Consume with care

Can eating animals and animal-derived products ever be ethical? Talk about a can of worms but one thing is for sure – some farming methods are better than others resulting in food that is better for us, the environment and the animals themselves.

The way in which animals are raised for food has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Farming methods have become far more intensive resulting in practices which often neglect animal welfare. Over-crowding, confinement, mutilations without anaesthesia and feeding animals pharmaceuticals to promote high rates of growth are just a few examples of such practices. The good news is that there seems to be an increase in awareness about how our food is produced and the treatment of animals in the process.

Supermarkets and specialty shops now carry an ever-growing range of alternative products, for example free-range and organic meats and eggs. There seems to be a lot of confusion, however, about what the terms ‘free-range’, ‘organic’, and the host of other terms used to describe the way in which food has been produced, actually mean and about which products truly minimize animal suffering. Free range and organic products are usually more expensive than the conventional equivalent and justifiably, people want assurance that the extra money spent at the cash register translates into real improvements in animal welfare standards on the farm. So, what do all these different terms actually mean? How can we really shop and eat more ethically? is a not-for-profit web-site which will provide information for people who care about where their food comes from and who want to learn more about how to shop and eat in a way that minimizes, as much as possible, animal suffering.

The people behind are not advocating a vegetarian or vegan diet. The fact of the matter is that many people eat meat and other animal products and will continue to do so. Their aim is not to make people feel guilty about their food choices, nor to overtly shock them with images of animal cruelty. They want to increase awareness about how animals are raised for food here in Australia and empower people to create change through their food choices.

They will do this by demystifying the different labels and terminology that appear on animal-derived product labels. They will also provide recommendations for specific products and brands that are the best of the bunch when it comes to upholding high animal welfare standards and where to buy them. They want to make ethical choices both easy and accessible.

To get their project up and running have applied for a grant from the animal protection organisation Voiceless and have been nominated to win a People’s Choice award. Now here’s where they need your help. Please visit the Voiceless web-site and cast your vote for to win the award. In essence it’s a popularity contest – the project with the most votes at the end of the voting period wins the award. Voting is open until noon on Friday 16th September and will take you about 30 seconds. Click on the link below to vote:

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