Washington, DC—The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is excited to partner with Consciously (a public benefit corporation) and the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) Shop With Your Heart® program on a new internet browser extension that will help consumers select higher-welfare and plant-based alternatives while they shop. The free browser tool assists online shoppers in choosing products that promote AWI’s goal of supporting higher-welfare family farms and abolishing factory farms.
Each year, more than 9 billion animals (not including fish) are slaughtered for food in the United States. Many more are raised to produce egg and dairy products. Sadly, most animal products sold in American grocery stores and restaurants come from producers that maximize profits by treating animals not as sentient creatures, but as production units.
To make matters worse, conscientious consumers are often thwarted in their attempts to use label claims to inform ethical food-buying decisions. They are confronted with a dizzying number of food label claims that are "self-made" by companies purely for marketing purposes, with no independent verification process.
Using the Consciously browser extension, shoppers visiting a food product page will see a small box in the right corner of the browser window that either verifies the product as aligning with specific animal welfare standards or recommends higher-welfare and plant-based alternatives. These alternatives are generated from the ASPCA’s Shop With Your Heart product directory, which is consistent with the recommendations of the AWI publication A Consumer’s Guide to Food Labels and Animal Welfare.
All recommended products are verified by one of the following third-party food certification programs: Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Humane, and the Global Animal Partnership (Step 2 and higher). The Consciously extension is currently available for shoppers on Whole Foods and Amazon websites, but will eventually be expanded to other major online food retailers.
“Multiple surveys show that compassionate consumers are fed up with misleading welfare claims on factory-farmed meat, dairy, and eggs,” said Dena Jones, director of AWI’s farm animal program. “Consciously helps empower consumers to make decisions consistent with their values regarding how animals raised for food should be treated.”
“We’re thrilled to launch our animal welfare and plant-based causes,” said Kim Pieper, founder and CEO of Consciously. “The ASPCA and the Animal Welfare Institute are trusted leaders in animal welfare, and with their guidance, we’re confident that our browser extension will help the growing number of Americans who are committed to improving farmed animals’ lives through their food purchases.”
"This exciting addition of farm animal welfare and plant-based guidelines into the Consciously platform will help a growing number of concerned consumers make decisions that move our food system away from the cruelty of factory farming,” said Nancy Roulston, senior director of corporate policy and animal science for ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare. "The ASPCA’s Shop With Your Heart program was designed to help animal-conscious shoppers navigate confusing, loosely regulated, often misleading food labels, and we’re thrilled to partner with Consciously to reach more people who are hungry for this kind of transparency.”
You can learn more about Consciously and download the extension here.
Marjorie Fishman, Animal Welfare Institute
[email protected], (202) 446-2128
The Animal Welfare Institute (awionline.org) is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates and other important animal protection news.
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first animal welfare organization to be established in North America and today serves as the nation’s leading voice for vulnerable and victimized animals. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA assists animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and the advancement of the sheltering and veterinary community through research, training, and resources. For more information, visit ASPCA.org, and follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Consciously, a public benefits corporation, is a free browser extension that’s on a mission to empower consumers with information so that they can make better, more informed shopping decisions. Their free browser extension instantly tells you if a company is helping or hurting the causes you care about when you shop on Amazon and Whole Foods Market. Shoppers can choose to shop plant-based, cruelty-free, animal welfare, Made in USA, Black owned, women owned, small business, and more with Consciously. For more information, visit consciously.us/lp/animal-welfare, and follow Consciously on Facebook and Instagram.