Animal Treatment, Animal welfare, Cruelty to animals, Food labels, This is why I am vegan, Uncategorized

What happened to those you ate: “cage-free,” “free roaming,” and “free range” guidelines and meaning

Before I was vegan, I was vegetarian for the same reasons I am vegan now: animal treatment. The logic was, I thought, coherent, because it was possible to purchase animal products that complied with standards of good treatment: I took :free range: to imply the idyllic “free to walk around, next” etc., etc., just like I inferred that cage-free, free-roaming, and other ethically appealing labels were in fact guarantees that animals were treated well.

This is a very tricky and deviously constructed misconception. It targets precisely the niche of customers who care about animal welfare with an appeal to their moral sensibilities, and gives them a peace of mind. Tragically, it does so not by enforcing de facto humane practices and securing supervision, but by reference to ethically appealing, but actually obscure, nomenclature, which does NOT protect animals. It simply enables the minority who would otherwise not purchase animal products to do so by making it “ok” to be a consumer of these products even by a higher moral standard. In a nutshell: the capital lost because of the few good apples is now regained thanks to some misleading labeling.

But if you are to take a careful look at what the prima facie ethically appealing phrases like, “free range,” “free-roaming,” and others, you will see that the standard requirements to be met to earn these labels always fall short of protecting animal welfare, and often require no supervision. In other words: these empty labels are apparently designed to protect animals, enabling greater consumption (understand: sales)  while actually increasing the incidence of animal mistreatment in proportion to demand, in disguise.

Well, see for yourselves…and really, go vegan.



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