these things? Not only does the dairy industry have a major negative impact on the environment, but dairy milk is also not the nutritional powerhouse that many of us once thought it was — it turns out, we can get the same nutrients from fortified plant-based milks and whole, plant-based foods.

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Newborn Cow Was So Scared The Day He Was Rescued

Newborn Cow Was So Scared The Day He Was Rescued

The newborn calf was terrified when he arrived at the sanctuary. You could tell by his eyes - they were wide and white. "He was so scared and disorientated without his mom," Deborah Pearce, founder of Where Pigs Fly Farm Sanctuary, told The Dodo. The calf - named Valentine - was born on a dairy farm in New South Wales, Australia. As a male calf, Valentine was considered a "waste product," because he could not produce milk. The farmer ripped him away from his mom when he was just a few hours old, so he could use the mother's milk for human consumption, and not "waste" the milk on the calf. 

A neighbor had witnessed Valentine's birth, and his removal from his mother. She alerted Pearce, asking her to rescue Valentine. If Valentine wasn't rescued, the calf would be sent to slaughter, which is a standard practice in the dairy industry for male calves...

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Victory! Subway Announces Monumental Chicken Welfare Policy

Victory! Subway Announces Monumental Chicken Welfare Policy

The world's largest fast-food franchise, Subway, has agreed to meaningful changes to its chicken welfare policies after a national initiative of The Humane League led by Philadelphia high school student Lia Hyman. 

This effort was part of our larger 88% Campaign.

Just last week, Lia and others traveled to Subway headquarters in Milford, CT to deliver a petition with over 50 thousand signatures from concerned citizens asking for better treatment for chickens in the company's supply chain and stage a silent demonstration. 

In addition, a billboard was launched on the main highway to Subway's headquarters directing the general public to the campaign website. Our grassroots team held dozens of protests across the country and hundreds of consumers and students also spoke out against Subway on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, asking the restaurant to address the violent abuse taking place in its supply chain.

Their efforts, and the voices and input of the thousands who called, emailed, wrote letters and protested, didn't go unanswered, as a new welfare policy was released today.

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Sign To Demand Tyson Foods Adopt A Responsible Food Policy

Sign To Demand Tyson Foods Adopt A Responsible Food Policy

STEPHEN COMMENT:  I feel this is one of the most important petitions you can add your signature to.

Tyson Foods is a corporation on the Dark Side. It was a pioneer in conceiving of factory farming, in developing its operations, its brutality and its scope. Over eight decades, it has crushed tens if not hundreds of thousands of small family farms and ranches. Tyson Foods has expanded its operations worldwide bringing the factory farming model into other countries with similar results. There may be no other corporation on the planet that has caused as much environmental damage as Tyson Foods and the cruelty and suffering it has inflicted on countless billions of animals is probably unsurpassed.

This petition demands that this company’s executives begin to take stock of something far more important than their company’s bottom line: the role Tyson will play going forward in either degrading the planet beyond recovery and in the suffering of billions more helpless animals in its factory farms – or not.

Over 17,000 of us have signed this new petition. You honor our environment, our planet, you show compassion for farmed animals, and you honor yourself by doing so as well.

Despite years of pressure, Tyson Foods, since acquiring Hillshire Brands, is one of the few remaining Big Food companies which still fails to adopt a responsible palm oil procurement policy. It’s too busy driving the explosion of factory farming around the world. 

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ARTICLE:

In the last 20 years small-scale farming has been largely replaced with factory farms -- industrial operations that confine thousands of helpless animals in horrendous conditions that lead to worker abuse, massive water contamination and hazardous air pollutants that endanger human health, as well as unbelievably cruel treatment of animals.

As one of the most influential players in the global processed meat market, and one of the biggest corporate laggards that refuses to deal with its Conflict Palm Oil problem, Tyson Foods must adopt a responsible food policy with commitments on responsible production of palm oil and meat. We can support family farmers, local economies, and animal welfare by transforming Tyson Foods.

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8 Things Vegans And Meat Eaters Can Totally Agree On

8 Things Vegans And Meat Eaters Can Totally Agree On

STEPHEN COMMENT:   I’ve chosen Joe Loria’s Mercy for Animals post as the featured article in Issue 10.

