Humane Meat: Are You Buying It?

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Comedic New PETA Video Short Takes On 'Humane,' 'Grass-Fed,' 'Cage-Free,' and Other Advertising Tricks of the Meat Trade

For Immediate Release:

June 25, 2014


Wendy Herman 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – You can’t go to a grocery store today without being urged to buy meat that’s “humane,” “farm fresh,” “compassionate,” or “all-natural”—but what does that mean? PETA cuts through the static in its new video “Humane Meat: Taste the Happy!” which delivers a heaping helping of facts, along with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

In the video, which is styled like a ’50s sitcom, an ethically minded shopper looking for “certified humane” meat encounters a “meat expert” eager to share what labels such as that mean—or, more accurately, don’t mean, from “humanely” raised cows who are castrated and branded without painkillers to “cage-free” chickens who spend their lives in severely crowded, ammonia-filled sheds.

“The meat industry is deceiving well-intentioned people with empty promises of ‘compassionate’ meat,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “If these ‘humane’ labels spelled out that the animals still had body parts removed with a hot blade or a pair of clippers and were transported in all weather conditions, hung upside down, and had their throats slit, shoppers would swap their burgers for vegan meals in a heartbeat.”

As the meat expert points out in the video, “compassionately handled” chickens are often dunked alive into scalding-hot water. “Free-range” birds are genetically altered to grow four times their normal size—so, as the expert points out, “They’re ‘free,’ but they can’t walk. So being ‘free’ isn’t really much of a perk.” “Grass-fed” cows commonly ingest pesticides, and as for “all-natural”? “No one knows what that even means,” says the meat expert.

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