5@5 - What consumers can do to improve the lives of farm animals
July 13th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Editor's Note: Matthew Prescott is food policy director for The Humane Society of the United States.

As food policy director for The Humane Society of the United States,  I have the privilege of working with people all over the country taking steps to help farm animals every day. Fortunately for the animals, one needn’t be a full time advocate to help make things better for pigs, chickens, cows and other farm animals. Here are five small ways to make a big impact toward building a more humane food system.

Five Easy Things You (Yes, You!) Can Do To Help Farm Animals: Matthew Prescott

1. Change your diet
Many Americans eat way too much meat, though over the past few years, that amount has started to drop. Most of us know that eating large amounts of meat is bad for our health and the environment. It’s also bad for farm animals, the vast majority of whom suffer immensely on industrialized factory farms where they’re treated more like machines than animals.

If each American simply chose to go meat-free just one day a week, more than a billion fewer chickens, pigs and other farm animals would be caught up in the factory farming system each year. The Humane Society of the United States advocates an approach of reducing the amount of animal products in your diet, replacing animal products with plant-based options and refining your choices by being a conscious consumer and seeking products with a higher welfare standard.

As more people de-emphasize meat in their diet, it’s no surprise to see Meatless Monday programs taking root in households, schools, hospitals and restaurants. Meatless Mondays , a popular international movement that promoted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, offers a great opportunity to celebrate a fresh take on eating in a way that people can feel good about.

 2. Ask your legislators to support farm animal welfare reforms
Farm animals are often unprotected from everyday factory farming abuses, such as being locked in cages in which they can barely move an inch their whole lives.  There are no federal laws that protect animals on farms and only a few state laws that do. Many states even have laws that exempt common agricultural practices from animal welfare statutes - regardless of how abusive they are.

Right now, there are bills pending in Congress (H.R. 3798 and S. 3239) that would offer some protection to hundreds of millions of egg-laying hens. Amazingly, in an all-too-rare case of adversaries finding common ground, most animal protection groups and most egg producers jointly support the legislation. But other factory farming industries - like the industrial pork and beef industry - have voiced opposition.

 3. Support the movement to let pigs turn around
Last month, Eatocracy drew attention  to the misery of pig “gestation crates” - tiny cages that virtually immobilize breeding pigs. These cages are so small, the animals locked inside spend basically their entire lives unable even to turn around. Of all the hideous things that happen to farm animals, this is among the worst.

Fortunately, major food companies that purchase vast quantities of pork are taking a stand against this abuse. Since February, The HSUS has helped leading food companies announce policies that will require their pork suppliers to give pigs some freedom of movement and socialization. Taking this stance are some heavyweights in the food industry, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Kroger, Safeway, Denny’s, Sodexo, Oscar Mayer, Kraft Foods, Sonic, Cracker Barrel, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and Baja Fresh.

Despite all of this, there are some major pork producers that refuse to budge, and continue defending lifelong immobilization. You can help pigs today by using resources on our site to take action and let your voice be heard.

4. Encourage food businesses to switch to more humane products
Each time you go out to eat or buy groceries, ask about more humane options. Grabbing some coffee? See if there’s soy cream available. As a customer, you deserve to know the source of your food, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Next time you are at your favorite restaurant, ask if the pork comes from factory farms that confine pigs in gestation crates, and if they do, explain why this concerns you. If they don’t have a veggie burger, ask why not. Every time you ask these questions, it plants a seed that can grow into significant change.

5. Get social! Let your online friends know you care
 The Internet has made helping animals easy. With just the click of a mouse – a simple “Share” or “Like” or tweet, for example – you can help reach vast audiences with messages of compassion for farm animals.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

Posted by:
Filed under: 5@5 • Animal Rights • Business and Farming News • Farmers with Issues • Farms • Food Politics • Think

soundoff (555 Responses)
  1. Anita

    Is there someone I'd like to see in the hot seat?
    Yes, Matthew Prescott. Make him prove his assertions. He is parroting the spin of his employer HSUS, an organization that takes millions of dollars from unsuspecting animal lovers in the guise of saving shelters cats and dogs, but instead spends most of its money on political action, lawyers and executive pensions.