I agree with all 8 of these.

Take a look. How many do you agree with?

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ARTICLE:

We may think we see the world differently, but here are eight things we can definitely all agree on.

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Pasture-raised Eggs: Healthy And Humane

Pasture-raised Eggs: Healthy And Humane

STEPHEN COMMENT:  If you are going to buy eggs, source your eggs. Know where they come from.

Pasture-raised eggs taste much better. You can tell just by seeing the richer color of the yolks. They are fresher. They contain more vitamins and nutrients than factory-farmed eggs. They are the product of happy chickens, who have normal – not artificially accelerated -  laying cycles, living healthy lives and thus, do not require antibiotic dosing to keep them disease free.

You will pay a bit more for these eggs, but the benefits are more than worth it. Your purchase is also supporting smaller scale family farmers, their families and by extension, their communities.

The theme of Issue 10 is, in these dark times, protecting yourself and your loved ones by living healthy, living well and staying strong. 

Stay strong and take a stand: fight cruelty and injustice by the simple, powerful act of not spending your consumer dollars on food that is the product of animal cruelty and suffering. Do not contribute to ongoing and future animal suffering by supporting the companies responsible for it.

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ARTICLE:

Newly released studies by Mother Earth News cite pasture-raised eggs as the most humane and healthy option for egg consumers.

Now that 2017 is upon us, many people are making resolutions to eat healthier and, according to recent studies, few foods have as many health benefits as eggs. 

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Unilever Delivers On Cage-free Pledge Three Years Ahead Of Schedule

Unilever Delivers On Cage-free Pledge Three Years Ahead Of Schedule

STEPHEN COMMENT:  

When major corporations agree to do the right thing and pledge to take significant steps to reduce or eliminate animal cruelty in their operations, they will announce a timeline to implement necessary changes. As time passes, some vacillate and renege once attention shifts away from them, others succeed in making promised changes on schedule.

Unilever, which makes Hellmann’s and Best Foods mayonnaise, fulfilled its pledge three years ahead of schedule. Well done!

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ARTICLE:

Today, Unilever – one of the world’s largest food conglomerates – announced that it has fulfilled its pledge to go exclusively cage-free for eggs in all Hellmann’s and Best Foods mayonnaise products, three years ahead of schedule. The acceleration of its previously-stated cage-free timeline – which translates into more than a million birds a year out of cages — is a hopeful indicator that Unilever will be one of many food companies that execute on their pledges well ahead of their original time frame. Within the last two years, more than 200 companies – the biggest names in food retail in the United States and abroad – have committed to go cage-free, and egg producers know that they must move dramatically toward more extensive systems if they want to sell eggs.

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U.S. Senate: Stand With Poultry Farmers, Not Greedy Corporations

U.S. Senate: Stand With Poultry Farmers, Not Greedy Corporations

I’m a West Virginia poultry farmer, and I’m asking for your help. I recently went public about problems in the poultry industry such as diseased birds and genetic deformities. My story was featured in the New York Times. But I took a major risk in coming forward: most farmers in my situation are afraid to speak out against injustices and company wrongdoing because the poultry industry and its lobby are so powerful. Help me keep the poultry industry honest and make it possible for farmers like me to do their jobs. Tell the Senate to support farmer safeguards under USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

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Pretty Much Nobody In The U.S. Leads A Healthy Lifestyle

Pretty Much Nobody In The U.S. Leads A Healthy Lifestyle

STEPHEN COMMENT:   Over 88,000 people have signed this petition directed to the U.S. Senate. Help correct Big Ag's exploitation of its contract farmers. Please add your signature.

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ARTICLE:   Only 2.7 percent of U.S. adults hit the four key metrics of living a healthy lifestyle — abstaining from smoking, eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage — according to a disheartening new study.

The study’s lifestyle benchmarks for health weren’t particularly high. Being smoke-free, exercising moderately and eating USDA recommended foods don’t seem like particularly difficult marks to hit. So why do so many Americans fall short of living healthy lives? ...

