Is it really humanely raised?

To be in balance and in the flow that comes with good physical health WE have to take it upon OURSELVES to take charge and make the right choices. Our discernment and our decisionsare the keys. Nobody else will do as a stand-in; Uncle Sam certainly won’t. It’s not their place to do so.

Did you know? The USDA does not have a standard in the meat industry when a company uses the term “humanely raised.”

The meaning subsequently can vary within the industry — not only for meat and poultry but also for eggs and dairy.

Most people assume that a label such as that means the animals have adequate living space, go outdoors, and are raised without cages. Not necessarily so. 

More disturbing is that the majority of meat raised in this country does not even claim to be humanely raised.

Factory farming is the primary way that the United States and many other countries produce popular animal products like hamburgers, cheese, and eggs.  

And factory farming is a disaster on so many levels.

In the industrialized approach to food all resources are concentrated at large central facilities; the animal is taken out of its natural environment. It’s a fundamental flaw.

It causes significant damage to rural communities, surrounding environments, and the farmed animals themselves, not to mention the effects on the food produced, in ways immediately measurable and beyond.

Science to the rescue? Science and technology miss the mark when they are used to enable a flawed approach: then it’s truly adding insult to injury. Let me give you an example.

Pigs raised inhumanely in factory farm settings suffer extreme physical and psychological trauma and depravation and are prone to respiratory infections. The dense populations, poor air filtration, and stress are equal contributors. Infection should be seen as an alarm sounding.

The ‘modern’ solution being offered is to genetically modify the pigs with CRISPR gene editing technology to make a population that is resistant to certain respiratory infections.

I don’t like that solution. We are solving inhumane with unnatural. Genetic modification with CRISPR has a huge problem of unintended consequences. Even if the technology becomes more precise and doesn’t damage DNA sequences not intended to be affected, scientists are finding they can’t predict or control the varied ways in which a living organism responds to the modification, which can lead to variable and unpredictable outcomes. 

Besides, the problem is inhumane practices. The solution, which cannot be ignored, is in acting out of our humanity.

Pigs are highly social and intelligent animals. They are curious, playful, and affectionate. They are considered as intelligent, if not more intelligent, than dogs. Whether you would consider eating the meat from pigs or not, the starting point is to recognize what their special character is as an animal.

Who is advocating for humanely raising pigs? Who is allowing the poor treatment of animals?

We decide! We as consumers actually decide what practices are allowable. The industry knows what the consumer accepts is allowed, and what we don’t, is not. We put a stop to the inhumane practices when we refuse to buy certain products.

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”

Anna Lappe

I’m for intentionality at every step, which includes considering how food was raised and not settling for anything less than truly humane, as is acceptable to you. We have to know the story behind our food, and every purchase for that matter.

Self-subsistence. And if you want it done right, sometimes there is nothing like doing the job yourself… I know we would be better off if we took back a portion of our own food production.

Do you believe a vegetable garden adjusts its products to what it can sense of the workers tending to its plants? Yes, those bare hands in the dirt are communication. Do you believe in the intelligence of nature that awaits our cooperation and appreciation?

You would amazed at the level of intelligence at work all around you. And as it goes for the health of the food production so it too goes for your personal health. The lessons are similar. The back story matters; and, we have control.

Here’s to your power to make the world healthier, one small choice at a time.