What About “Free Range” and “Humane” Meat?

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Let’s talk about those “humane” labeling claims you often see on the packaging of meat, dairy, and eggs at the supermarket. Many well-intentioned individuals are purchasing “organic,” “humane,” “free-range,” or “cage-free” animal products because they want to eat these things but also don’t want to contribute to animal suffering. But is there really such a thing as humane meat?

The unfortunate reality is that these are marketing buzzwords, many of which are not regulated by the government, often don’t mean what consumers think, and lead consumers to believe that the animals are treated much better than they actually are. This is widely known as “The Humane Myth.”

The bottom line is that marketing terms might make the consumer suffer less because we feel less guilt, but that doesn’t alleviate animal suffering at all. If we really want to reflect compassion for animals and not contribute to violence against them, the best thing to do is just leave animal products off our plates altogether.

– Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

In this video, vegan thought leader, speaker, and widely loved cookbook author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau shares her perspective on these misleading labels. As consumers who are trying to vote with our dollars, it is important to be educated about where our food comes from and how it was produced, and a part of that is looking beyond the deceptive marketing labels to see what they really mean (if anything).

Ask questions, do research online, call companies, and if the information is hard to find, you can bet that it’s not something these companies want you to see. Time and again undercover investigators land jobs at “humane” and “cage-free” animal farms and what they find is horrendous

With just a bit of research, you’ll quickly see that so-called “humane meat” is a lie. So what is a conscious consumer to do?

Choosing vegan is a simple way to bypass the horrific animal agriculture industry completely while also doing something great for your own health. We’ve got lots of vegan recipes to get you started. Cheers to that! 

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