If you eat food that has come from animals, do you care if those animals were well treated in their lifetime? If you do, how would you know? After all, one packet of smoky streaked bacon looks like another, right? This question has tasked animal welfare campaigners for generations. Market research has indicated that the Lecale public do care where their food comes from, and insist upon high standards of animal welfare.
Many people eat animals. That has been a fact of human existence since the dawn of man. Over the millennia, our attitude towards animals has changed. Descarte in the 16th century advocated that animals were “automaton” – they were no more than machines put on this earth to serve man. This attitude has evolved, where most reasonable people concede that animals have certain “rights”, independent of human interference. These “animal rights” insist that animals are treated with dignity and respect, while alive, no matter their ultimate use in the human food chain.
So, given that most people eat animals, and that most people do care about the welfare of farmed animals, how can you be sure that the meat / fish / pork you eat comes from a welfare-friendly farm? Through many years of work, quality assurance schemes have come into existence to ensure that you can be confident that the food you eat is welfare-friendly. This means that the animals have been treated well in their lifetime. They have been given adequate exposure to light, have adequate space to move around, and are allowed to socialize among many other factors. The UK and the EU have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, something we in Lecale can be proud of. Two examples of these farm quality assurance standards are the “Red Tractor Scheme” and the “RSPCA Assured” scheme.
If you buy a product in your local supermarket, and it has the label “Red Tractor” or “RSPCA Assured”, you can be confident that it comes from a farm where animals are well treated. These schemes have rigorous standards for animal welfare decided by scientists and vets. There are regular inspections of farms to ensure the standards are adhered to, and improved upon. Major retailers are signing up to these schemes, recognizing that the public demands it.
So, please, when you shop, look for the Red Tractor, or RSPCA mark or other equivalent label to ensure that your food is ethically sourced. You, as the consumer, have power, the power to make sure that our animals are treated humanely. Use it.