Eating Humane Food

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I have written generally and sometimes specifically about “Ethical Food” in many of my posts. There is a newer description these days that is coming on strong. “Humane Food” is the term and really relates to the subset of food we eat that is based on animals or animal products. I think this is really a category under Ethically Produced Food, since by definition any ethically produced animal products would have to be done humanely. But, just like the more blogs writing about these issues the more people will be informed, the more organizations there are promoting responsible food choice, the better known those choices will be. One organization provides a certification label for meat, poultry, egg and dairy products. 

Now when I shop I always make a point to ask the meat department about the humane certification. Unless I am at the local food co-op, nobody ever knows what I am talking about, but it still helps to get the word out. With more and more publicity over some dramatic cruel food cases, maybe people will start to ask their own grocers about the source of their meat and other animal based foods. Please read the above links and ask the meat department where you shop what they have for sale.

When I shop for meat, I look for labels that give me some information about how the animal was raised. Even though I do eat some meat, I always feel uncomfortable when I think about the fact that an animal was killed for me to eat. A label that gives me information about how the animal met its end would be an important factor in my choice of meat.

To me an “Ethically Raised” label would be good if it meant the meat was organically fed, raised in a safe, healthy, and natural environment and processed in as humane a way as possible. One label covering everything may not be possible. But for now, I guess we just need to assume trouble on any meat that is just packaged plainly with no ethical labels at all.

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Will Sig
1 Anna

Will, when I was growing up, my parents always killed a pig, and the funny thing the food that pig was fed with, sometimes smelled good, lol. It was all home grown, they never bought anything outside. For the cow, it was always a source of milk, I never knew that cows actually were killed for meat until I think I was 16 or 18 years old. Chickens – we had to eat some protein, but I always preferred them for eggs, lol, and rabbits too. But the poor rabbit could not produce either milk or eggs, so on the end it was source of meat. They were like pets but then you ate them on the end. However, when growing these animals, they were happy animals, always fed well, groomed well, taken outside, kept in well conditioned places. Well, going back to your post, I think it is good idea about making small guys aware of the human food. Never seen that around here yet, so thanks for the information. I have heard many stories how the animals are grown, and every time I hear it, I want to eat less and less meat product. Thanks again, Anna 🙂

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2 Will

Thanks for your comment, Anna. It is great that this post is getting some diggs, stumbles, etc. Awareness is crucial to it as there is no need for the type of cruelty that has recently come to light. Although I don’t eat a lot of meat, I do eat all kinds. I would love to be able to be sure what I buy is raised in the most healthy and humane way possible.

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3 Swubird

Will:

Great post. I never knew about these ethical labels. In fact, I never even considered the possibility of such a thing. But after reading your post – I do now!

Even as old as I am, and the fact that my uncle was a big hunting fan, I never really felt comfortable eating meat – especially from animals that had been so badly treated. So after I grew up and read about such things, I altered my eating preferences. But the labels, I knew nothing about. Keep up the good work.

Have a nice day.

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4 Will

Thanks Swubird. That goes to something I have talked about a lot. Regardless of the different food choices people make for themselves and families, we are all entitled to know about what we are eating.

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5 Bob

Wow, always learn something new here all the time, never knew about the labels, have to look into it, don’t think I’m gonna find anything out at my local superstore, would a specialty meat place know anything about these labels?

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6 sky

Namaste’ Will I just love reading some of the things you post! Did you know, there is also a similar certification for buying wood? YUP…I am glad that there is finally something like this, *although it needs to develop more and expand* to give people the CHOICE to choose with awareness, and ethics, and thought. If anyone has ever been to some of these places that raise animals for your table, they would turn tail and start SCREAMING. Excellent post. I know the SPCA up in Canada is actually working on *certification labels*
Metta.

sky
http://awolfadventure.blogspot.com

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7 Will

Hi Sky! Is the wood certification for sustainable harvesting? The organization in Canada I linked to is The Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals (CCFA). Glad the SPCA in Canada is trying to get certification labels. I just hope that there becomes a standard of sorts and not a whole bunch of different organizations doing different types of certification.

With organic food, there are a few main certifications. But there are also others that sometimes are sponsored by the very same people they are certifying.

I read your latest post about the child and the wolf. It is very interesting with lots of good information, but the basic story is still so hard to believe. If even partly true, it is certainly amazing!

