Shop better, eat better

By the age of 70, the average British consumer will have consumed 550 poultry, 36 pigs, 36 sheep and 8 cows. So it pays to know what you’re buying and eating.

Caring about the lives of farm animals is a choice we can all make. The conditions in which farm animals live and die can be improved by our purchase power.

Free range and organic food also has many health benefits for you, and is better for the environment.

Things you can do

Choose wisely. When buying dairy products or meat, make sure they are organic or free range. Look out for products from assurance schemes that take animal welfare into consideration, such as the RSPCA’s Freedom Foods or the Soil Association’s Organic Standard.

Go local. Visit local farms and farmer’s markets. Produce on sale there is more likely to have come from farms where the animals can roam freely and behave more naturally. Often the farmer will be there – ask him or her about how long the animals lived, whether they had access to the outdoors and if they were antibiotic free.

Don’t trust the label. Beware of labelling like ‘fresh’, ‘farm fresh’, ‘country fresh’ or ‘farm assured’. These labels say nothing about animal welfare, and the products are often produced on a factory farm. Look for ‘free range’ or ‘organic’.

Demand high standards. If the supermarket you use doesn’t stock welfare friendly foods, write to them requesting that they do. Try to maintain your animal-friendly eating habits when you go on holiday.

Some retailers have their own standards which guarantee a level of animal welfare in the production of their own-brand food. Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Co-op and online retailer Farm Gate Direct have all won Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) awards in recent years for their welfare policies.

WSPA is working to promote alternatives to factory farming. Find out more>>

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