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From: Jodi (99.170.147.213)
Subject:         Humane & Cruelty-Free Meat and Dairy Products
Date: July 21, 2009 at 9:27 pm PST

Hey Everyone,

I've seen some posts from year pasts in which people have asked about how to find meat and dairy products from farms where animals are treated in a more humane manner.

Most of the responses have been completely arrogant, sarcastic, condescending, and unhelpful. I hope those of you seeking answers will forgive these imbecilic morons. Their ignorant, self-righteous responses will only cause more harm and torment to animals and livestock. Some people simply do not understand that by ignoring the requests of those seeking more humane alternatives, they are only harming their own cause. If it were up to me, no one in the world would eat animals! But you can't force everyone in the world to be a Vegan all at once, you have to meet people where they are and take things a step at time, respectfully providing education and resources, and changing the industry when and where you can. We should all support humane efforts, instead of flippantly ignoring the significant efforts that are being made and turning people off to our cause entirely. Choosing meat products that were produced from farms where animals were free to roam wide pastures may not be as good as being vegan, but it's certainly worlds better than eating meat where animals are tortured and abused in the most horrific of ways.

There are a lot of people who eat meat, or who have family members who eat meat, and I think it's absolutely fantastic when they are willing to take the time and effort to find more humane options. It's definitely not easy! So I wanted to share some of the best resources for finding humane products that I've found so far (and continue to share with my own omnivorous friends and family) are:

EAT WELL GUIDE: http://www.eatwellguide.org/i.php?id=Home

ANIMAL WELFARE APPROVED: http://www.animalwelfareapproved.org/index.php?page=consumersmainpage

CERTIFIED HUMANE: http://www.certifiedhumane.org/about/

AMERICAN GRASS FED: http://www.americangrassfed.org/aga-producer-members/

These websites all list some brands and stores that carry products they have verified to healthier and significantly more humane. I know it's a lot of effort to find and purchase these products, but it's well worth it avoid supporting the routine torture that so commonplace in American slaughterhouses.

Something else that can be really helpful is learning to decipher intentionally misleading food lables.

EGGS: http://www.hsus.org/farm/resources/pubs/animal_welfare_claims_on_egg_cartons.html

This webpage offers a guide to buying eggs and understanding terminology. I found it helpful in understanding some of the differences between different claims, such as "free-range" and "cage-free." For example, I learned that "free-range" chickens and hens, even those with the "humane certification" above still routinely have their beaks cut off.

ANIMAL PRODUCTS: http://www.animalwelfareapproved.org/index.php?page=whatdofoodlabelsreallymean

This webpage gives some examples of what various claims really mean, such as "crate-fee" and "biodynamic." For example, I learned that for truly humane treatment you should look for "free pasture" on the label.

One quick suggestion I have for a brand sold nationally is Applegate meats. Many (though not all) of Applegate's meats are on the Certified Humane list (check the above link to see which ones) and you can find a store that sells their products on their website, here: http://www.applegatefarms.com/bullseye/store_locator.aspx. Most Whole Foods stores carry them, and many Andronico's, as well as others. They are a bit pricey, though!

I hope some of these links will be helpful in our efforts, and I hope that others will add more helpful sites and links.

Cheers to all,
Jodi

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