Responding to the Objection: “But I Only Buy Humanely-Raised Animal Products!”

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Free From Harm contributor Ashley Capps provides an effective, well-stated response to the objection, “But I only buy humanely-raised animal products”:

“Any time consumers of meat, eggs or dairy advocate for ‘humane’ treatment of farm animals, they confront an unavoidable paradox: the movement to treat farm animals better is based on the idea that it is wrong to subject them to unnecessary harm; yet, killing animals we have no need to eat constitutes the ultimate act of unnecessary harm.” (1)

Regardless of the humane certification, the following inhumane and unnatural circumstances apply to all animals raised for food:

  • “Humans decide where animals will live;
  • if they will ever know their mothers;
  • if, and how long, they will nurse their babies;
  • when, and if, they will be permitted to see or be with their families and friends;
  • when, where, or if they will be allowed to socialize with members of their own species;
  • when, how, and if, they are going to reproduce;
  • what, when, and how much they will eat;
  • how much space they will have, if any;
  • if, and how far, they will be allowed to roam;
  • what mutilations they will be subjected to;
  • what, if any, veterinary care they will receive;
  • and when, where, and how they are going to die.” (2)

“If these were the circumstances of your brief and unfree life,” asks Capps, “at the end of which you would be forcefully restrained, attacked, and slaughtered against your will, at a fraction of your natural lifespan, all for completely unnecessary reasons — would you maintain that you had been humanely treated?”

(1) The above is an excerpt from A Comprehensive Analysis of the Humane Farming Myth by Ashley Capps.

(2) Excerpted from the brochure, Humane Animal Farming? Take a Closer Look, published by Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

About Robert Grillo

Robert Grillo is the founder and director of Free from Harm, a non profit animal rescue, education and advocacy organization. Robert is the author of over 500 articles on Free from Harm and is particularly interested in the advocacy of chickens and turkeys who collectively represent 99% of the animals exploited for food. He shares his life with a flock of rescued hens and a rescued homing pigeon. You can email Robert at And you can find him on Google+ and Twitter.

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  1. spot on Robert-again the Golden Rule shows it’s ability to render false dichotomy and selfish justification absurd. violence to others is only considered “humane” because it’s defenders are not the victims themselves. for a species so concerned about our own pain and suffering, we certainly are apathetic at best but all too often even proud of the suffering we cause others.

  2. First of all, good cartoon! Of course, if any teacher actually said that to the kiddies, he/she would probably be fired!

    Markgil is right–as long as human beings themselves are not feeling the pain, there will be no rush to veganism. Unfortunately, people put greed and pleasure over other creatures’ pain. I keep going back to a comment Farley Mowat made about wolves: Humans are a bad species and the sooner we get off the planet, the better. In the meantime, those of us who care will keep trying to make things better for the animals and deal with the frustration and anger that often brings us.

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