Whole Story

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Let's Respect Farm Animals

By Paige Brady, April 26, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady
Let It’s often easy to forget that the burger, steak or drumstick on your plate was once an animal. How was that animal raised? How was it treated? Where did it come from? What did it eat? What about hormones and antibiotics? Was its growth artificially accelerated to get to market sooner and reduce feed cost? Here are a few things to think about as you try to answer those questions. outsidebox Let’s Drink To That Administering synthetic growth hormones such as rBST to dairy cows can increase milk yield and thus the supply of milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, etc. For your convenience, Whole Foods Market offers a wide selection of dairy products, including many from farms that don’t give their cows synthetic growth hormones. In fact, our own 365 Everyday Value® and Whole Foods Market™ brand dairy products (including cheese) are from farmers who pledge not to use rBST. Another great way to avoid them is to choose organic, since the National Organic Standards don’t allow synthetic growth hormones…vote with your dollars! If you were buying milk, would you look for a label with “no rBST” or “no rBGH”? Take our poll on synthetic growth hormones and see how your thoughts stack up with others. Let’s Allow Hens To Be Hens Cage-free eggs are from laying hens that move around freely, exercise and scratch about instead of being confined in a cage. All eggs sold in cartons and used in recipes in our Whole Foods Market kitchens and bakehouses are cage free. Let’s Respect Our Dinner Our meat and poultry standards at Whole Foods Market not only allow us to offer the highest quality food to our customers, they take into account the comfort, physical safety and health of the animals. For example, our animal welfare standards require enough space for chickens to run around and flap their wings. Remember: Every bite has a story. Your conscious food choices make a world of difference. Learn more at Let’s Retake our Plates.

 

