A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity on public trust finds that a whopping 61 percent of Canadians are unsure that meat comes from farms where animals are treated “humanely.”
Real Agriculture reports: “The study suggests there is increased uncertainty in the direction of our food system. … There are also rising concerns surrounding animal welfare as a whole. When it comes to consumers’ confidence that Canadian meat, milk, and eggs are raised humanely, the bulk of respondents were unsure.” This makes total sense, considering that what happens to animals exploited for meat, dairy, and eggs can never be “humane.”
Let’s just be real: No animal wants to die to become someone’s meat. And even animals used for dairy and eggs end up in the same place: the slaughterhouse.
Mercy For Animals has conducted more than a dozen undercover investigations at factory farms across Canada and we’ve documented horrific abuse every time.
But Canadians are learning the truth, which is why nearly 10 percent of the country identifies as vegetarian or vegan. In fact, a recent study from Dalhousie University found that 2.3 million Canadians were vegetarian, an increase from just 900,000 in 2003, while about 850,000 label themselves vegan.
What’s even cooler? Most of these people are under 35, leaving the meat industry scared of the inevitable growth in the plant-based market. Sylvain Charlebois, professor of food distribution and policy at Dalhousie, says the most common reason people adopt meat-free lifestyles is concern for animal welfare.
Additionally, a 2015 article in The Globe and Mail reported that meat consumption was on the decline in Canada, citing a 31 percent drop in pork sales and a 19 percent drop in beef since 1999, even though disposable incomes had risen steadily in that period.
The increase in plant-based eating has resulted in a surge of vegan options across the country. With the rollout of the Beyond Burger at A&W Canada, the opening of 24-hour vegan drive-thrus, and an entire neighborhood dedicated to veganism, Canada is becoming more vegan-friendly every day and a place many vegans want to live.
This is all great news for the billions of animals who suffer at factory farms each year. Cows, pigs, chickens, and fish raised and killed for food are subjected to unthinkable cruelties: tiny, filthy cages; horrific mutilations; torturous transport; and violent slaughter.
Canadians have never been more aware of the impact their dietary choices have on themselves, the environment, and the animals who suffer needlessly for meat, dairy, and eggs.