Have you noticed that an increasing number of food products on the market tout claims such as “animal friendly,” “natural,” or “sustainable”? The industry knows that not only are some consumers eager to make more informed purchasing decisions, many of them are also willing to pay more for products they perceive to be more aligned with their values or concerns. While these labels may mean a lot to consumers, they sadly don’t often mean a lot for animals — it’s all about the marketing.
In a startling new video, a food industry consultant reveals the shameful secrets that marketers use for selling meat and other animal products to well-meaning consumers. She shows how animal agriculture companies:
- Use vague but trendy terms (such as those mentioned above) that convey a message of animal welfare and sustainability.
- Emphasize progress and innovation to distract attention away from negative conversations, such as touting technological advancements rather than discussing overuse of antibiotics.
- Capitalize on the public’s willful ignorance — the idea that people avoid the truth so they don’t have to change.
Supporting this testimony, the Animal Welfare Institute just released a report: “Label Confusion: How “Humane” and “Sustainable” Claims on Meat Packages Deceive Consumers.” According this report, more than 80% of the label claims on products surveyed had no evidence to back them, and it further highlights how the US Dept. of Agriculture fails to monitor these claims.
In 2013, COK co-filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration, the USDA, and the Federal Trade Commission for failing to regulate animal welfare labeling on egg cartons. To most consumers’ surprise, there is currently no federal regulation of the use of welfare claims on eggs, allowing producers to market their eggs as “animal friendly” or “naturally-raised” even when those eggs from from birds who spend their lives crammed inside tiny cages.
So what’s the best way to guarantee that the food you eat is healthy, compassionate, and sustainable? It’s simple: we can leave animals off our plates altogether. Visit TryVeg.com for tips and delicious plant-based recipes.