35 Comments

Comments

FairTrade says ...
Well said and quite right. In fact I'd say that if you don't respect farm animals you cannot respect yourself... do you honestly think those growth hormones don't get passed on? In the UK many people believe that growth hormones shorten the useful lifespan of dairy animals... do you want your useful lifespan shortened?
04/26/2010 4:35:38 PM CDT
screwdestiny says ...
Well said. I truly believe that many of the animals on this earth were put there for us to consume them. But I do not by any stretch believe that God meant for us to treat them like we do. It's horrific and we should be ashamed, but for some reason very few seem to care.
04/28/2010 3:09:23 AM CDT
Elli Hall says ...
I am very happy to see Whole Foods endorsing meaningful standards of care for farm animals... Thank you...it's a good thing. I personally can't forget for one minute that cooked meat was once a sentient being... so even though I love bacon etc. I am no longer eating meat... and I feel good about reducing the suffering of animals ( who certainly don't want to die no matter how humanely they have been raised).
04/28/2010 6:56:07 PM CDT
dr ak says ...
reall proud the read so m,uch you are doing for organics god bless your good job/dr aqk /india /texas
04/29/2010 4:05:15 AM CDT
JudyCollins says ...
Its about time someone has started to do something about the things we eat from animals. They don't want to die or live in a cage just like us. How about if they treated us the way we treated them we would not like that I try to eat less meat now and only buy meat that lets the animal live a decdent life before coming to their demise this is sad that we take lobster out of the ocean and put them in a age and boil them or chop them while they are alive how cruel humans are
04/29/2010 9:39:27 AM CDT
nick mclogic says ...
@Screwdestiny: I couldn't disagree more about them being "put there for us to consume them". They were born to propagate their species, as are ALL animals, including us. I don't believe in magic, so I will say that some animals are difinitely natural prey for humans, and the ones we do eat should be treated with respect and not suffer. From your point of view it would be good stewardship iof the earth, and from mine it would be common sense and evolution by natural selection at work.
04/29/2010 10:52:32 AM CDT
Deborah says ...
Well done of you to stock only supplies from animals who were treated well. I am a vegan and feel good about my choice not to contribute to the cruelty propagated on animals in the name of food (which is, essentially, unessential. People can get by easily without consuming meat). I agree with another poster, treating animals humanely prior to death is good, but they don't want to be eaten and I feel good (and healthier) by skipping the meat altogether.
04/29/2010 6:06:44 PM CDT
Kimlouw says ...
For those of us interested in humane treatment of our food, check out the following website http://www.certifiedhumane.org/ "...Without our inspection to verify that our standards are being met, anyone can say they meet our standards but unless you see the “Certified Humane Raised and Handled® logo on the package, don’t believe it." I would encourage Whole Foods to start also carrying products with this label, if they don't already. We, your customers, would be thrilled!!!! Thank you.
04/29/2010 6:51:25 PM CDT
Kimlouw says ...
For those of us interested in the humane treatment of our food, we applaud anyone trying to make a difference. Whole Foods helps and everyone can help just by researching online for "certified humane" products (there is a non-profit 3rd party organization that actually labels products as Certified Humane). So see, there is hope!
04/29/2010 7:09:00 PM CDT
Rox Church says ...
I watched the documentary Food Inc. not too long ago, and it has completely changed the way that I shop for groceries. I had no idea about the cruelty imposed on these living creatures that make my food. The absolute disrespect to life shocked me and saddened me. I am now very careful of not only where I shop, but also WHERE I EAT. I realize that I will pay more money for my food, but it is worth it, not only because I am contributing to change, but also because I am also investing in my own future health. We, consumers, have the power to change this awful reality. Let's do it.
04/30/2010 6:13:31 AM CDT
Eating less Meat says ...
I would also like to see Whole Foods carrying the Certified Humane raised and handled products. The more that I hear and read about the horrible mistreatment of animals the sicker that I feel. I'm starting to eat less meat in an effort to go vegetarian and during this process would like to purchase only Certified Humane products.
05/03/2010 11:03:46 AM CDT
Debra says ...
Along with another person here, I am also wondering why Whole Foods does not carry products with the label "Certified Humane" on them. Sure, Mary's Organic Chicken Farm in California has a nice website with a video that depicts happy, well treated chickens...but why aren't any of the meats stamped with the "Certified Humane" stamp? http://www.certifiedhumane.org/ I am just curious, this is no way meant to criticize Whole Foods in any way- I love your store very much - I am just wondering why they dont have that label.
05/04/2010 10:39:51 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Debra You are right that Whole Foods Market should be concerned about the welfare of animals raised for meat. We have been working for 10 years on increasingly more stringent animal welfare standards and have now chosen the Global Animal Partnership 5 Step Animal Welfare Rating as the welfare certification we will present in our stores. While other animal welfare certifications are well respected, the 5 Step program provides us with specific and detailed information that we have determined is necessary to assure that our customers’ expectations are met. Our producers also have the incentive to strive for higher levels of animal welfare over time and be recognized for the improvements made. Global Animal Partnership 5 Step Animal Welfare Rating standards have been developed for beef cattle, pigs and broiler chickens and are in the works for other species as well. Our producers are being audited now to determine their Step ratings and our meat cases will reflect these certifications by the end of 2010. It’s been a long process, and we are excited that it is about to hit our stores…and to change the way animals are raised around the world.
05/10/2010 1:20:04 PM CDT
Dan Jordinelli says ...
