It’s more accessible now than ever to purchase meat ethically. But with that, comes a slew of confusing terms and labels: hormone-free, certified humane, free range, the list goes on.
Therein lies several questions and the biggest one of all: where do I start?
One of the easiest ways to discern if a meat product is cruelty-free is by looking out for the Certified Humane logo.
Pictured: Certified Humane label in Mr Farmer’s in-store butchery
What is Certified Humane?
Comprising 40 members of animal scientists and veterinarians from around the world, Certified Humane was developed to certify businesses that adhere to humane and ethical practices for their farmers, livestock and the environment.
Compared to other animal welfare programs, Certified Humane also promises full transparency; a range of comprehensive fact sheets, comparison charts and animal care guidelines are laid out on their website for your perusal.
TLDR; the logo is an indication of a product that is free from unethical practices.
How it works
Upon satisfactory application and inspection, farmers and ranchers will be certified and granted the ability to use the Certified Humane logo. They will then be inspected annually and monitored on a regular basis.
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They must first meet the high Certified Humane standards, which are based on the following criteria and more:
- Animals are not overcrowded in confinement systems
- Animals have not received unnecessary antibiotics or growth hormones
- Animals have access to clean drinking water at all times
- Animals have access to wholesome and nutritious feed
- Animals are not slaughtered in an untimely manner
- Farmers are paid fairly
This criterion is updated regularly, incorporates as scientific research and advice changes.
4 reasons you should start purchasing Certified Humane meat products
- For the good of farm animals
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Being locked up in cages too small for even the tiniest of movements. Being injected with hormones to induce growth beyond what their bodies can handle. Being subjected to a lifetime of stress, to the point of losing their instinctive animal behaviours.
This is an experience that is most unpleasant, yet one that livestock – chickens, cows, pigs and others – are all too familiar with.
Image by Stijn Te Strake via Unsplash
Certified Humane inspectors take several factors into consideration when inspecting a compound: space allotment, transportation, feed, untimely slaughter and more. Most importantly, any form of animal abuse or mistreatment is not tolerated.
These stringent inspections ensure that businesses are treating their livestock as living beings rather than inanimate inventory.
- You can avoid literally dying from pneumonia
Factory farming practices often use growth hormones and antibiotics to boost growth or increase reproduction in their animals.
This has not only suppressed the immune system of farm animals, but also increased the risk of antibiotic resistance in people as a result.
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Harmless as it sounds, antibiotic resistance means that deadly infections – like pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea, and others – are much more difficult to treat. As if they aren’t already.
The World Health Organization even calls this antibiotic resistance “one of the biggest threats to global health”.
Certified Humane’s strict animal care guidelines outline precise space requirements for every single farm animal to reduce stress, overcrowding and diseases, and in turn, eliminates the need for day-to-day antibiotic or growth hormone use.
- Your local farmers will be paid more than 20 cents per hour
Industrialisation has made it virtually impossible for local farmers to compete with factory farms that bring a cheaper and quicker way to meet market demands. It lowers the market price of meats, creating a financial disadvantage for local farmers.
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Because these farmers don’t earn sufficient income as it is, they wind up not having enough to raise animals humanely. Which, unfortunately, has become the status quo.
The standards that Certified Humane businesses uphold veer the industry away from this tragic norm; in paying local farmers a fair wage, it grants them the financial ability to raise animals in an ethical manner, too.
- Your consumer choices will affect industry norms
Lastly, every consumer plays a part in the industry’s supply and demand.
Your purchase from a Certified Humane business supports its cause and takes us one step closer to a world where ethical farming is the norm.
Image by Jo Anne McArthur via Unsplash
Especially considering the fact that there are little to no laws protecting farmers, farm animals, and their environment in Singapore, it’s a small but necessary step.
To top it all off, the more Certified Humane purchases are made, the more affordable and accessible it will become.
At the end of the day, purchasing from a Certified Humane business means you can consume meat products with a clean conscience. And that’s the next best thing to going vegan.
Pictured: Chicken drumstick in Mr Farmer’s in-store butchery
Check out our range of Certified Humane chicken products that are hormone-free, antibiotic-free, cage-free and lower in sodium and fats. Free delivery for orders in Singapore above $50 applies.
This article was written by Marie Stella.