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

dan piraro milk comic

®Bizarro Comics (bizarro.com)

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

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About Robert Grillo

Robert Grillo is the director of Free from Harm which he founded in 2009. As an activist, author and speaker, Grillo focuses awareness on the animal’s experience and point of view, drawing on insights from sociology, psychology, popular culture, ethics and social justice to bridge the gap between humans and other animals. As a marketing communications professional for over 20 years, Grillo has worked on large food industry accounts where he gained a behind the scenes perspective on food industry marketing.

4 comments

  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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