Finding Animal Friendly Food
Presented by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), this report discusses the availability of humanely labeled foods in U.S. grocery stores, a matter of growing interest among American consumers. A list of the top-ranking grocery stores is included in this report.
Public support for the humane raising of animals for food is apparent:
- A 2007 WSPA poll found that 68% of American adults said the humane treatment of farm animals is important to them. Further 58% said it is important to be able to buy humanely labeled meat and eggs in local supermarkets.
- A 2008 survey of restaurant social responsibility found that more than three quarters of restaurant customers consider this to be an important concern.
- Almost half of all respondents in a 2007 Oklahoma State University survey said they consider the well-being of farm animals when purchasing meat.
The WSPA report describes a humane food classification system, which defines and rates various labels.
- Good labels that cover only one aspect of animal care with no third party compliance include “cage free,” “free range” (for poultry), and “grass fed.”
- Better labels which feature a higher level of animal welfare, but still not verified by a third party or cover only a limited aspect of animal care include “free range” (for cows, sheep, and pigs), “pasture raised,” and “USDA organic.”
- The best labels, which cover multiple aspect of animal care and include third party verification of compliance, include “American Humane Certified,” “Animal Welfare Approved,” and “Certified Humane.”
- Labels which are not necessarily humane include “No antibiotics used / no hormones administered,” “natural,” and “naturally raised.”
WSPA’s survey of food retailers to determine the availability of humanely labeled foods in U.S. grocery stores was compiled based on a sample of the largest 25 supermarket corporations, excluding warehouse stores. The top ranking stores were Whole Foods Market, Wegman’s Food Markets, Ruddick Corp, H.E. Butt Grocery Co., and Kroger (a complete list is available in article).
Research on consumers conducted by the University of California (Santa Cruz) ranked food safety, food nutrition, and then animal welfare as the top three topics of interest, among a list of eight given topics.