I've seen claims that the organic and free range meats sold by Whole Foods are antibiotic and hormone free. This is great and I do appreciate that. I'm curious which humane method is used to kill the cattle and what slaughterhouse method is used. Folks with ethic based vegetarian choices are curious just how this method continues your humane treatment of the animals before they are shipped to Whole Foods for sale to the consumers. I personally would eat meat on ocassion if I knew for a fact that from birth to market they are treated with care and love. Thank you for answering this honest question. Dan
05/31/2010 11:21:14 AM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Dan For the past 10 years, Whole Foods has required ALL producers who sell meat to us to work with slaughter plants that have animal welfare practices well developed. They are required to pass an audit for animal welfare annually, and that audit is based on the tolerances and criteria developed by Temple Grandin. Measurements and observations include stress to the animal (measured in several different ways) at critical points throughout the plant, insensibility prior to slaughter, etc. We do not want animals to be stressed or to experience pain at slaughter. You can read more about the methods and criteria used to assess animal welfare at http://grandin.com/. Thanks for your question.
06/01/2010 7:03:49 AM CDT
Jacqueline says ...
Does Whole Foods require every product carried in their stores that use eggs as an ingredient to be cage-free? Or is it just for the cartons of eggs and the eggs used in their bakeries and the 365 brand products?
06/30/2010 12:33:55 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Jacqueline We use fresh cage-free eggs in all of our Kitchens, Bakeries, Bakehouses and Commissaries. All of our 365 in-shell eggs are cage-free. Certified Organic Eggs, in accordance with the USDA’s National Organic Standards, are cage-free and the hens are required to have access to the outdoors and are fed an all-vegetarian feed free of antibiotics, drugs, pesticides and animal byproducts. If you are buying products that have eggs as an ingredient, you may want to choose ones that use organic eggs. Thanks for asking.
06/30/2010 3:01:18 PM CDT
Jacqueline says ...
So if I buy an all natural product that says eggs, but not specifically organic eggs, then the eggs might be cage-free or might not, right? Thanks
06/30/2010 3:46:04 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Jacqueline Yes, that's a correct assumption. You would need to contact the manufacturer to find out specifically unless they advertise it on the packaging that they went the extra step of sourcing eggs from cage-free hens. Thanks.
06/30/2010 5:00:49 PM CDT
Kathleen Lowy says ...
I appreciate that you take into consideration the welfare of animals. I will purchase dairy products and eggs at your stores, particularly as I see they have the Certified Humane label., the only way I will purchase eggs and dairy products. I hope you will have more Certified Humane products. Thank you.
08/29/2010 5:00:58 PM CDT
Jennifer says ...
Can you please tell me if the cheese, and other dairy ingredients in your 365 label non-organic products are sourced from humane farms? Also, does Whole Foods periodically audit its non-organic dairy suppliers to review their practices? Thank you, Jennifer
11/19/2010 3:43:11 PM CST
violet Kanda says ...
I am almost sure my message is rejected and nobody is going to read but I try anyway. Firstly, if people respect farm animals, they don't see farm animals as food animals. Secondly, farm animals are not stupid. they know death is near when they hear scream and smell blood of other slaughtered animals. What I am saying is there is no such thing call humane slaughter knowing unlike our companion animals(cats and dogs)farm animals are killed with bullets and knives while they are still in full conscious. Humane slaughter sound nice for meat eaters but is bullets between the eyes of animal humane? I am sure sometimes it is necessary for killer to shoot cows and pigs more than once. If our companion animals are killed same way cows, pigs, chickens are killed, I am sure millions of people get upset but because they are farm animals, people have different way of thinking.
01/13/2011 6:52:43 PM CST
Tiferet says ...
Look, vegans and vegetarians posting in this thread--I respect your right to choose what you want to eat, and your right to think what you want to think, but please stop saying that it's totally easy for people not to eat meat. Due to health conditions there are many grains that I cannot eat at all and I have to limit my carbohydrates. It's almost impossible to eat gluten free pastry that hasn't got eggs in it and meat is one of the few foods I can trust NEVER to make me sick (unless of course it's contaminated or rotten, as can happen to any food). I know there are gluten free vegans in the world but I feel my life is hard enough and my dietary choices already sufficiently limited that it annoys me beyond belief when people say it's easy not to eat meat or any animal products at all. If you cannot have gluten or soy (I can have soy but I know many people who can't) your meatless protein options are pretty limited and I'm just not willing to go there.
01/20/2011 12:26:24 AM CST
Susan says ...
Your 5 step program excludes all dairy products whether from cows or goats. Is there a reason they don't need humane treatment? Or is it that there is no humane way to steal milk from a mother and butcher her child.
10/03/2011 12:36:32 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Susan Thank you for reaching out. I just spoke with Elizabeth Fry, our 5-Step Rating specialist regarding your concern with dairy animals. We'd like to assure you that Global Animal Partnership has plans on their horizon for the humane treatment of dairy animals. Unfortunately, this is a very slow process and as the Global Animal Partnership continues to improve their processes and the standard that each ranch/farm is held, they will be more able to better handle the same process when it comes to the humane treatment of our dairy producing animals. Whole Foods Market is currently working with all of their egg producers to increase the quality of life for egg-laying hens. We share your concern for all these creatures and want to assure you that this is a slow but continually moving process to better the treatment of all animals purposed for consumption in some manner.
10/04/2011 4:07:21 PM CDT

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