Activists now taking aim at “humanely-raised” meat

Thanksgiving week is upon us, which means it’s time for travel, delicious meals with family, and, if you happen to be an animal rights activist, pulling ridiculous stunts like turkey funerals in supermarkets.

To their credit, consumers don’t seem to be taking the activists’ bait, with turkey demand remaining steady in the United States over the past three decades. According to the National Turkey Federation, 45 million turkeys will grace families’ tables later this week.

You might think that some of those turkeys being organic, “no antibiotics ever” or “higher welfare” would appease activist groups – but that is not the case. Despite some groups’ claims that they are only advocating for ‘improvements’ in how animals are raised, the truth is that animal welfare is not the name of the game – it’s animal rights.

As one example, PETA recently demonstrated that it does not believe it is possible to have meat from ‘humanely raised’ animals when it recently bullied an organic online meat retailer to remove “humanely raised” from its label. According to PETA, “the only truly humane food is vegan.”

PETA is most certainly not alone in that belief. At recent National Animal Rights Conferences, there have been entire sessions dedicated to “Addressing Humane Hoax: dealing with “humane,” “cage-free” and other misleading labels.” A few other examples:

  • “It’s the beginning of the end of animal welfare and the beginning of civil rights for animals…the day of welfare and protection is passing and it will soon be over.” – Steven Wise, Nonhuman Rights Project, 2017 National Animal Rights Conference
  • “Please, stop saying factory farming. It’s done its job…We need to shift our language to include small-scale operations that are supposed to be better.” – Hope Bonahec, United Poultry Concerns, 2017 Animal Rights National Conference
  • “Humane meat? There is no such thing.” – Mike Wolf, Compassion Over Killing, 2016 National Animal Rights Conference
  • “I am opposed to the way dead animals are labeled.” – Bruce Friedrich, The Good Food Institute, on humanely raised labels, 2016 National Animal Rights Conference

In the eyes of animal rights activist groups, it does not matter how the animals were raised. If they are being consumed at the end of the process, it is not acceptable.

This should be a warning to all companies who feature “humanely raised” claims on your packaging or menu. You may find yourself in the activist crosshairs sooner rather than later.


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