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'Certified Humane Raised & Handled' Label: Euphoria for Whom?

In my previous blog post, Partners in Exploitation, I discussed the various labeling schemes endorsed and promoted by HSUS, PETA, and other animal welfare corporations.

Well low and behold, yesterday, I went to the local Whole Foods Market, you know, the one to which PETA gave the Best Animal-Friendly Retailer award, and I picked up a copy of the Whole Foods magazine, “Whole Deal.”

And there was a coupon for “All Natural Brown Cow Parfaits,” which are apparently combinations of different flavors of yogurt.

Yogurt? But doesn’t that involve animal suffering and death?

Not to worry. As you can see:

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This yogurt carries the “Certified Humane Raised & Handled” label. The Certified Humane Raised and Handled Label is the stamp of approval of an organization called Humane Farm Animal Care, which developed the label with its partners, including the Humane Society of the United States. The HFAC/HSUS label isdescribed as “a consumer certification and labeling program” to give consumers assurance that a labeled “egg, dairy, meat or poultry product has been produced with the welfare of the farm animal in mind.”

The fine print on the coupon says that the Brown Cow Parfait:

“Meets the Humane Farm Animal Care Program standards, which include nutritious diet without antibiotics, or hormones, animals raised with shelter, resting areas, sufficient space and the ability to engage in natural behaviors.”

Please note that cow on the coupon is wearing a little service cap and holding a spoon in her mouth. So it’s all okay. You see, she’s willingly serving you this product, made from her suffering and death and the suffering and death of her children.

The coupon has “Euphoria!” written at the top. “Euphoria” is defined as a “sense of happiness or well-being.”

And whose euphoria, whose sense of happiness or well being are we talking about?

Perhaps the euphoria of Humane Farm Animal Care, which charges fees for its little stamp-of-approval? Perhaps the euphoria of HSUS, which promotes these “humane” products so that HSUS members and the public in general can feel warm and furry about eating the products of animal torture? Perhaps the euphoria of Whole Foods, who peddle “humane” animal flesh and “happy” animal products and make a fortune doing so? Perhaps the euphoria of PETA, who gives awards to places like Whole Foods so that it, like HSUS, can cash on the “happy meat” fundraising and encourage animal consumption?

One thing of which we can be completely certain: It is not the euphoria of the cow.

If you are not vegan, go vegan. It’s incredibly easy. It is better for your health. It is better for the planet, which sustains all life. And most importantly, it’s the morally right thing to do.

Gary L. Francione
©2010 Gary L. Francione


Related posts:

  1. Partners in Exploitation
  2. A Most Misleading Label
  3. A Note About Michael Vick


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