As if eating animals wasn’t disturbing and sad enough, American meat will now come with what essentially amounts to birth and death certificates for the slaughtered animal.
U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations requiring country of origin labels on steaks, ribs, and other meat products, came into effect last year. But the National Pork Producers Council, the American Meat Institute, and other industrial agricultural groups sued to block the rules. These big ag representatives argued bizarrely that the First Amendment gives them the right to conceal where their meat products come from.
The Humane Society of the U.S. joined with independent producers and advocates for family farmers and farm workers, including the United Farm Works of America and American Grassfed Association, to defend the Department of Agriculture’s ruling. The team filed an amicus curiae brief supporting consumers’ right to know where their meat was born and raised. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently sided with the Humane Society and upheld the labeling requirements.
“We’re pleased that the Court has rejected the absurd notion that meat producers have a First Amendment right to hide the origins of their products,” said one Humane Society representative. “Just as consumers deserve to know where their meat comes from, they also deserve to know how that meat was produced and if inhumane practices were involved.”
While we’ll celebrate any showdown where the Humane Society triumphs over big ag and factory farms, we’re not sure that slapping a birth certificate on a steak accomplishes much. What if we all just gave up meat entirely, instead? If you’re on board with that plan, here’s an awesome cruelty-free recipe for seitan steak in beurre blanc sauce!