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Encouraging News On Animal Welfare

Encouraging News On Animal Welfare

Just a decade or two ago, this country seemed mired in a medieval mentality when it came to the treatment of animals. From tacit or outright toleration of animal-fight contests in some states; to the extreme confinement of chickens, sows, and veal calves on factory farms; to chimps being injected and infected for medical research; to testing cosmetic products by forcing them into the eyes of rabbits — appalling practices abounded.

But those times, they are a-changin’, and faster than anyone could have imagined just a few years ago. 

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How Reduced Meat Consumption Could Save $31 Trillion – and The Planet

How Reduced Meat Consumption Could Save $31 Trillion – and The Planet

Between now and 2050, a global switch to diets that rely far less on meat and far more on vegetables, fruits, and other plant foods could not only save up to 8 million lives per year, and reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds. Such a change would also save, in reduced health care costs and reduced costs from climate change, up to $31 trillion.

Does that sound like the wild-eyed claim made by some group with a vegetarian agenda? It’s actually the conclusions of a major new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week.

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Petition To: Idaho State Senate: Ban Battery Cages In Idaho

Petition To:  Idaho State Senate: Ban Battery Cages In Idaho

STEPHEN COMMENT:  Nearly 20,000 people have signed this petition directed to the Idaho State Senate. You should too.

After California passed laws phasing out the cruel confinement of chickens in battery cages, Idaho saw an opportunity to entice producers to relocate there “where there are no restrictions.” For Katie Ernesto, “These kinds of actions show that there is little to no concern for the welfare of these animals in Idaho’s egg industry.”

This petition reminds each Idaho State Senator that eliminating animal cruelty should be a priority in their state, that there are a lot of us who are concerned about this, and that we’re paying attention.

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ARTICLE:

Idaho does not have any laws regarding the use of battery cages and the welfare of animals. In 2010 when California passed propositions regarding battery cages, Idaho producers have been baiting these industries to move to Idaho where there are no restrictions. These kinds of actions show that there is little to no concern for the welfare of these animals in Idaho’s egg industry.

While our current industry may be small, we cannot let it grow without making sure that animals are treated properly. Please sign this petition to help ban battery cages in Idaho and give egg-laying hens a better life.

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2 Huge Benefits Of Eating Less Red And Processed Meats

2 Huge Benefits Of Eating Less Red And Processed Meats

STEPHEN COMMENT:  Be careful who you meat…

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ARTICLE:

The just-released report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer judging processed meat as clearly carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic has caused consternation among meat producers and consumers.

...By the late 1990s, cancer experts said that red meat “probably” increases the risk of colorectal cancers, and “possibly” increases the risk of cancers of the pancreas, breast, prostate and kidney. The IARC report, based on more recent evidence, makes even stronger recommendations and favors carcinogens as the causative factors.

...For decades, the meat industry’s big public relations problem has been that vegetarians are demonstrably healthier than meat eaters. People who do not eat red meat have much less of a chance of developing heart disease and bowel cancers than the average American.

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4 Consumer Trends Driving The Rapid Rise Of Sustainable Plant-Based Foods In America

4 Consumer Trends Driving The Rapid Rise Of Sustainable Plant-Based Foods In America

STEPHEN COMMENT:  When you purchase factory farmed meat or diary products, you

  • are supporting this industry’s horrific unconscionable animal cruelty
  • are consuming food that can put you and your loved ones health at risk
  • are sustaining an industry that is, by far, the most environmentally damaging on this planet

Realize your power as a consumer. Use it. Do not purchase factory farmed products.

That being stated - now what are these 4 trends? Are you curious? Read on…

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ARTICLE:

There was a time (as recently as five years ago) when shopping for packaged foods that were made entirely of plant-based ingredients meant scouring the aisles of health food stores. The product choices were few and far between, and the products themselves were created to cater to a specific segment of the population, namely people who ate a vegan or vegetarian diet. If you visit any grocery store today – from Whole Foods to Target – it won’t take long for you to realize that those days are long gone. Welcome to the new world where plants are going beyond the produce section and vegan/plant-based foods are dominating grocery store aisles, refrigerated and frozen food sections of the biggest retailers nationwide.

