Help us spread the word:
Farm Animals Need Our Help
We are animal people. Animals make our lives better in so many ways. Now we have the chance to make billions of farm animals' lives better by making a few simple changes to how we shop.Learn more about the Shop With Your Heart movement
Billions of farm animals are suffering on American factory farms, and it can feel overwhelming to try to help. But as a consumer, you can change the system by buying higher-welfare, certified products and more plant-based alternatives. To find out what labels to look for and which brands are certified, download our label guide and grocery list, below.
Pledge to Shop With Your Heart
As a consumer, you have the power to change how food companies treat farm animals. Pledge to Shop With Your Heart and we’ll give you the tools you need to find and demand more welfare-friendly products.Take the Pledge
We all care about animals, but we don’t always know how to extend that compassion to the supermarket, where confusing labels may lead us to purchase products from animals raised in conditions we would never support if we could see them. Unfortunately, that lack of transparency allows billions of farm animals to suffer on factory farms. The ASPCA wants to help the public be a voice for farm animals, so we’re providing the tools you need to make more welfare-conscious choices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Shopping with your heart means using your purchasing power to improve farm animals’ lives by rejecting factory-farmed meat, eggs and dairy. Opt for plant-based alternatives or animal products bearing meaningful animal welfare certifications: Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane and Global Animal Partnership Steps 2+.
Visit our Bring Your Store On Board page to see other ways to have a big impact and get your local market involved. You can drop off a request for certified items with your supermarket manager, tweet at your store asking for higher-welfare products or review it on Yelp. We also hope that you'll share information about this issue with friends and family. Every little bit helps.
One of the biggest offenders is the term “natural.” It’s almost comical how little that word means! “Natural” has nothing to do with where animals are raised, how they are treated or even what they’re fed.
“Cage-free” is another tricky label. The cage-free claim on eggs does mean that the hens who laid them did not spend their entire lives in inhumane wire cages, and that is a good thing. But it doesn’t mean they had any access to the outdoors, or even adequate space or enrichments in that indoor environment. To further complicate things, the term “cage-free” on a package of chicken or turkey meat adds no value because meat birds are never raised in cages. Learn more about other tricky claims on food packages in our label guide.
When we say "meaningful," we mean that a welfare certification 1) requires farms to meet standards high enough to address animals' basic physical, emotional and natural needs, and 2) has clear oversight protocols designed to ensure participating farms are actually meeting those standards. The ASPCA does not audit welfare certification programs or the farms they certify, but we believe that when these requirements are met they make a meaningful difference in the lives of farm animals.
The three programs that the ASPCA highlights for consumers as meeting these criteria are Certified Humane, Animal Welfare Approved and Global Animal Partnership Steps 2 and above. These programs vary in the level of welfare they require, but all have comprehensive, on-farm welfare standards developed by scientists and veterinarians; ban worst practices, including caging and crowding; require enriched environments that encourage natural behaviors; and require independent audits of farms for 100% compliance with standards that are available online for consumer transparency.
While other certifications offer some improvements for animals, they fall short by allowing certain unacceptable practices such as caging, or do not require 100% compliance with standards. Consumers expect more and animals deserve better.
March 16, 2017
Alternet: Wouldn’t You Prefer Your Meal Be More Animal-Welfare Friendly?
March 6, 2017
ASPCA.org: Applegate Becomes First Retail Brand to Commit to Higher-Welfare Chicken Breeds
March 1, 2017
ASPCA.org: Six Myths About Farming, Busted
February 15, 2017
ASPCA.org: New Restaurant Distributor Commits to Shop With Your Heart Standards
February 1, 2017
ASPCA.org: How Do You Avoid Factory-Farmed Products? We’ll Walk You Through It!
January 31, 2017
New York Times: What to Make of Those Animal-Welfare Labels on Meat and Eggs
January 18, 2017
ASPCA.org: “Organic” Becoming a Stronger Label: A Victory Years in the Making
January 9, 2017
ASPCA.org: Hot Off the Presses: New Guide for Farmers Seeking Welfare Certification
December 20, 2016
ASPCA.org: Good News for Chickens!
December 19, 2016
ASPCA.org: Big Chicken Is Squawking over Proposed Rules Defending Farmers and Animals
November 11, 2016
ASPCA.org: Consumers Deserve the Truth About Food
November 9, 2016
ASPCA.org: In Massachusetts, Election Voters Also Elevated Animal Welfare
November 8, 2016
Organic Authority: 2 Major Food Suppliers Adopt Widespread Animal Welfare Policies for Broiler Chickens
October 16, 2016
Washington Post: Factory Farming Practices Are Under Scrutiny Again in N.C. After Disastrous Hurricane Floods
October 13, 2016
Huffington Post: Obama Regulators Want To Let Factory Farms Label Their Meat ‘Humanely Raised’
October 6, 2016
VICE, Munchies: Why That ‘Organic’ Label Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means
Progressive Grocer: Prepare to Care
Impacting Our Future: How Animal Kindness Can Improve All Our Lives
October 11, 2016
New York Times: A Meat Leader Invests in Protein Alternatives
Impacting Our Future: Focusing Consumer Purchasing Power on Preventing Farm Animal Cruelty
October 4, 2016
The Daily Meal: Americans Care How Their Meat Is Raised
July 7, 2016
ASPCA.org: New Research Finds Vast Majority of Americans Are Concerned About Farm Animal Welfare