Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard the phrase “fake news.” While the phrase may be relatively new, deliberate misinformation is not—factory farmers have been spewing fake news for decades.
Here are 10 things the meat, dairy, and egg industries say that are complete bullsh*t.
1. Animals raised for meat are treated humanely.
Let’s be real. All animals raised for food will face a gruesome death. Animal slaughter is inherently violent. No animal wants to die.
Now when it comes to meat, the word “humane” is completely meaningless. No one regulates the use of the word. That’s right: No government agency actually defines or regulates what constitutes “humane.” This lack of oversight allows the industry to decide what’s “humane.”
Want to see what the industry considers humane? Click here to watch our undercover investigation into a slaughterhouse that was certified humane by the American Humane Association. Spoiler: It’s not so humane.
2. Farmed animals are raised outdoors in open pastures.
You know all those cute, cartoony images of smiling farmed animals raised outdoors in open pastures? They’re actually fake news. Over 99 percent of animals raised for food in the United States endure a life of misery and pain at factory farms. These poor animals will never see sunlight or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded into overcrowded transport trucks and shipped to slaughter.
3. Meat is sustainable.
This is the epitome of fake news—like we literally can’t even. If someone tries to tell you that animal products are sustainable or environmentally friendly, tell them to check their facts. Animal agriculture is one of the leading contributors to climate change. It also wastes valuable resources and has a major hand in deforestation and species extinction.
4. Farmers harvest meat.
When the meat industry describes what it does with its animals to the public, it gets really crafty. Instead of using words like “killing” and “slaughtering,” the industry goes for gentler-sounding words such as “harvesting” or “processing.” We’ve heard of harvesting crops or processing a payment, but hanging someone upside down and cutting their throat open doesn’t sound like harvesting or processing to us. Call it what it is: fake news.
5. You need meat for protein.
Ugh. You definitely don’t. Protein is abundant in plant-based foods, from nuts and beans to tofu and seitan. You don’t need meat for adequate protein. It’s fake news. The end.
6. Eating fish is good for you.
Somehow the recommendation to eat less meat has translated into one to eat more fish. But just like chicken and pork, fish is devoid of fiber and loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol. What about omega-3? Fortunately, you don’t need to eat fish to obtain omega-3 fats. Instead, you can get them where the fish do—from plants.
It’s not just the nutritional content that makes eating fish unhealthy; fish meat is also filthy. Researchers at the University of California found that a whopping 25 percent of fish tested had plastic in their guts. Additionally, researchers in Belgium found that seafood eaters ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year and dozens of particles become embedded in tissues. Ew!
7. You need milk for calcium.
The dairy industry spends millions of marketing dollars to convince us that we need cow's milk for calcium and strong bones. But that’s legit fake news. Cow's milk is not only unhealthy for humans; it involves unbelievable animal suffering. Fortunately, you can get loads of calcium from plant-based foods like kale, almond milk, and cereals.
8. Grass-fed beef is better for the planet.
Like don’t even go there! “The only sustainable beef is beef that was never produced or consumed," says Gidon Eshel, professor of environmental science at Bard College. "Beef and sustainability are about as compatible as war and goodness.” Got it? Good.
9. Factory farming is the only way to feed everyone.
With nearly a billion people in the world without enough food, it’s impossible to ignore the link between meat consumption and world hunger. Consider this: As of 2012, 95 percent of oats produced in the U.S. and 80 percent of our corn was fed to farmed animals—yet in 2015, more than 6 million U.S. households reported extremely low food security. The U.S. could feed 800 million people with the grain we feed to farmed animals.
10. Eating chicken is healthy.
According to The Huffington Post, chickens at factory farms grow so fast their muscle meat becomes fatty and isn’t as nutritious as the meat industry would like you to believe. In fact, chicken sold today has 224 percent more fat and 9 percent less protein. Additionally, chicken has about the same amount of cholesterol, pound for pound, as red meat. FAKE NEWS!
The meat industry loves to spread fake news and mislead the public. Fortunately, you don’t have to buy their BS or their products. By switching to a compassionate vegan diet, you help protect animals, the planet, and your health.
Check out the tasty vegan recipes on our Pinterest page.