Frequently Asked Questions
Email Humaneitarian if you have additional questions
Why is humanely raised meat often more expensive?
Giving animals more space, access to pasture, higher quality feed, or individual attention means farmers need to put more time and money into their operations. Prices have to be humane for farmers, too! However, there are ways to lower the cost. Join a meat CSA. Buy in bulk from a farmer. Eat meat less often or treat it as a flavoring or a side dish.
What if I can’t find humanely raised meat at my grocery store?
If you can’t find meat with one of these labels at your store, consider finding a farmers’ market near you. Or you can buy meat by mail. Or you could stock up on humanely raised meat when you visit a city near you – cities are more likely to have a humane butcher shop.
What if there’s no farmers’ market near me?
It might be a little pricey, but you can buy meat by mail.
What should I ask a farmer at the farmers’ market?
Ask the following: 1. Do you raise your animals on pasture? 2. If not, do they get access to an outdoor area? 3. Are they grass-fed (if beef or lamb)? 4. Is your farm humane certified?
Can any meat label be trusted?
Perhaps you’ve heard that the “grass-fed” label doesn’t always mean 100% grass-fed, and “pasture raised” doesn’t always mean pastured throughout the year. Neither label is closely regulated by the government. However, you can ask a farmer or email a meat company for details. (They need to hear from people who care about such things.) For stricter oversight, buy meat that’s been humane certified with one of these labels.
What GAP Step rating should I buy at Whole Foods?
Step 1 offers very little difference from factory farm conditions. Step 2, depending on the product (beef, pork, etc.) offers a bit more improvement. Seek out Steps 3 & 4 for better conditions. Steps 5 and 5+ are the best, of course (totally pasture raised) but anecdotal evidence indicates that very few Whole Foods stores sell meat raised at these levels, probably because there is still relatively little of it for sale in the U.S.
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Why it's important to ask questions...
Farmers and food companies base their product decisions in part on what the market demands. The more often they hear from humaneitarian customers, the more they will realize there is demand for humanely raised meat and they will seek to provide better conditions for animals.
So when you ask questions about humane treatment, it sends out a small ripple of change. (When you spend a bit more change to buy the meat, even better!)