    1. Prove that meat is bad for our health and the environment. Prove that the vast majority of meat animals suffer immensely on industrialized factory farms where they’re treated more like machines than animals. I mean scientific proof, not tear-jerking stories based on emotion rather than fact.

    2. Tell us precisely where you have personally seen animals locked in cages in which they can barely move an inch their whole lives.

    3. Prove that gestation crates are bad for animal welfare. Not one study by HSUS, but what the majority of scientists have found through properly conducted research.

    4. Prove that large farms are worse for animals than small farms. Again, not one study by HSUS, but what the majority of scientists have found through properly conducted research.

    5. Why not encourage consumers to see farms for themselves, rather than believe a wealthy 501(c)(3) organization that pays you to spew its spin?

    And yes, I’ll prove what I claim, just as I expect everyone else to prove their claims.

    August 28, 2013 at 3:22 am |
  2. Dave

    I will be enjoying meatful monday's, thank you very much.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  3. Caracake

    The author failed to mention supporting small farmers who take good care of their animals by buying meat at farmers' markets or directly from the producers.

    July 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  4. Alyssa

    It cracks me up how people get so mad about any article that suggest they be less lazy. These are modest suggestions on how to slightly improve the lives of the creature we use for food, not animal liberation proclamations. The author does not even take a stance on whether animals should be used for food or not. People get upset about animal welfare issues for the same reason they get upset about environmental issues or about ones concerning products made in sweatshops: because if they agreed there was a problem that would mean they were inclined to actually DO something, or heaven forbid CHANGE something about their life. Oh, the unspeakable horror. Of course its easier be hyper-sensitive, angry, and ignorant...that way you can go on buying your Nikes made by 4-year-olds, eating your meat from confined animals, and filling landfills with your recyclables. Problem solved.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Now

      You said it, Alyssa, thank you.

      July 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Dustpan

      Well said Alyssa.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Holly Ann

      Brilliantly put Alyssa, and right on target.

      July 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Robyn

      Agreed. People choose lazy and ignorant. Things need to change and we need to get off our butts and do something.

      July 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Nancy

      I like what you said Alyssa. Couldn't have said it better ;)

      May 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  5. Meghan

    Why should we be taking food advice from an organization who seeks to abolish the entire animal agriculture industry? Go meat! :)

    July 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Now

      What proof do you have of that? He's not even talking about abolishing the industry, just enjoying a meatless Monday. Good heavens.

      July 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
      • Meghan

        Do your research on HSUS. They're taking small steps. The end of animal agriculture in America is their ultimate goal.

        July 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
        • Now

          I am well-versed in their work and their philosophy. You would do well to consider your research sources, many of which are facades for agri-business interests.

          July 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
        • Robyn

          I am a meat eater. Who cares if it means these animals suffer less and can lead more fulfilling lives then let them try. There is no way America will stop eating meat but animal welfare is a huge issue and anyone who has a heart will agree.

          July 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  6. Now

    Sad that one story about making the lives of animals a bit better has whipped people into a frenzy. What does that say about us? Calling vegans "retards?" What purpose does that serve in the broader view of the misery that we cause when we create factory farm situations? This commentator is simply raising awareness and providing alternatives. I'm sorry that's so terribly threatening, and also so terrible that we've had whole treatises written about why vegans are terrible people and why we should eat meat. We obese Americans could all do with a little less meat (note, I am not threatening your lifestyle by recommending you become a vegan) and a little more awareness of other creatures besides ourselves.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Robyn

      I am not vegetarian or vegan but completely agree. People should be willing to give up some meat if it means the well being and happiness of another creature. A lot maybe even most humans are just selfish, lazy, and care about nothing but themselves and their desires it seems. It's good to see there are some people out there who care and are willing to try to do something for something other than themselves.