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Come One, Come All: Three More Chains Announce Cage-Free Egg Commitments

Come One, Come All: Three More Chains Announce Cage-Free Egg Commitments

STEPHEN COMMENT:  Factory farm egg producers do not care about animal welfare, the quality of life, or the living conditions of the miserable animals in their care. They aren’t often inclined to change their cruel practices based on any sudden wave of compassion.

They will make changes now, either because their customers - the corporations that buy their eggs - are insisting that they do, or because new, compassionate state laws, like those in California, force them to.

What about their customers? - the corporations purchasing their eggs like MacDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Starbucks, Panera, Denny’s, Taco Bell, Target, Wendy’s, just this week Trader Joes, and the list goes on….   These corporations have been sourcing factory farmed eggs for decades without batting an eye. What explains these recent changes in their procurement policies?

It’s because of their customers: It’s because of you.

Progress like this in the fight to end factory farming is a direct result of you, of consumers who are increasingly aware of and unwilling to purchase factory farmed meat and dairy products.  

  • Of increasingly vocal, strident consumer demand for humanely-raised food products. 
  • Of millions of petition signatures, millions of shares on social media of the videos and the reports revealing the deplorable reality of factory farming, its horrendous cruelty, its pervasive animal suffering, and of the health risks of food products which are products of that toxic pestilent environment.
  • Of millions of decisions made by individuals each day, not to purchase and consume the food products, as well as meals prepared from the food products of these companies, as long as they continue to source their ingredients from this industry horror-show.

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ARTICLE:

They say birds of a feather flock together, and when it comes to the move toward cage-free eggs, more companies are flocking. Better late than never.

Jumping on the bandwagon this week are breakfast stalwart Denny’s second-tier Tex-Mex chain Taco John’s, and retail behemoth Target. While consumers might not have expected the first two to be the vanguard of promoting animal welfare, it may surprise some loyal fans of Target that the chain that likes to brand itself as the more “with it” alternative to Walmart has only now committed to switching to 100 percent cage-free eggs. Meanwhile, Walmart’s private-label Great Value eggs have been cage-free since at least 2010.

...Taken together, the rising number of commitments from corporations to go cage-free is poised to substantially transform the egg industry in the United States over the next decade. Fewer than 9 percent of egg-laying hens in the country...

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Urge Improved Care Of Standards For Organic Animals

Urge Improved Care Of Standards For Organic Animals

STEPHEN COMMENT:  More than 63,000 people have signed this petition, directed to Secretary Tom Vilsack and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). You should too.

It is very important that the USDA’s National Organic Program create clear, stringent, uncompromised definitions of what constitutes organic when it comes to animal products. 

While this petition lacks specifics, it puts Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack - someone who has been historically very cozy with Big Ag interests - on notice that a lot of us are watching, and we want this done right.

Oregon Tilth, for over 40 years, has “led the way in organic agriculture and sustainable production methods” and has had a leading role in the formation of the USDA National Organic Program for agriculture. They promote “a holistic approach to food production and encourage producers to create organic systems that improve soils, preserve natural resources and minimize public health risks.” Their “work with processors, handlers and marketers of organic products ensures the organic integrity of products from the farm to the table, and everything in between.”

Similar standards must now be adopted by the USDA in its Organic certification standards and guidelines for animal products.

A current running through faCE ISSUE 7 is the demonstrated reluctance of factory farming operations to change their practices. When forced to by legislation or legal consequence, or incentivized to by changes in consumer demand, their inclination is either to take the path of absolutely minimal mandated change, to cheat, or to game the system by having their industry interest groups apply pressure to compromise new standards. Their powerful, well financed, industry lobbyists apply pressure to effectively redefine – and denude - the meaning of core terms like ‘Organic,’ ‘Natural’ and ‘Humane’ to the point where they become virtually meaningless.

We must pressure Tom Vilsack and the USDA to create and implement a strict definition of the term ‘Organic’ as it applies to animal products. One no less stringent and complete than the Oregon Tilth definitions of ‘Organic’ applying to agricultural produce. 

These high standards for the term ‘Organic’ must insure a healthy, humanely raised animal product – which is what more and more consumers are insisting upon. 

Factory farmers don’t care about the suffering and lifelong misery of the animals in their care. They don’t – or they would’ve invested their life’s time in a different line of work. Tom Vilsack, based on his history, doesn’t seem to care much about animal welfare either.

