Animal Welfare, Down on the Whole Foods Farm

by Mary Haight on February 14, 2011

I saw this new tiered animal welfare ratings system for meat products  in Whole Foods the other day, and then caught the link to a video similar to the one below over at Brent Toellner’s KC Dog Blog late last night. While it’s not about dogs, it is about a mindset — doing what is expedient. The mindset that doesn’t object to factory farms is the same that does not object to commercial puppy mills producing generations of dogs and cats in cruel conditions.  I had just had a short conversation about feed lot factory farms in the interview I had with Kyla Duffy the other day, and this was also a focus in a seminar I attended led by Temple Grandin, so I wanted to offer it here.

Michael Pollan, best selling author and Professor of Journalism, UC Berkeley, says our industrial food system is unsustainable from many perspectives, animal welfare among them. He has commented that Whole Foods has wonderful stories about food, food literature if you will, elevating every item from the commonplace to something that sings of eco-politics, environmental sustainability, and respect for workers’ and animals’ needs, noting people will pay more for such stories.  There are, Pollan says, many mistakes being made in organic farming–not the least of which is that organics are forming their own factory farms of monocultures to meet demands of a fast growing industry.

Whole Foods new tiered ratings systems may be a good working model that answers some of these criticisms.  Take a look and let me know what you think:

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