As more and more people begin to pay attention to how the food they consume is produced (as evidenced by the popularity and widespread media coverage of documentaries like Food Inc, and books like Eating Animals, The Omnivore's Dilemma and Fast Food Nation), more and more people are beginning to realize some disturbing facts:
-Many words applied to animal food products are marketing, not meaningful. Words like "cage-free", for example -Other words have meaning, but not to the extent that, again, the marketing might have you believe. Words like "organic", for example
In other words: Cage-free has no regulation tied to it, and is, essentially, meaningless. Organic may mean something about what an animal is fed, but not how. Organic does not equal Humane, and this has become clearer in the last two years or so.
Mostly, the big glaring exception is that there is what's called a "finish feeding period". And this can last up to 120 days. So the last FOUR months of a cow's life can still be miserable...off-pasture and fed unnaturally. You know. Before slaughter, which may still more likely than not be painful and terrifying.
But while my personal choices are based on an animal rights view, I am not one of those who thinks we should forestall animal welfare improvement until some perfect day arrives.
So, I hope these guidelines are a good step, even as I think they don't go nearly far enough!
And no, I'm not actually talking about whether you replace them often enough. Over on my vegan blog I do a quick run-down of a new vegan make-up brush I was sent. Why vegan make-up brushes? You''ll have to read and see: