What You Can Do for Farmed Animals

Photo by Mike Suarez

Be an Educated Consumer

Animal factories will not exist if consumers demand that animals raised for food are treated as sentient beings with dignity and respect. Here are a few ways to help farmed animals by being an educated consumer:

  • The average American consumes significantly more meat than is recommended. In fact, the average meat-eater will consume a total of 2,500 pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, and sheep in their lifetime. To give all farmed animals a life worth living, Americans need to eat fewer products derived from them—that means less meat, dairy, and eggs.
  • Ensure your food choices alleviate animal suffering rather than perpetuate cruelty. If you consume animal products, buy from family farms where animals are not confined to cages or crates, and where they can roam freely and behave naturally. The following foods always involve significant animal suffering, and should be avoided: frog legs, foie gras, live sashimi, and shark fin soup.
  • When shopping for meat, dairy, and eggs, look for labels indicating the product is third-party certified for animal welfare. Certified label claims are defined by a formal set of publicly available animal care standards. Compliance with the standards is verified by an independent audit.
  • Help AWI investigate animal welfare claims on food labels. If you see a product that is labeled "Humanely Raised" snap a picture and send it to us, along with the name and location of the store selling the item.
  • Learn how to fight a factory farming operation in your community.

Call, Write, and Email

Here are a few actions you can take to inform others about your concern for farmed animals:

  • Use customer comment cards to urge grocery stores and restaurants to provide products from animals raised according to high welfare standards.
  • If you witness or learn about possible neglect or cruelty to a farm animal, report it to your local humane society, animal care agency, or law enforcement official.
  • Become politically active by supporting state and federal legislation to protect farmed animals, and opposing efforts that benefit factory farms.
  • Contact your members of Congress and request strong enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Respectfully suggest that USDA inspectors work full time at each slaughter plant with the sole responsibility to observe the unloading, handling, stunning and killing of the animals. Visit AWI's Action Center to identify and contact your members of Congress.
  • Educate others about issues facing farmed animals.

Check out our publications about Farmed Animals, and share the publications with others.

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