For a majority of the population, we are meat eaters. Meat is a major part of our diet. What would we put on the table if it didn't include meat of some type? Grills would end up in the garage rusting. There would be no wiener roasts. OK, we all know that won't happen. It isn't even logical.
What is logical is the move for more humane treatment of animals used for food. The hog producers are front and center now; however, there have been issues with Sparboe Farms egg producing methods and issues with dragging downed cattle at stockyards. It all comes back to being humane. True, animals are animals. They are not human; however, they still experience pain and suffering. They cannot voice an opinion so we must do it for them. Do we become desensitized to these practices? I think the answer is yes.
According to the Humane Society of the United States article, Burger King, Safeway, and Denny's are phasing out their purchases of gestation-crate pork. Earlier this year, McDonald's, Wendy's, Hormel Foods, and food service providers Compass Group and Bon Appetit made similar announcements. These recent crate converts could drive reform in the supply chain. It is reported that Burger King purchases tens of millions of pounds of pork each year. Safeway is the nation's second largest grocery chain, and the Denny's chain encompasses more than 1600 restaurants. In addition to its gestation crate announcement, Burger King rocked the food industry with a second major policy change. Burger King has committed to use only cage-free eggs at all of the US locations.
According to the Faribault Daily News article, Pork producers will argue that pigs are really comfortable and less stressed when confined to a 2 ft x 7 ft (gestation) crate. They will argue that crates may well be better for the animals than letting them roam free. They argue that the public should trust them to do what's best for their livestock. They will argue that studies support these practices. One note: these studies have, in part, been funded by pork producers.
Abolishing the use of animals as a food source is not the point. Improvement in management practices is. The goal is the responsible and humane treatment of all we have control over. It probably will include a reduction in that bottom line. Also known as profit. Yes, profit is the name of the game both in our personal life and in business. Making more than we spend creates growth. What amount of profit and growth are we, the consumer, willing to accept and support? How and where will you spend your dining and food dollars?