Ending overconsumption of meat and poultry products is critical to end the environmentally destructive, socially unjust, and inhumane industrial animal factory system. Consumers have considerable power to influence the market. Eating meats occasionally, choosing certified humane, organic, and/or pasture-raised meats, and incorporating more organic and non-GMO plant proteins can affect positive change. Shifting demand can send a strong signal to the industry that business-as-usual will no longer be acceptable.
But market changes are only one way to affect the necessary change, and do not guarantee that the industry as a whole will implement and maintain critical reforms. To create lasting, enforceable changes, we need policy initiatives that hold the food animal industry accountable for harmful practices and support producers that are or shift to humane, organic, and/or pasture-raised systems.
The federal government must:
- Hold CAFOs and other animal factories accountable for emissions and pollution.
- Prohibit the use of animal drugs for all productivity purposes, including growth promotion, feed efficiency, and disease prevention.
- Create baseline national standards for farm animal welfare.
- Strengthen technical assistance and other support programs for food animal producers to adopt sustainable and humane practices or to seek out third party welfare certification.
- Support immediate implementation and enforcement of the Organic Pasture Rule and the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule, as well as transition incentive programs for conventional food animal producers interested in becoming certified organic.
- Develop policies that protect the rights of workers in the food animal supply chain and ensure safe and humane working conditions.
- Enforce anti-trust laws and prevent illegal consolidation in the food animal industry.