The 5 Things You Should Know About Ethical Livestock

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Chances are, you already have an idea of the conditions livestock are put through in common industrial or factory farms. You may have seen this in videos that have gone viral, in documentaries, or heard about it from animal activist friends.

The cramped and filthy living conditions, unhealthy diets, poor and forceful handling adds unnecessary stress on the animals and compromises their health. Consequently, this becomes a health issue for us consumers too.

The good news is, your meat does not have to go through such brutal living conditions. There is a way to raise and deliver livestock in an ethical or humane way. Here are the 5 things you need to know about ethical livestock.

1. In a nutshell, Ethical livestock is the product of farms that adhere to the guidelines of the humane treatment of animals. These guidelines specify a number of conditions such as:

  • adequate shelter with sufficient space to walk and move around with limbs fully extended
  • adequate food and water with no starvation or force-feeding
  • adequate veterinary care
  • proper handling by knowledgeable caretakers
  • quick and stress-free slaughter

2. Ethical livestock produces better meat. There are years of study that show the connection of stress-induced hormones to meat quality. Animals that suffer from poor handling release the hormone cortisol which slows down their weight gain and makes their meat less tender. Also, distressed conditions especially during their last 5 minutes, yields tougher meat.

3. Though guidelines for the humane treatment of livestock vary worldwide, we in the Philippines have our own Animal Welfare Act. This protects consumers from sub-standard meat products, which stem from the malpractice that has become customary among many in the livestock industry. In addition to overpopulated pens and other examples of inhumane conditions that food animals experience, many meat companies and dealers unfortunately practice meat flooding to pad their profits. This improper procedure is detrimental to the livestock sold and the consumers who buy meat, which is why you need to know the signs of meat flooding. Here is an excerpt:

SECTION 6. It shall be unlawful for any person to torture any animal, to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat any animals or to subject any dog or horse to dogfights or horse fights, kill or cause or procure to be tortured or deprived of adequate care sustenance or shelter, or maltreat or use the same in research or experiments not expressly authorized by the Committee on Animal welfare.

The killing of any animal other than cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabao, horse, deer and crocodiles is likewise hereby declared unlawful… (read more by clicking on this link)

4. Meat Depot practices the humane treatment of livestock. Our meat comes directly from top-of-the-chain suppliers, both locally and abroad. Be they heavy-built Brahman cattle from auction markets, or hearty & healthy pigs from hog farms, our animals are bred and raised with care and compassion before being served with the most humane methods of slaughtering. Below are just some of our practices:

  • Personnel working with pig and cattle must undergo formal training and/or be trained on the job under the supervision of 
experienced supervisors.
  • Pigs are cared for by personnel who are skilled in pig husbandry and are suitably qualified to maintain the health and welfare of animals under the direct supervision of the personnel assigned.
  • All personnel should be appropriately instructed on how their actions may affect a pig’s welfare.

5. Choosing ethical livestock does not mean you spend more. Our prices remain competitive due to the volume of our production. We want to set the standard for fresh, quality meat and we know that the best way for us Filipinos to appreciate it is to make sure it’s affordable. As we say, better meat can come at a better price. This way, choosing ethical livestock isn’t a hard choice to make, if it should be a choice at all.