Chicken Scratch: Something Sweet, Fake Meat, and Little Lambs in the Big City

August 29, 2014

Chicken Scratch is an ASPCA Blog feature that highlights interesting news about farm animals and farm animal welfare.

  • A new farm animal welfare policy has been put in place by Nestlé, one of the world’s largest food companies and the parent company of Purina pet food. The policy [PDF] prohibits veal crates, gestation crates, battery cages, certain physical alterations without pain relief, and pledges to focus on reviewing ”fast-growing practices” in poultry. The shift comes shortly after an undercover exposé by animal advocacy group Mercy for Animals revealed animal abuse at dairy farms supplying Nestlé. We’re optimistic that the company’s new commitment to improve the quality of life for animals in the food system will encourage other corporations to do the same.
  • Silicon Valley has long been a hub for high-tech innovators, but now it’s a group of forward-thinking foodies who are starting to shake up the Valley with innovative meat alternatives. A handful of local start-ups are “Rethinking Eating” and going as far as creating “meat” and “eggs” from plants or cultured animal tissue. 
  • August 24th marked the 48th anniversary of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which establishes minimum standards of care for some animals in certain industries and situations. The act has never covered animals raised for food, and in Huffington Post Green, ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker explains that “farm animals remain the most exploited and abused animals in the world.” With only a few days left until the start of the industry-proclaimed National Chicken Month, we encourage you to speak up for chickens by asking your supermarket to carry more humanely raised chicken
  • Prince Poultry, a farm supplying the Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation®, was the focus of an undercover investigation reported on CNN® and released by animal advocacy group Compassion Over Killing. The investigation, which was funded through a grant by the ASPCA, has created calls for prosecution, and the farm’s owner, Tim Prince, has ruffled more than a few feathers with his response.
  • Wool you get a load of that?! A partnership between a non-profit farm and a New York state park preserve uses privately owned ewes to mow and maintain publicly managed land. The project will eventually add sheep to its roster of “employees,” if you will, who can “help control invasive species and improve soil health.” A similar project is also starting in New York City with three tiny lambs who will be delivered to the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
  • We can’t help but admire this little pig for his exceptional table manners!