The Power Of The Consumer

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 12.04.52

Without a doubt, factory farming is one of the biggest moral failures of our time. The desire for efficiency has extended into the way our food is produced. Thus, most pigs raised for meat to be sold in the UK are suffering in factories that harm animals, people and the planet.

Cheap meat found on UK supermarket shelves comes at a price not shown on the packaging. Did you know that pork from animal factories carries five heavy costs?

Up to 60% of our pork is now imported, allowing meat that has been raised in inhumane conditions to reach local supermarkets and consumers. Indeed in 2005, an estimated 70% of pork sold in Britain would have been illegal to produce here. This farming system often operates where labour is cheapest, animal welfare and environmental standards are lowest and corporate subsidies are highest. Resulting profits line the pockets of just a handful of massive corporations and their powerful lobbyists, all at the expense of high welfare farmers.

You may often hear about these problems and feel as if you are too small to even start to make an impact or help to improve the situation. But there is another way.

Making a change doesn’t mean that you have to cut meat out of your diet completely. Instead, you may want to think about sourcing high welfare meat whilst cutting down your intake slightly. You can buy pork with high animal welfare labels in supermarkets, so look for RSPCA Assured (previously labelled Freedom Food), Outdoor Bred, Free Range or best of all Organic. Pork with these labels has been raised on environmentally friendly, high welfare farms, almost certainly in the UK, which means the animals have not been given routine doses of antibiotics. You can also ask for high welfare meat at your local butcher, or better still shop at your local farmers’ market, online, or join a box scheme. Buying in this fully transparent way ensures that your money stays in the locality, thus helping to preserve farming skills and vibrant rural communities.

If you can’t find any high welfare labels in your local supermarket then request better pork! Download, print and hand this supermarket request letter to your local store managers, asking them to carry products from ethical farms. Alternatively, use our online Directory to locate pork from nearby, trusted, farms, shops and restaurants. Better still, contact your representatives and tell them you’ve changed your shopping habits – and why. Explain the negative consequences of animal factories: the threat to our health, the undermining of rural economies and communities, environmental degradation, resource depletion and animal cruelty.

But isn’t high welfare meat expensive? Not necessarily. Two sausages from an animal factory costs the same as one and a half sausages from a real farm. Of course, if you factored in the external costs to animals, people and the planet, animal factory sausages would be significantly more expensive.

To cover the extra cost of purchasing high welfare pork, consider buying cheaper cuts. You can keep your pork cravings at bay with two of our favourite recipes: Virginia-Style Smoked and Spiced Barbecue Ham Hocks and Roast Pork Ribs with Sticky Marmalade Glaze. There’s a great variety of inexpensive cuts that’ll keep you busy in the kitchen.


The choice is with you, the consumer. Abhorrent and deplorable animal factory conditions only persist because there is a demand for cheap pork. Use the power of your purse. If there’s no animal welfare label on the pork, don’t buy it!

Please take the Pig Pledge today to only eat pork from real farms, not animal factories – or go meat-free.

Spread the word:

Share This Article

Related ArticlesView All

January 28th, 2021
Ching He Huang says #TurnYourNoseUp at Factory Farming

TV chef and food writer Ching He Huang MBE, says #TurnYourNoseUp at factory farming. Her food ethos is to use… Read More

September 11th, 2020
Anaerobic Digesters Facilitating UK Factory Farm Expansion

Malcolm McAllister, CEO of Farm Renewables UK, paints a rosy picture of the anaerobic digester (AD) plants which his company… Read More

September 4th, 2020
Is Red Tractor High Welfare?

When it comes to buying pork, the Red Tractor label does not offer any assurance that the pigs were raised… Read More

July 9th, 2020
#SaveBritishFarming London March

Yesterday, farmers and activists gathered in London to protest the real prospect of sub-standard imports from the US that would… Read More

July 7th, 2020
Farm Case Study 13: Farmer’s Choice, Hampshire

Jason from Farmer’s Choice Free Range in the South Downs says COVID-19 caused an increased demand that was driven both… Read More

July 2nd, 2020
Factory Pig Farms Create New Strain of Swine Flu, Scientists Warn

A new strain of the swine flu virus, H1N1 G4, has been detected both in pigs and humans in China…. Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *