Posted on Factory Farming Awareness Coalition
Multiple organizations (including FFAC) have devoted years of service, numerous hours and an unwavering commitment to raising awareness about the effects of factory farming. Our devotion to making a difference in the lives of factory farm workers, animals, the world’s environment and our own individual and collective health is starting to show. Our combined efforts are paying off and while there is much to be done, we are also starting to see the signs of change. Here are just a few:
Plant-Based Diets Are Becoming the Norm
Thanks to a more health conscious society, environmental activists, human rights activists, animal rights campaigns and of course The Factory Farming Awareness Coalition that encompasses it all, plant-based diets are becoming the norm. The word is out and adopting a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and lacking in animal protein is becoming a way of life for many.
Documentaries like Forks over Knives and PlantPure Nation are inspiring people to say no to products mass produced by factory farms. They highlight the plentiful reasons why abstaining is the only logical choice by giving us an array of reasons to choose from. We used to be told what we “should” eat; often by the meat and dairy industries. Today, we have access to an infinite amount of information and are able to make our own educated decisions. More and more are choosing animal-free diets.
Never before have so many books on the subject (ex: Project Animal Farm and Animal Liberation) been on our “must read” lists. While, The Kind Diet and others promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle have become best sellers. It is an interesting time in our history and this wealth of information leads us to more conversations around the topic and a lot less stigma surrounding the lifestyle. We consistently learn of more and more friends, co-workers and family members that are choosing to forgo a diet that includes factory farmed animals.
Celebrities are not immune to this and many are joining the cause; which only benefits our celebrity-obsessed culture. Especially, when these idols use their platform to help the movement. Jon Stewart has been particularly outspoken on how adopting a plant-based diet would solve many of the world’s problems. He didn’t stop advocating once he left the air either; he and his wife Tracey are opening a farm animal sanctuary in NJ to continue spreading the message even in retirement. More and more celebrities standing up against factory farming for whatever their reason brings awareness, inspires others to make a change and ultimately helps make a difference.
Soar in Alternative Products and Availability
Alternative meat and dairy products have become mainstream and easily available. Those looking to cut down on their animal product consumption or abstain all together find it much easier to do so. And we aren’t just talking different brands of veggie burgers. Today’s grocery stores carry a wide selection of products from meat-free chicken wings, egg-free vegenaise and beyond.
Shopping for meat/dairy alternatives no longer requires hunting down an inconveniently located small health food store. In fact, specific items are easily located whether you are shopping at Whole Foods or Wal-Mart. In today’s market, it would be harder to find a grocery store that didn’t carry at least a few of these items. Rightfully so too, since the demand is increasing every year.
Eating out is no longer the challenge it once was either. Most large cities have one or two all vegan restaurants to dine at, but pretty much every restaurant has options. Even our favorite fast food restaurants are helping us out. In 2015, Taco Bell became the first to offer an AVA certified vegetarian menu with 26 of their ingredients being vegan.
So, while a plant-based diet used to require some sacrifice and a lot of planning, those days are over. Now it just takes commitment and an adventurous spirt.
Experts Are Warning Investors to Stay Away from Meat
You know things are changing when it impacts our money. As the world becomes more educated on the realities of factory farming and its impact on our health and the environment, the amount we consume is on the decline. We expect the same to be true soon for the amount we are willing to invest in these industries.
Governments are finally unable to deny the catastrophic results of an industry that benefits few. In response, many now advise us to lower our animal product consumption. China led the way when they cut their meat consumption recommendation by half. And the USDA Dietary Guidelines for 2015-2020 makes it clear that lower intakes of meats, including processed meats and processed poultry have often been identified as characteristics of healthy eating patterns. The also point out the often overlooked “research has shown that vegetables and fruits are associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including CVD, and may be protective against certain types of cancers”.
As a direct result, finance industry experts are warning investors to think twice about investing in the meat industry. At the very least, they advise those whose portfolios are heavily weighted with meat to unload a bit. It now makes the best financial sense to stay away from factory farming. Another indication this thought is catching on is the increase in socially responsible investment firms. An increase directly related to the surge in demand. People are really starting to think about where their money is and if that aligns with their ethics.
Ending factory farming overnight was never an expectation because we understand that lasting change happens over time. But time also makes change so subtle that the signs are easily lost. We want to celebrate each victory because each builds on the next and becomes the energy and driving force to continue moving forward. So each time you see a spark of change in a news report, a new vegetarian friend, or a great non-meat stock tip, recognize this as confirmation that the world is waking up to the truth. As time progresses, more and more signs will emerge that our message is being heard and factory farming is on the decline. And this makes all the effort worth it!