This was a good read, thought I'd share.in a free market economy, can we realistically expect appreciation for animals to suddenly trump the industrial efficiency required to meet the demand of billions of hungry omnivores? Or will these new-age "compassionate farms" collectively scale production to compete with their big, bad industrial counterparts (the factory farms), who raise 99.9 percent of chickens for meat, 97 percent of laying hens, 99 percent of turkeys, 95 percent of pigs, and 78 percent of cattle currently sold? Most importantly, let's assume the humane movement helps us achieve the Utopian vision of animal agribusiness, where the overall industry is well-regulated (including big, small, corporate and family-owned farms) and all farm animals have space to stretch their legs and wings, eat organic produce and are drug-free; will buying such "happy" meat and dairy somehow reduce the overall demand for animal products? You guessed it -- highly unlikely.
However, there's one thing we can be certain about -- buying "humane" animal products will help us feel better about our choice to consume the animals we care about, while distracting us from the root of the problem (our gargantuan appetite for meat and dairy). In addition, buying humanely-raised animal products (even if it's driven by the best intentions and as a solution for those of us who will never consider giving up meat/dairy), unwittingly encourages us to consume more animals with a lighter conscience.