      July 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  7. Snorlax@Myto

    That explains why every vegan I know is a complete and total retard.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Now

      Oh, Snorlax, it's only Tuesday and you're already out trolling. Wow, you have an entire week to spread your nonsense. Goodie for you!

      July 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  8. Myto Senseworth

    A lack of proteins form meat can result in lower brain function as we see in many vegetarians. People do not know they are suffering from reduced brain function, since they get a feeling of well being, making them think everything is fine.

    July 17, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Now

      Myto Senseworth, vegans and vegetarians get plenty of protein. You should do your research before you start posting your rather disturbing thoughts.

      July 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
      • Myto Senseworth

        I did. I stand firm on my comments.

        July 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
        • Now

          Yet you are claiming a lack of proteins in the diets of vegetarians and vegans. Okay ....

          July 17, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
      • AJ

        There have been studies showing that babies born from & breast-fed by vegan mothers are developmentally behind their non-vegan peers.

        July 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
        • Now

          From Amy Joy Lanou, senior nutrition scientist, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:
          "Well-planned vegan diets are healthful for pregnant mothers and their infants, as well as for older children, according to a large body of scientific research ... Studies have found that vegan children are within the normal ranges for weight and height, and I personally know vegan mothers and vegan children who are healthier than many of their omnivorous peers."

          July 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Now

      I'm sorry, but it's insulting to accuse others of "low brain function." What do you hope to accomplish here? Do you think insulting people who believe differently from you is going to promote your cause? I think if vegans and vegetarians feel fine, they probably ARE fine. At least they're well-researched on the topics they post about.

      July 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • Umm No

        Now, now, Now. Vegetarians, as a group, are no more well-read than carnivores or omnivores. Just because you research doesn't means your statements are true. Your point about insulting others lost it's sting with your last sentence. Try again.

        July 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
        • Now

          Umm No, I would say to you, umm no. My comments shouldn't have broadened out like that, you're right. They were directed at one misinformed poster. However, I do think that healthy vegans have done careful research, and their posts about their lifestyle contain way more information than many, MANY of the posts from carnivores (what do you mean: people who eat meat only?) and omnivores, who often just rail about "city dwellers," "liberals," and "people not minding their own business." Kind of like Myto Senseworth. Perfect example!

          July 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Donna D

      You are full of it! It is a proven scientific fact (do some more research) that humans were never intended to ingest meat and have a big problem processing it. There are many other sources of protein. You are proof that meat eaters have diminished brain function.

      July 21, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  9. Myto Senseworth

    Don't eat meat? Look ...I am diabetic. I eat meat and vegetables. As far as my health otherwise, I am the oldest living male in the family, lowest cholesterol, and now no meds for my diabetes. Go ahead and eat like they say and die early from stupidity. We are humans and we need meat. Soy products are bad and I mean bad for your digestion. Most soy products should be banned and replaced with meat products.

    July 17, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Now

      Myto Senseworth, are you a doctor or a nutritionist? Are you a scientist? A researcher? Obviously not. What basis do you use to say soy is bad for you? I'll agree that our soy isn't the same as the fermented soy previously used in Asian countries, but other than that, you're not making much sense. Also, calling people stupid for their eating habits isn't exactly going to sway them to your side.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • C

      I also have health problems that prevent me from going meat-free, however I don't have any issue with others being vegan or vegetarian, or promoting animal rights. What's wrong with eating a different way?

      July 20, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  10. Myto Senseworth

    Go ahead and complain until all of your meat products are imported........ And you think animals in this country are treated badly...........

    July 17, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Now

      We should be so lucky. At least some of the European countries have stricter regulations regarding the use of growth hormones and antibiotics, while other countries are progressive enough to have banned the production of foie gras.

      July 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
      • Myto Senseworth

        Now. I agree with you on this one. I think Austrailia has the best beef. It's the Asian countries that worry me.

        July 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  11. JLS639

    When I clicked on this I thought it was related to helping farmers and ranchers through the drought.

