Many people are familiar with the problems associated with large-scale animal agriculture operations. Animal cruelty and environmental degradation are commonplace, so it is easy to understand why we should avoid those products. But what about local and organic meat, dairy and eggs?
A lot of people with good intentions buy “free-range” or “cage-free” meat, eggs and dairy. The problem is that the use of these terms is not regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or any other organization in a legally binding manner, meaning that companies can use them even if they don’t really apply to their products.
Also, in an attempt to to help animals, people often buy local, organically produced meats and animal products. Buying local may cut down on the emissions created from transporting the products to market and organic may reduce chemical usage, but local and organic meats, dairy and eggs can still invovle a great deal of cruelty to animals. Not to mention, it always uses less resources to raise vegetables and fruit than animal products. Please don’t take my word for it though. Watch this short documentary, Free Range, that my friend made to see for yourself if local/organic/free-range is really any better. A young girl, animal rights activists, a local chicken farmer and a vegan animal sanctuary owner all offer their opinions on this subject.