Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why Not Just Say "Farmer"

This recent story chose the headline, "Free-range pig farmer admits cruelty." I don't see why the "free-range" adjective was used. If anyone thinks it any more surprising why a "free-range" farmer would be guilty of abuse than a regular farmer, they need to get out and meet farmers.

I once did a tour of Iowa "free-range" hog farms, all of which claimed to abide by the standards set forth by the Animal Welfare Institute. While some provided a superb life for the hogs, one didn't even have a dry place for his hogs to sleep. These were farms that supply pork for Chipotle. So while I believe Chipotle certainly has higher welfare standards than the standard "factory" farm, it doesn't mean that every farmer is a responsible steward.

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