    July 17, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  12. Leo

    Typical pile of PC propaganda (translation: road apples). The HSUS and their ilk, like PETA, want everyone else to take their Walt Disney version of animals as gospel and go vegan or some other Hollywood approved diet. Get real, people. If you want to eat veggies, eat veggies, but don't preach to those who don't choose to go that route and use horror stories for support. I do love animals of many kinds – they look great on the plate with the salad, potato, and corn on the cob.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • coffeebean02

      And, your a pig!

      July 17, 2012 at 3:22 am |
      • Sister Mary Elephant

        "You're a pig." If you're going to stoop to slinging insults, at least use the right words.

        July 17, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • jack

      they look as great on a plate as cancer looks in your colon, eat away my friend. With the combination of antibiotics, manure, E.coli, and myriad of other adulterants, it wont take long...enjoy

      July 17, 2012 at 8:53 am |
      • johna

        mmmmmmm.................. E-coli!

        July 17, 2012 at 9:21 am |
      • Myto Senseworth

        That's funny. I got e-coli from eating a spinach salad in California. No more raw vegetables for me.

        July 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
        • Now

          E-coli comes from the digestive tract of animals (and humans). Most likely, you got it either from the workers, or gasp, from the run-off from a meat-producing farm.

          July 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Michael

      Ignorance and arrogance is what you exude Mr. Leo.

      The fact that you fail to recognize that animals suffer and feel very much like you when you are hurt or threaten speaks loudly of your principles. That’s the whole point, I do not care if people want to eat meat, but I do care when people kill animals with vengeance or make them suffer doing so.

      Your bully attitude just shows the lack of humanity, education and décor, that’s what I despise the most of people, therefore this note.

      July 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  13. Mary

    Matt – great article! I wish you had considered adding a #6 – buy local meat if possible (rather than factory farmed), and consider visiting the farm where your meals were raised. I am a small farmer that raises lambs. My sheep are pasture-raised, hormone and antibiotic free. I am not certified organic, but my pastures have only had organic fertilizer applied. My farm is open to potential buyers who want to see how their meat was raised. No confinement crates or feedlots here! My prices are very competitive with what you'll find in the supermarket. I don't raise cows or chickens, but I try to buy ground meat, steaks and chicken from local farmers who do.

    July 16, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  14. MyPigBuddy

    I grew up around farm animals and based my education and career around them (mostly pigs, but beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep and poultry as well). I fully appreciate and respect the farm animal life that is taken to sustain my own. I have seen and worked on some really bad farms AND some really good farms and I still eat meat and milk with nearly every dinner. I try to source the meats, eggs, and dairy I buy from SPCA Certified farms because certified farmers must meet humane standards for raising and killing their animals, like pain control for painful practices, ensuring comfortable housing, prompt treatment of injuries, not weaning young too early, making the animal unconscious and insensible to pain before killing it, etc. No, it is not a "perfect" system, nor will it ever be. But there will always be people who eat meat, and there will always be animals who die to be eaten by people, for as long as humans exist on this earth. I think as long as we all have a little compassion and respect for what's on our plate and how it got there, that's a step in the right direction.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • MyPigBuddy

      PS – a "natural death" is not always a humane death either.

      July 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Michael

      Well put.

      July 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Robyn

      Very well said. :)

      July 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  15. Lorncey

    Please do not take the Humane Society of AMERICA as a company that helps animals on a grass roots level. They provide NO money or help to local shelters or animals. They are a lobby, that is it. They don't get their hands dirty or actually physically make a difference, just talk a lot about it. Just realize who you are listening to when we are preached at by them.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • lroy

      Meat-free just one day a week is spot on. For centuries, this has been the rule for Roman Catholics, and is still held in many parts of the world. That's why it is called Fish Friday. I know many would like to go back to that, not necessarily eat fish, but no meat. We shall see. Besides, who wants to cook meat in this heatwave?!

      July 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Nope

      Not sure what your point is. They may not give money to local shelters, but they create many programs that benefit shelters across the country. To me, cruelty is cruelty: the information can come from HSUS, PETA, or the ASPCA. I'm not going to discount it just because a national group isn't funding my local shelter.

