The factory farming industry has reached a new level of desperation. In February the United States Cattlemen’s Association filed a petition with the USDA asking it to prohibit producers of plant-based and clean meat from using the terms “beef” and “meat” on their labels, because the meat industry is afraid of the rise of cruelty-free products. And it has good reason to be afraid: Between 2014 and 2017 veganism in America grew by 600 percent, and even meat eaters are flocking to vegan restaurants, like Veggie Grill.
The meat industry argues that terms like “soy sausage” and “vegan beef” confuse consumers. But this is just a smokescreen; consumers are more than capable of reading an ingredients list. The petition is clearly an attempt to suppress competition from innovative plant-based and clean meat companies. But you can help.
The USDA is now accepting public comments on the U.S. Cattlemen’s petition. Please click here to tell the USDA that restricting labels on plant-based foods and clean meat stifles competition, inhibits progress, and is both unnecessary and wrong.
While the U.S. Cattlemen’s petition is ridiculous, this stunt is not surprising or original. Big Ag has pushed for strict government definitions before in an attempt to hurt the rapidly growing vegan movement.
For over a decade the dairy industry, threatened by the plant-based milk market, has urged the Food and Drug Administration to define the term “milk” as an animal product.
Similarly, in 2015 Big Ag plotted with government officials to take down the popular vegan product Just Mayo.
Whether for billion-dollar bailouts with taxpayer money or absurd labeling restrictions, the factory farming industry often turns to the government for help when it feels threatened by plant-based products. But the fact is that you can’t stop an idea whose time has come.
According to a 2013 USDA report, consumption of cow’s milk in the U.S. fell a whopping 40 percent from 1970, while U.S. sales of dairy-free milk alternatives soared by 30 percent between 2011 and 2013. And a recent study commissioned by the Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute revealed that the plant-based foods market had topped $3.1 billion in sales.
More people enjoying vegan foods is great news for the billions of animals who suffer horribly at factory farms. Cows, pigs, and chickens raised and killed for food are subjected to unimaginable cruelties: small, filthy cages; painful mutilations; and violent, bloody slaughter.