Kristie Middleton works for the Farm Animal Protection division of The Humane Society. Working to reduce the suffering of animals raised for milk, eggs and meat – the Human Society’s Farm Animal Protection Project seeks to educate the public about the cruelty of animals who are directly and indirectly involved in our food chain.
Middleton shares her thoughts…
Q: How can people who live in a highly populated city, like New York City, ensure that our food is from animals raised in the proper environment?
A: For those who choose to consume meat, eggs, and milk products, there is an inherent responsibility to use our consumer dollars to support only those farming practices we feel provide animals the level of welfare they deserve. It’s all about doing your homework. Though it may be easier to simply go for the lowest-priced item, what do we know about how that animal was raised? You don’t have to spend hours and hours online doing research or visit every single farm or ranch.
Q: The Humane Society believes everyone should Reduce, Refine and Replace – how can people implement this into their lives, especially in a city?
A: These tenants are easy steps for people everywhere to make. About 10 billion animals are raised and killed in the U.S. every year for our consumption and the vast majority are raised on factory farms where they live lives devoid of things that are natural and important to them. We can help improve their lives by:
- Reducing our consumption of animals and animal products by participating in programs like Meatless Monday. If every American went meat-free just one day a week, it would mean 1.4 billion fewer animals raised and slaughtered each year.
- Refining the products we eat by switching to higher welfare products such as cage-free eggs and pork from breeding pigs not confined in cages.
- Replacing animal products in our diet with plant-based ones, like egg replacers instead of eggs for baking; soy, almond, or rice milk instead of dairy; and meat alternatives like Gardein and Tofurky. Those products are found in grocery stores and in many New York City corner stores.