battery cages

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse…

BusinessWire: Eggology Becomes First Egg Products Brand “Certified Humane” By Animal Welfare Auditor, Humane Farm Animal Care

According to Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), and their partners at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Eggology egg products are humane. There you have it. No reason to go vegan, you crazy animal huggers. Animals like to be killed for trivial reasons, such as the taste of scrambled eggs.

How is anyone supposed to explain that veganism is a moral obligation when HSUS, the ASPCA and HFAC are all saying that eggs can be produced humanely? You certainly can’t do it by stating that eggs are inherently inhumane. Why? Because that “radical animal rights organization,” HSUS, and other animal lovers say they can be produced humanely; you just gotta follow some simple guidelines…

With certified humane egg products on the market, you’ll be hard-pressed to convince the average Joe that an omelette made with Eggology, Hope Acres cheese and Prather Ranch ham is bad for animals. Heck, if you subscribe to the utilitarian point of view, you may be morally obligated to eat this breakfast, since those animal exploiters brought much happiness into the world by breeding, raising and killing those animals so that Average Joe could enjoy his tasty, “humane” breakfast. 

I am so disgusted.

If you are wondering why vegans and vegetarians have gone back to eating certain animal products, wonder no longer. These folks have, unfortunately, bought into the notion that it is humane to extinguish the life of another being for the sake of profit, to utilize others as a means to our ends when it is entirely unnecessary to do so.

If there is any doubt that animal welfare activism (masquerading as animal rights activism) harms the animal rights and vegan movement(s), I should hope this would make you think about it differently. We may well end up with a few countries in which the vast majority of animal products consumed by people that can afford it are produced outside of typical factory farming conditions. 

This may mean fewer people eat animal products. It may even mean that fewer people will be eating animal products than if we saw a doubling in the number of vegans over the same time period. But animals would still be human property. Their basic, primal interest in continued existence would be negated by our desire for food that we have become accustomed to, and which many people find delicious, but which is by no means necessary for our own continued existence. Their deaths would still be unnecessary blood on our hands. It would still be unjust.
Now, seriously, you can go into vegan outreach with your game face on, because you know that it is never humane to kill another being simply for our own enjoyment, but that conversation is becoming harder and harder than ever, and it’s all because of our friends at various animal protection organizations working so hard to help animal exploiters prove that animal products can be produced humanely!
Good luck, activists. You’re gonna need it.

Guest Post: "Natural" products mask speciesism

Jan Austin Smith is an English and creative writing student at UC Irvine and president of Irvine Students Against Animal Cruelty (ISAAC). He has two novels under his non-leather belt already, and is developing ideas for the animal rights novel he hopes will be the hardest-hitting semi-fictional expose this side of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.

“Natural” products mask speciesism
by Jan Austin Smith

This past weekend the Anaheim Convention Center hosted the Natural Products Expo, an industry-only showcase for thousands of companies and products. With the help of a gracious superstar vegan athlete, I was able to get in on Sunday. I spent the day trying out samples, talking to people, soliciting advertising for Go Vegan Radio, and scowling at certain unsightly exhibits.

I think I sampled at least half a dozen dairy-free nice creams—that’s like ice cream, but nicer—including the delicious Temptation out of Chicago, the only nice cream made on equipment not shared with non-vegan ingredients. While there were many fantastic vegan products being exhibited, there was also a preponderance of disconcerting ones. One booth featured elk meat and venison… As if it wasn’t bad enough that we’re intensively breeding, confining and slaughtering animals by the tens of billions, we round up wild animals and turn them into a neat little packaged consumer product, too?

It seemed like everywhere I looked, I saw “humane meat” and “cage-free” eggs. I contest both of those terms. There is no conceivable way to kill someone needlessly for food and have it be humane. It just can’t happen. Eating “humane meat” is kind of like putting a pillow at the bottom of the stairs before you push grandma down them. And while the hens may be free of small wire cages, they are still packed together by the thousands in sheds (larger cages), trapped in bondage to humankind.

This has been a frequently-raised issue lately. With Whole Foods Market’s new commitment to “Animal Compassionate Standards,” and groups like HSUS and PETA praising the chain for its ethical treatment of animals, “humane meat” is a rapidly expanding market. This couldn’t be more troubling. Now people—people who may’ve been leaning toward a plant-based diet, or even those who’d already adopted one for ethical reasons—are lulled into feeling good about consuming animal-derived products again. After all, the two most publicly prominent animal protection groups have given it their seal of approval. It must be okay now!

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The only humane meat is no meat (or perhaps organic soy “meat”). The only cage-free eggs are no eggs at all. The most insidious part of animal agribusiness is the fundamental principle underlying the exploitation and commodification of living beings, not the hormones and antibiotics or the size of cages and gestation crates. We must never turn down the opportunity to convey that animals have a vested interest in not being ours to use and manipulate, no matter how well we treat them. Advocating on behalf of animals is about undoing speciesism, not making it more palatable with grossly misleading terms.