      July 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • coffeebean02

      So, we should "listen" to the animals themselves...?

      July 17, 2012 at 3:24 am |
  16. Nope

    Thanks for a nice commentary. Not sure why people are getting so inflamed about this particular commentary, but indeed, the insults are, as usual, being slung at anyone who's interested in animal welfare or possibly either not eating meat or cutting back. One less piece of meat on our plates isn't going to hurt us obese Americans, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with being concerned about animal welfare and wanting to make their living conditions, at the least, tolerable.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • johna

      Yes there is something wrong with it. I'ts called mind your own business and stop suggesting what I should and should not do. Animals suffer that's the way of nature. Having empathy is one thing, living in unbearable guilt for something you can't control is another.

      July 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
      • johna likes littlebois

        johna, you're not entitled to use the word "empathy" as you clearly have none, nor any compassion.
        you're clearly a first-rate A-hole.
        i really hope you didn't have kids, but if so, that you die promptly before you can ruin their humanity as well.

        July 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
        • johna

          Yes I do have kids, way to post a civil reply you have shown your third grade mentallity.

          July 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
        • Pendy

          "...you're clearly a first-rate A-hole. i really hope you didn't have kids, but if so, that you die promptly before you can ruin their humanity as well."

          YOU decide who has empathy and/or compassion, and show your lack of same in the above quote. I think you just showed who the real "first-rate (leftist elite) A-hole" is. Mind your own damn business.

          July 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
        • johna

          Obvoiusly I hit a nerve with you. Do you live with unbearable guilt over the plight of animals, because they do not live out thier existence in the setting of a Disney movie. Learn to live in the real world, I have empathy for other creatures, but I won't shed a tear because an animal gave it's life so I can eat. If you want to give up that luxery so be it, but regardless even a vegan lifestyle is responsible for the killing of millions of animals every year through agricultural practices. That's all right though 'cause you gotta eat right?

          July 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
        • coffeebean02

          Way to go a–hole. You suck and I only hope the next time you wish someone to "die promptly" it isn't aimed at another human being, but said as a prayer over the meat you are about to consume at your next meal...just change the wording to "I pray you died promptly so that I may live".

          July 17, 2012 at 3:32 am |
      • Nope

        Johna, cruelty is something we can control. We created this situation with industrialized farms - we can certainly control it or work on it. So guess what? I'm not going to mind my own business!

        July 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
        • johna

          What you do is fine what irks me is when peopkle such as yourselves make suggestions what I should do and that is where I draw the line and say mind your own business.

          July 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
        • johna

          BTW, you can't control cruelty you can only police yourself. People who are cruel will be cruel regardless what you do or the laws you put in place.

          July 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
        • Nope

          Johna, of course we can (at least) attempt to police cruelty. We have anti-child abuse legislation, anti dog fighting legislation, etc. No, you can't be everywhere at every time, but you can at least try, in a civil society, to have some laws to protect those who can't protect themselves. I know you're not ranking on me personally - it's a touchy subject and I get touchy too - but I don't think we should just throw up our hands and say, "Well, we can't do anything about that."

          July 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • bdsaint

        This person is nothing more than a hack troll looking to bait people. Just ignore him/her and they'll go away when the sunlight hits them.

        July 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
      • lroy

        God put the animals on earth for humans, not the other way around. I will support animal rights when people support (unborn) human rights.

        July 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
        • Betty

          I don't believe that. You bible-thumpers really need to get a grip. You use your lame "god did such & such" constantly to justify torture & cruelty. Just go away & shut up.

          July 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
        • Now

          Okay, because some people don't do exactly as you think, you will then remove your support of compassion toward animals? It's better to think independently. You can be pro-life and pro-animal welfare at the same time.

          July 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
      • Boo

        Guess NOONE will ever accuse you of having empathy or compassion for a "weaker" species....and it's not something I would be proud of if I were you.

