Livestock is essential to human life and how they are raised and maintained effects the health of those who eat them. The ASPCA advocates the concept of the “Five Freedoms,” which entails freedom from fear, pain, hunger, distress and the ability to be the animals they are.
Animals kept in inadequate housing, not allowed to roam, force fed and some kept in dark barns their entire lives produce meat products lacking in essential food values. An unhealthy animal creates unhealthy meat. It is up the consumer to buy meat products from farms that ethically raise animals.
Animals that live in fear produce an overabundance of adrenalin. Individuals that are treated cruelly and force fed their entire lives will not be as healthy as those who are allowed to roam in pastures or barn yards and have the choice of when to eat. Many animals are fed chemicals to make them grow larger. Animals who are allowed to socialize are more relaxed than those who are kept isolated.
There are no federal laws protecting farm animals only the food they become. Over 100 million hogs are raised each year. They are confined to hog sheds and not allowed to roam and forage as they would normally. 300 million fowl are raised each year, most kept in small wire cages packed in so tightly that they cannot move. Veal bovine are kept in the dark and slaughtered before they are yearlings.
From these animals most of the meats that are found in the supermarkets are raised in these conditions. However, the meats from animals raised for consumption on small local farms with respect and kindness and slaughtered humanely can be found in health food stores in the Milwaukee area like Outpost and Whole Foods.