Found an interesting article that was published the Globe and Mail on Monday. Whole Foods Market Inc., the country’s largest chain of natural and organic food supermarkets, is expanding an innovative animal welfare labelling program to its six Canadian stores this week. The labels on all chicken, beef and pork sold at Whole Foods tell consumers exactly how the animals were reared. This article talks about the welfare of the animals that we consume, and the discusses if consumers are willing to pay more to protect animals from harm and exploitation.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Instead of roaming on farms that resemble natural habitats, most agricultural animals are kept in barn stalls and on feedlots designed for uniform growth, fattening and fast market readiness. Confined environments restrict certain natural behaviours (pigs love to root through muck) and can cause stress that leads to new, negative behaviours (cannibalism) which, in turn, require physical modifications, such as removing pigs’ teeth or tails to deter biting.
In these scenarios, animals are rarely anesthetized. There is much research and debate over how much pain the animals experience during tail-docking or teeth-removal. What is clear, according to a Report of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, is that livestock comfort in the modern food system has become a secondary concern.
Few national laws address animal welfare. Instead of pursuing legislative change, welfare advocates backed by a growing body of science have made headway by establishing relationships with major retailers who are attuned to consumers’ growing interest in the matter (much like their counterparts in the arena of seafood sustainability). Fast food chains McDonalds, Burger King and Chipotle have all begun marketing welfare-related procurement decisions that range from using cage-free eggs to more humane methods of slaughter.
Click here for the full article.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below.