        July 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • Robyn

        johna first of all we do have control over it. Many big companies have made big changes because people said and did things to make that change happen. Only lazy, ignorant , apathetic jerks will just sit down and say "oh nothing I can do" and continue to do or say nothing. Even if its just writing an email or letter to a company is better than nothing. Change can and will happen if we get off our butts and make it happen!

        July 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
        • Robyn

          PS you posted your statement on the internet which now makes it everyones and anyones business. ;)

          July 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Dr Ruth

      Seriously.. I have visited a pig farm, and is not pretty.. I think the writter does have a point..

      July 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
      • johna

        Well I've watched coyotes rip apart a fawn and that wasn't pretty either, but shit happens. Animals and humans are not on the same level, but that is what a lot of animal rights activists believe.

        July 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
        • Nope

          That doesn't mean we have to mimic their behavior. A coyote eats a fawn so we're supposed to create cruel living conditions in CAFO farms? Huh?

          July 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
        • johnd

          humans are animals, johna

          July 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
        • Robyn

          First of all there is a HUGE difference between taking an animal down for survival and causing it pain and keeping it in a crate and causing physical harm and suffering to an animal for a long period of time without reason or cause. We can still eat our meat without causing major suffering to any animal. How can you even compare the two? That's just willful ignorance.

          July 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  17. Sy2502

    "Most of us know that eating large amounts of meat is bad for our health"

    On the other hand, a well educated minority knows there's absolutely nothing wrong with meat consumption as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
    These vegetarian zealots will happily spread misinformation at every chance they have to spread their religious beliefs.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Matt Prescott

      Hi Sy. Just to be clear, we're only advocating eating meat 6 days a week instead of 7. Doesn't strike me a position that's too extreme. :)

      July 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • Nope

        @Matt - people are going nuts about this one little op-ed piece. Is it such a terrible threat to just skip meat one day a week? Or be concerned about animal welfare? Thanks for your post :).

        July 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
      • johna

        C,mon Matt you're being disingenuous, if you had your way you would ban the consumption of meat across the board. That is the ultimate goal of the hsus.

        July 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
        • Nope

          Prove it.

          July 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
      • Dr Ruth

        When you get to be old like me, your comment would not make an impact on my life style. The cholesterol levels will!!!.. So from seven days of meat, I am at two meat days and one fish day.. And the rest is broccoli and Brussels sprouts.. yuck..!!

        July 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
        • lroy

          Corn, carrots, candied yams. And ice cream has calcium.

          July 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
      • Dr Ruth

        For God sakes!! Matt you eat meat six days a week? May the lord have mercy on your soul..!!

        July 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
      • lroy

        Many Catholics already do not eat meat on Fridays...once Canon law but now only during Lent here; in other parts of the world, there is still no-meat Fridays year long. Many would like to go back that and that is the recommendation from the Vatican. I personally try to, but sometimes do other penance instead.

        July 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Nope

      A vegetarian diet has nothing to do with a religion, Sy2502. Why so threatened? Nobody's going to grab the steak out of your hands, no worries.

      July 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • NA

      Why don't we stick you in a tiny box for the rest of your life where you can't move your legs or arms and breathe fecal matter and get your nose and ears bitten off my other pigs? Oh, and get beaten and tortured! I hope you get reincarnated into one of those chickens, cows, or pigs that have to suffer all throughout their lives just cause some ass wants to have a big mac for dinner. I dare you to TRY not eating meat for one week and see how amazing you feel after.

      July 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
      • lroy

        Since you have such a hostile attitude, need I remind you that humans do the same dam thing to unborn persons in their mother's wombs. Ever see a picture of an aborted human with the limbs torn off? These so-called cruelty to animals is NOTHING compared to what we do to the unborn.

        July 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
        • Boo

          You're being ridiculous.....most abortions don't occur in that fashion. And why do you believe that human beings have more worth than other animal species?

