Friday, June 24, 2011

Does Buying "Humane" Meat, Dairy, Etc. Actually Decrease Cruelty? Insightful Article Provides the Answer You May Not Have Expected

This is truly an incredibly thoughtful piece that asks the key question: will buying "humane" meat, dairy, etc. actually help lessen cruelty and also provide side benefits to humans? I agree with the authors' ultimate answer below.

I do need to say that though, ultimately, (as he argues) “humane” alternatives increase the amount of animals that will be killed and consumed (hypocritically I guess), the methods done so do provide a quicker death. So, ultimately this solves one part of the problem (for an individual being killed) but may ACTUALLY lead to more death and suffering (more individuals being killed).

I've actually pulled two paragraphs from the article that sum up his answer and argument and pasted them in below. But please go and view the article at

“However, there's one thing we can be certain about -- buying "humane" animal products will help us feel better about our choice to consume the animals we care about, while distracting us from the root of the problem (our gargantuan appetite for meat and dairy). In addition, buying humanely-raised animal products (even if it's driven by the best intentions and as a solution for those of us who will never consider giving up meat/dairy), unwittingly encourages us to consume more animals with a lighter conscience.”

“No one can deny that it's better to be less cruel in the ways we confine and kill animals (if we are going to kill and eat them anyway), but if we're interested in long-term change, we can't look at killing with kindness or gratitude as a solution in itself, when a huge part of the problem is over-consumption and the ubiquitous nature of animal products. Of course, it's nobody's business what someone chooses to buy or eat. Further, we cannot ignore socio-economic factors that influence people's consumption choices in any discussion about what's better for animals or the planet. The ability to make better choices obviously assumes that one has the privilege to choose in the first place. But if we want to spend our precious time, energy and dollars to help farm animals, the simplest thing one can do is realize that we don't need to consume animal products to live healthy and happy lives.”

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