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8 Just Jen

I ask about the food because if the animal is raised properly then the meat will be healthier to eat. Too many animals are not organic and safe or are safe but not organic or are grain fed instead of grass fed, etc…it’s difficult to find unaltered, healthy choices now a days.

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9 Will

You make great points, Jen. Linda Prout has also talked about the importance of grass fed animals. I need to find out more about it. I have asked about grass fed beef a few times locally, but even the packages labeled organic don’t say anything about it. I found one local beef producer who claims his animals are grass fed, but he gives them grain for the last few days or weeks, I can’t remember which. He said this is routinely done to grass fed cattle to “finish them off” and make the meat marbled. I don’t know for sure, but in my mind this makes the beef not grass fed.

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10 sky

Namaste’ Will yes it is…I never buy any wood that isn’t. They have it in the states as well. The leading one is the CSA in canada. I know in the states there is smartwood.org and and treefarmsystem.org is the ones I can think of off hand.
Metta.

sky
http://awolfadventure.blogspot.com

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11 Organic Eating Daily

Will — thanks for the information in this post. I stopped eating meat a while back, and have felt much healthier every since, but recently, after my blood type was analyzed by a holistic doctor, I was told to slowly factor in some meat to my diet. I have been reluctant to do so, but this post gives me some extra information that just might make all the difference. Maybe a little talk with my local butcher is the next step.
Keep up the great work —

Organic Eating Dailys last blog post..Arrowhead Mills Organic Flax Seeds

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12 Don Murphy

Hi,

I was wondering if you knew of some way that I could find out whether certain companies use humane food. For example, are the chickens that Campbell’s Soup uses, humanely processed? Is there any source of info for those types of foods? It’s easy to purchase humanely processed beef but not always easy to know if Oscar Meyer lunchmeat is humanely treated. Any help you can give would be appreciated.

Cheers,

Don

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13 Morten Dahl

Yes, we certainly need the humane food. If the food we buy from the supermarket is not organically fed, raised in a safe, healthy, and natural environment, how can we keep our healthy?

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14 Food Novice

To continue on to what Anna, I lived on and around farms growing up and it’s amazing how much better home grown cattle and pigs tasted compared to their commercial counterparts. The difference is they’re healthy, cared for, and killed humanely (well… at least, as humanely as you can kill something I guess) and it’s this kind of care that is missing in most supermarket shelves.
.-= Food Novice´s last blog ..What Kind of Cookware Should I Buy =-.

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15 Alicia

Hello,

I am a proud supporter of the World Society for the Protection of Animals. They recently discovered that the process of transporting animals around Canada is extremely inhumane. Animals are being injured terribly, stressed out, and frozen in severe weather conditions. When they reach their destinations, injured or dead animals (sometimes up to 50% of the load) end up being dumped in a landfill. They are asking people to help spread the word and get our politicians to pose strict policies in the humane transport of these farm animals. I came across this blog because I am currently searching for ways I can buy local. I do not support transporting animals long distances under harsh conditions.

You can visit this site for more information:
http://www.wspa.ca/latestnews/2010/wspa_report_reveals_problems_at_cfia.aspx

Thank you and good luck finding more ethically produced foods.

Alicia

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16 pietro

Are you aware of any big name companies that raise and kill their animals humanly? When I’m on my lunch break I only really the option of McDonalds or Subway or supermarkets to get my lunch.

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17 Ry

Thanks for helping to raise awareness about this vital message, Will. As a species it is high-time that we behave in an accountable way and engage with the planet and all life on Earth with love and respect.
Of course a food chain exists and we do need some meat in our diet, but bottom-line thinking (money) should never enter the equation when it concerns the lives of Earth’s creatures.
Let’s all be responsible with our food choices.

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18 Will

Thanks Ry – Yes as time goes by, I believe more strongly than ever that eating humane, ethically produced, food is the direction we should be going. Ethically produced food usually means not only humane raising of animals, but often chemical free agriculture. Certified organic is not always necessary if you know how and where your produce was grown.

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19 Kirsten

hey will
I believe having an ‘ethically raised’ label is a fantastic idea! It would mean people would know that what they were eating didn’t meet its end in a cruel way. I don’t eat red meat and when I buy eggs and chicken I always look for free range.
I hope we can have an ‘ethically raised’ label on everything one day.

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