          July 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
        • Robyn

          First of all abortion causes no pain or suffering to the embryo. The embryos brain isn't developed enough to feel pain and suffering. And abortion has nothing to do with peoples diets. Take your religious pro-life views concerning pro- life matters concerning abortion to a christian forum or better yet to yourself. ;) This has no comparison and nothing to do with the inhumane ways we treat animals.

          July 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • johnd

      cruelty is not a belief...calling it out and advocating against it is honorable

      July 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • johnd

      you're confusing nutrition and animal welfare...scientific fact: humans can get all the nutrients they need from plants

      July 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
      • Myto Senseworth

        You sound like you are suffering from a poor diet. You need more meat. It improves brain function.

        July 17, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  18. wdh

    I am amazed at the ignorance of human society. All this talk of industrialized family farms and the poor care of the animals. I grew up on a family run hog and grain farm in the 60s and 70s. Farmers care deeply about their animals, no matter what the size of their operation. There has been so much improvements to the facilities that all animals are housed in today that they are much better taken care of when I was farming with my parents. We constantly fought diseases and vacccinated often. Given better housing conditions for the animals, there is now less vaccines and antibiotics necessary. Just like any other business, the size of our farms have grown to better capture scale of efficiencies and this helps keep food costs down. I would like the Human Society to quantify for us the additional cost per dozen eggs, per pound of meat, gallon of milk, etc. that their policies or wish list will cost the American consumer. If our American Farmers have to go all organic or operate as the Amish, this country will not be able to afford to eat let alone produce enough for everyone to eat. I wish these morans would put their attention and efforts towards child abuse, women abuse, etc as our farmers are taking care of their animals and farms just fine!!!

    July 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Badly-Bent

      I'm guessing you've seen Food Inc.? And your OK with that. I, on the other hand would like to see Monsanto out of American agribusiness completely.

      July 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Nope

      Oh, yes, they're taking such good care - in industrial farm conditions - that we've come up with: battery cages for hens, forced molting for hens, gestation crates for pigs, the abuse of downed animals, confinement of calves for veal production, and terrible slaughterhouse conditions, to name a few problems. I'm not saying it's that way on a family farm at all; I'm sure there are plenty of farmers who do care about animal welfare. Also, you bring up a strange point - we CAN care about these issues and, also, issues like abuse of women and children. Being concerned about animal welfare doesn't preclude concern about other issues.

      July 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • johnd

      killing animals for profit isn't caring about them

      July 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Nope

      I wish I could find the info, but there have been some studies that show people are willing to pay more for cruelty-free meat.

      July 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
      • johnd

        no such thing as "cruelty free meat" unless the animal died a natural death

        July 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
        • Nope

          Good point. I just think we'll always eat meat, so the best shot is to try to improve the conditions of the animals we consume. I'm not saying I agree with it, but it's reality, unfortunately.

          July 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
        • lroy

          God didn't give us canine teeth for nothing. Our mouths were made for eating meat, and fruits and vegetables (preferably together).

          July 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
      • Boo

        I'm one of them. I will not knowingly purchase any meat that comes from a factory farm. And I do wind up paying more and I don't care.

        July 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
        • C

          Absolutely with you, Boo. I grew up on a family farm and we raised our own meat. We were taught from a very young age to protect and care for our animals as best as we could. Now when my husband and I eat meat, we buy from small farms and have no problem paying more for healthier and more humanely harvested meats. Most of the public can eat this way by cutting down on the amount of meat they consume and use humane meat as a complement or a treat. Part of why we are so unhealthy in this country is because we eat too much non-nutritional junk, and not enough good food; vitamin-filled food. A range of fresh vegetables, fruits, and sparse high-quality dairy and meat is a very good diet. One can also do well meat and dairy free, if they choose to do so. It's so interesting that we, as a nation, are overfed, yet malnourished.

          July 20, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  19. johna

    Every time I eat an animal I enjoy it. The more you people protest it the more it makes me want it, just because I'm tired of people such as yourselves telling me what I should and should not do. Mind your own f-ing business!

