January 3, 2019

Food for Thought: 2018’s Biggest Wins for Farm Animals

Cows

Our commitment to protecting farm animals and building a more humane food system continues to grow and deepen each year, and we want to thank you for aiding our efforts in 2018 to improve the lives of pigs, chickens, cows and other farm animals across the country. Here are some of last year’s highlights:

  • We celebrated 12 companies’ new commitments to earn a meaningful animal welfare certification, including 8 policies to eliminate the worst abuses of broiler chickens [PDF].
  • We welcomed 26 widely available food brands to the distinguished Shop With Your Heart brand list, working closely with many of the companies to achieve the necessary certification and labeling.
  • We supported campaigns that led Washington, D.C., Public Schools and Cook County, Illinois, to adopt the Good Food Purchasing Program, whose animal welfare standards were drafted with help from the ASPCA.
  • We launched our first Factory Farm Detox, challenging the public to eat only animal welfare-certified and/or plant-based products for one week. More than 17,500 people participated, and in a follow-up survey, 78% said the Detox had motivated them to be more conscious of animal welfare when they shop.
  • We hired a food-industry research firm to survey the U.S. supermarket industry. The report, covered in Bloomberg, showed that sales of products with animal welfare claims have increased considerably over the past three years. It also revealed that there remains profound confusion, even among retailers, about the value of different labels, muddling the market for truly higher-welfare products.
  • We assisted farmers seeking alternative ways of raising animals, working in the Vermont Legislature to create a new grant program to fund welfare-certified farmers in the state—work that continues into 2019. We also underwrote part of FACT’s Fund-A-Farmer program for the third year, helping farmers attain welfare certification and build their capacity.
  • We supported the Prop 12 campaign in California, which successfully banned caging and crating of mother pigs, hens and calves, as well as the sale of caged or crated products in the state.
  • We defended against federal threats to farm animals, mobilizing more than 55,000 ASPCA supporters to stop the USDA from increasing slaughter speeds. Tens of thousands more voiced opposition to the dreaded King Amendment, which was defeated last month.

We are truly proud of these successes that mean better lives for hundreds of millions of farm animals, and bring farmers, advocates and consumers into this powerful movement. Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to help us make even more progress for farm animals in 2019! We wish you a happy, healthy and humane New Year.