YOU ARE. If you buy pork products produced by factory-farm methods, you're contributing to the problem. While organizations including the Water Keeper Alliance are bringing lawsuits against violators, it's important to make a statement with your purchasing dollar and by letting your state representatives know you won't tolerate the dangers posed by animal factories.
It's also important to remember that while regulations exist to safeguard the lives of pets, zoo animals, pack and livery animals, and animals working in the entertainment industry, those animals raised specifically for food and fiber are exempt from protection.
Adele Douglass, director of farm animal services for the American Humane Association (AHA), urges consumers to look for products that carry the Free Farmed logo. A voluntary program established by the AHA, the label ensures that the product is free of hormones and antibiotics, and that feed, veterinary records, and space-per-animal records have been carefully reviewed. The label also tells consumers that the animals in question were never subjected to gestation stalls, which confine sows to areas no larger than 18 to 24 inches wide and barely the length of the animal.
Want to learn more? Following is a list of producers who raise livestock in a humane, responsible manner, as well as resources that deal directly with factory farm issues.
Deli meats, bacon and ham sold at natural products stores.
duBRETON NATURAL PORK
Pork products sold wholesale to natural products stores.
IAN'S NATURAL FOODS
Frozen pork products.
Sausage and pork products.
Roasts, bacon, sausage, ham, ribs and chops.
NORTH HOLLOW FARM
Vermont pork products.
VAN WIE NATURAL FOODS
Bacon, pork products.
AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION
ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE
NATIONAL FARMERS UNION
NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL
State-by-state listings of activist contacts.