FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

In Search For the Happy Pig

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Pigs in gestation crates

Pigs in gestation crates (Photo credit: Farm Sanctuary)

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the manner in which its animals are treated”

Mahatma Gandhi

I recently read about a program that began in 2009 that is great news for animals.  This certification program is part of a revolution to improve the lives of animals raised for food, according to an article in the July/August 2012 issue of “All Animals” from the Humane Society of the United States.

A TimeLine of Confinement (from the HSUS):

1940’s – Streptomycin is discovered that allowed farmers to raise animals in confinement without risking widespread disease.

1950’s: Chicken and turkeys are raised in crowded barns using ways to make them grow faster.

1960’s: Cattle are fattened in feedlots and nearly half of the egg production come from caged hens.

1970’s: Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO’s) are identified as potential sources of pollution under the Clean Water Act.

1990’s: Most sows are kept in gestation crates where they can hardly move.

2000’s: Florida passes first anti-confinement law and  a six other states follow.  Burger King announces that it will start switching to cage-free eggs and gestation crate-free-pork.

2010s: Antibiotic use in animals is urged by the FDA to be phased out by farmers.  Congress introduces a bill to end battery cages for egg-laying hens. Safeway and McDonald’s pledge to phase out gestation crates for sows.

For detailed information on the certification program called the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating System:

CLICK HERE.

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