One environmental justice struggle is animals rights in farms. For meat and dairy, animals can be horribly abused and locked away in a tiny space. Pigs are locked away in a very crowded barn, female chickens get their beaks removed while male chickens go through a meat grinder while they are still alive, Calf are separated from their mothers as soon as they are born, and then male calf are chained up to make veal . Most meat, dairy, and egg brands practice cruel methods to cut costs and save as much money as they can without thinking of the health of animals. They also overuse antibiotics, which creates ‘superbugs’ like MRSA.
Cruelty-free products are defined as thinking of the animal’s happiness. Letting animals roam free in a pasture, use the least amount of antibiotics as possible, and providing higher quality food for the animals, among other things. I try to research as much as I can about which name brands come from cruelty-free sources. For example, I spend thirty minutes in a store debating on which milk I should have purchased. It sounds abnormal, but I asked myself if I deserved any dairy product when I couldn’t buy from a brand that was pasture raised. I settled on Prairie Farms milk, because after an intense Google session I found that they said that the milk is from local farms. But, they also stated that most cows are pasture-raised, but not all. This is still a vague answer for me, because there is a chance that I picked a two gallon of milk that came from cows that weren’t allowed to be raised in a pasture.
Despite how strongly I feel about this issue, my biggest struggle is my budget, versus my conscious. I am a low income college student, and I cannot spend more than a very strict amount of money a week on groceries. When I compare the prices of cruelty-free products to other products that have a history of animal abuse or provide very vague and uncertain answers about the quality of life they provide to their animals, cruelty-free products are much more expensive. I can’t condemn anyone because most people can’t afford these products. I am trying to think of animal products as a luxury, rather than a necessity.
Animal Cruelty Is the Price We Pay for Cheap Meat | Rolling Stone. (n.d.). Retrieved August 05, 2016, from http://www.rollingstone.com/feature/belly-beast-meat-factory-farms-animal-activists
Farmed Animals and the Law – Animal Legal Defense Fund. (n.d.). Retrieved August 05, 2016, from http://aldf.org/resources/advocating-for-animals/farmed-animals-and-the-law/
Organic Egg Scorecard – The Cornucopia Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved August 05, 2016, from http://www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/
Prairie Farms Dairy. (n.d.). Retrieved August 05, 2016, from http://www.prairiefarms.com/about-families-helping-families.aspx
Why Factory Farming Is a Broken System Where Extreme Animal Cruelty and Abuse Is the Norm. (n.d.). Retrieved August 05, 2016, from http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/factory-farming-animal-cruelty/