World Wants Humane Farming

World Wants Humane Farming

Most Americans don’t know the true meaning of food labels like “cage-free,” “free-range,” or “grass fed” and falsely believe that farm animals are protected by laws or independent oversight according to the results of a new national survey* released today by the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®).  The survey also showed that, despite their misconceptions, approximately three quarters of consumers surveyed are concerned about the welfare of animals raised for food and are paying more attention than they were five years ago to food labels that indicate how those animals were raised.

“Americans are increasingly concerned about the welfare of farm animals and want to make a difference when shopping for food, but are understandably confused by a number of misleading or meaningless labels,” said Daisy Freund, Director, ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare Program. “Consumers are willing to pay for more humane options but need help understanding which labels provide meaningful welfare improvements for farm animals.”

Key findings of the survey:

  • There are widespread misconceptions about what common labels actually mean for animal welfare: For example, 65 percent of consumers surveyed believe the term “free-range” ensures that the animal spent most of its time in a pasture. But in reality, there is no legal definition of “free-range” for pork, beef or dairy products. On poultry products, birds must have access to the outdoors, but the size, duration and quality of that outdoor experience is not defined.
  • Consumers are confused about how animal welfare is monitored on farms: Nearly half of those surveyed believe that an independent inspector verifies the health and welfare of animals living on most farms. Actually there is no independent inspection or oversight of animal welfare on the vast majority of farms – a fact that sparked concern in three quarters of survey takers.
  • Consumers are willing to pay more for products from farms that were audited to higher welfare standards, and desire more options:  Sixty-seven percent of consumers say they are likely to buy meat, eggs and dairy products bearing a welfare certification label with meaningful standards, even if it meant paying a higher price for those products. In addition, 75 percent of consumers would like stores to carry a greater variety of welfare-certified meat, eggs and dairy.

Given consumers’ high levels of concern about animal welfare and misperceptions about common food product labels, the ASPCA today launched “Shop With Your Heart,” a new campaign to educate consumers and encourage anyone who buys meat, eggs, and dairy to seek out products that carry third-party-verified certifications including “Animal Welfare Approved,” “Certified Humane,” and “Global Animal Partnership” (Step 2 and above). The standards used by these third-party-verified programs represent a spectrum of more humane ways to raise animals – from pasture-based farming to enriched indoor environments – and farms that meet these standards offer animals significantly better lives than conditions found on conventional factory farms. “Shop With Your Heart” also encourages consumers to purchase more plant-based products.

“Shop With Your Heart” provides comprehensive educational resources including a label guide, a list of welfare-certified and widely available plant-based brands and certified farms across the country. The ASPCA also launched a video to accompany the campaign “Shop With Your Heart.”

“Our goal is to help consumers help farm animals by aligning their purchases with their values,” Freund said. “We hope that consumers will vote with their wallets and show the food industry that the only sustainable business model is one that accounts for animals’ welfare.”

There are now over 9 billion land animals raised for food in the U.S. each year, the vast majority of which exist in inhumane factory-like facilities. The ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare Program is committed to directing consumers, corporations and lawmakers toward solutions that will improve these vulnerable animals’ lives.

* Lake Research Partners designed this online survey of 1,000 American adults who purchase or consume meat, eggs or dairy products, drawn from a national sample of internet users. The survey was fielded April 1-7, 2016. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 3.1%.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Shayne Heffernan Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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2 Responses to "World Wants Humane Farming"

  1. Randy Janssen   July 8, 2016 at 7:38 am

    National animal rights groups like the HSUS, PETA and the ASPCA have become urban concentrated vegan cults. They raise millions of dollars by pretending to take care of dogs and cats, then spend it on attacks on agriculture, zoos, circuses, aquariums and hunting. Local shelters complain about their aggressive fund raising sucking up all the money, so animals go wanting. ALL THREE HAVE CONCOCTED STORIES ABOUT ANIMAL ABUSE. They have little or no experience with the animals they claim to protect and either misconstrue legitimate animal husbandry or take isolated instances of animal cruelty and say they are the norm. Their goal is to stop hunting by increments, passing laws against individual methods of hunting or shorten hunting seasons. They get away with this because of the urban population of the US is separated from its food production and livestock or wild animals. The country has become a society of small pet owners who view livestock the same as small lap dogs. If these groups have their way, primates will have the same rights as humans and meat eating will be outlawed. Ed Sayers a former head of the ASPCA, complains about the tactics of animal rights movement in an article called “Vigilante Animal Rights”. Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma, are passing laws and even constitutional amendments against the HSUS. Ohio and Arizona are passing laws that restrict cities from passing laws against pet stores that sell breeders animals. According to Bloomberg Financial Reports, their attack on food production is already causing an increase in cost. Because of this, poor people are suing to stop a HSUS sponsored law in Massachusetts. So unless you want to end up paying $10.00 a doz. for eggs, $20.00 a lb. for bacon $30.00 a lb. for chicken and $50.00 a lb. for beef, don’t support these groups.

  2. Christopher Keeble   August 25, 2016 at 1:48 pm


    Were you paid to copy and paste that comment all over the web or do you keep a copy of it handy for whenever your precious meat is threatened?

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