This petition reminds him that there are a lot of us who do. And we’re paying attention.

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ARTICLE:

When something is labeled as Organic, we may often wonder what the real standards of such a label are.  Such is the case regarding animal welfare and the ASPCA is asking for our help in assuring that the USDA be more transparent and abiding when it comes to the Organic label.

For the past 15 years, the actual animal welfare standards have not been clear and concise with the USDA’s National Organic Program. Despite organic regulations, many organic animal products from factory farms meet no differences between organic treatment of animals or the conventional methods.  The USDA is now reviewing all the specifics regarding how organic farm animals should be raised to ensure they meet the specific regulations as being Organic.  It is important that the USDA Organic label meet the specified regulations for both the animals and the consumers.  You can help in our efforts by signing and sharing this petition.

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Hot Dogs, Bacon and Other Processed Meats Increase Risk of Cancer, Scientists Say

Hot Dogs, Bacon and Other Processed Meats Increase Risk of Cancer, Scientists Say

STEPHEN COMMENT:  Breaking News. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, with 22 scientists having evaluated over 800 studies from around the world, now classifies processed meats as “carcinogenic to humans.” A very sobering, significant conclusion…

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ARTICLE:

The World Health Organization has confirmed some dietary advice that's unlikely to go down easy with most Americans: Bacon, hot dogs and other processed meats can increase your risk of cancer. Not only that, fresh cuts of red meat probably cause cancer too.

Doctors have long warned that steak and sausages can be hazardous to your health. But the new assessment from the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer officially classifies processed meats as "carcinogenic to humans," putting them in the same category as asbestos, tobacco smoke and formaldehyde.

A group of 22 scientists came to that conclusion after evaluating more than 800 studies from countries — and cuisines — around the world.

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Here's How We Can End Factory Farming And Save The Planet!

Here's How We Can End Factory Farming And Save The Planet!

STEPHEN COMMENT:  Watch this short entertaining animated video. It echos Maryn McKenna’s premise in her article appearing in Issue 6, Resolutions For 2015: Buy the Change You Want to See in the World, that the food you purchase “supports—or discourages” the changes you want to see.

If you purchase factory farmed meat or diary products, you

·      are supporting this industry’s horrific unconscionable animal cruelty

·      are consuming food that can put your health at risk 

·      are sustaining and enabling an industry that is, by far, the most environmentally damaging, and climate damaging industry on this planet

Realize your power as a consumer. Use it. Do not purchase factory farmed products. Don’t.

Do share this enjoyable video with your friends.

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ARTICLE:

When doing your food shopping, make kind choices. Avoid factory farmed products, buy fewer animal products, or even go meat-free.

This is the most effective way you can end animal abuse. Factory farming is the only way to meet the current demand for these animals products. A demand that would never have occurred had consumers known how animals were treated. If you refuse to buy factory farmed products, the businesses which provide them will quickly get the message that there is no future in cruelty. The choices you make at the supermarket can ensure a kinder world for these animals.

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Humane Farm Animal Care® Announces Big Advance in Farm Animal Welfare

Humane Farm Animal Care® Announces Big Advance in Farm Animal Welfare

STEPHEN COMMENT:  This press release notes that “Farmers may have been slow to adopting more humane standards because humane farming costs more to do. But consumer demand for humanely-raised food products is showing farmers that transitioning to humane farming is worth the extra effort, both for their operations and the welfare of the animals.”

Progress like this in the fight to end factory farming is a direct result of you, of those of us at Farm Animal Compassionate Engagement, of all consumers who are increasingly aware of and unwilling to purchase factory farmed meat and dairy products. 

And of companies like Chipotle, with compassion in their DNA, who will not hesitate to stop sourcing and serving pork that does not meet the company’s ‘Responsibly Raised’ standards.

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ARTICLE:

DuBreton®, North America’s largest pork producer to raise 300,000 more crate-free pigs by 2018. 

Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), the leading international nonprofit certification program improving the lives of millions of farm animals in food production, announced this week that 300,000 more pigs will be raised, without gestation stalls or traditional farrowing crates.

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