    July 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Tess

      No one is telling you what you should or should not do. In fact, what meat eaters should praise about this article is that at no point does it advocate vegetarianism. This article is about what meat eaters can do to improve conditions, which emphasizes that meat eaters are capable of compassion too. There are more humane ways to consume meat.

      July 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • Nope

        Thanks, Tess, sensible response. It's not a threatening article at all and people don't have to read it and they don't even have to agree.

        July 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • lroy

        In order to eat meat, an animal has to die. No one can eat a live animal.

        July 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • johnd

      if you saw someone beating a dog or child, would you intervene or just "mind you own f-ing business"

      July 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  20. Badly-Bent

    How can you have any pudding if you don't beat your meat?

    July 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Dr Ruth

      I love Pudding..!!

      July 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
      • lroy

        Let's see, there's Yorkshire Pudding (you need beef juice for that). There's blood pudding (Wiki it). Which would you like?

        July 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  21. pychkjn

    God gave Moses permission to eat animals.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  22. dog

    Pass the A-1 sauce. Steak it is whats for dinner.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  23. KP - Midwest

    Another suggestion on the list should be to buy from local farmers who treat their animals humanely.

    July 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Tess


      July 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • johnd

      a step in the right direction, but in the long run you're kidding yourself

      July 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  24. jlns

    Adam and Eve did not eat the animals they named. They were given dominion over them to take care of them – not eat them. Their children did the same thing. It was the decendents of cain that started killing and eating animals because the earth was cursed to them and not produce crops. Check it out – it is written in ancient texts!
    Animals are some of God's creations placed on the earth for man's enjoyment – not his dinner table.

    July 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Dr Ruth

      yeah right... if I go by your recipe I have to believe Adam and Eve's Kids were product of incest, and so on they committed incest to populate the earth.

      What else did your imaginary friend told you?

      July 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Dr Ruth

      Is it truth that Jesus had lamb shops at the last dinner? But he did not have the mint sauce.. can you confirm that?

      July 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Robyn

      Leviticus 1 (New International Version)

      The Burnt Offering

      1 The LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting. He said, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any of you brings an offering to the LORD, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.
      3 ” ‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to offer a male without defect. He must present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD. 4 He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. 5 He is to slaughter the young bull before the LORD, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 6 He is to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. 7 The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8 Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the burning wood that is on the altar. 9 He is to wash the inner parts and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 14 ” ‘If the offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, he is to offer a dove or a young pigeon. 15 The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off the head and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 He is to remove the crop with its contents and throw it to the east side of the altar, where the ashes are. 17 He shall tear it open by the wings, not severing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is on the fire on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. :) Just a few bible verses for you jlns.

      July 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  25. jlns

    Hey Hogman – Adam and Eve did not eat the animals they named. They were givin dominion over the animals to take care of them – not eat them. Their children did the same thing. It was the decendents of cain that started killing and eating animals because the earth was cursed to them and not produce crops. Check it out – it is written in ancient texts!
    Animals are some of God's creations placed on the earth for man's enjoyment – not his dinner table.

    July 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Robyn

      repost just for fun- 14 ” ‘If the offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, he is to offer a dove or a young pigeon. 15 The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off the head and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 He is to remove the crop with its contents and throw it to the east side of the altar, where the ashes are. 17 He shall tear it open by the wings, not severing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is on the fire on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.

      July 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  26. Jackie

    GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT article!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope people really do pay attention and read this and actually take this advice!

    July 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  27. johna

    So... are Wolves animal abusers too ?

    July 16, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Terry Ward

      Only if they're Werewolves..

      July 17, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  28. Nope

    From Washington Post, comments on gestation crates:
    "A 1997 report of the Scientific Veterinary Committee of the European Union — where a gestation crate ban will go into effect next year — noted that because 'overall welfare appears to be better when sows are not confined throughout gestation, sows should be preferably be kept in groups.'” Likewise in 2008, the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, after 21 / 2 years of research, recommended “'the phase-out, within 10 years, of all intensive confinement systems that restrict natural movement and normal behaviors, including swine gestation crates'.”

    July 16, 2012 at 10:03 am |
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