A new campaign launched by the Organic Consumers Association strives to educate people about the evils of factory farming and encourages them to refuse to eat those products.
Every time you order food at a restaurant or buy meat, dairy, and eggs to eat at home, you make a decision that goes far beyond what you feel like eating. The majority of U.S. meat and animal products come from factory farms, so by choosing to consume those food products, you end up supporting an industry that plays a major role in pollution, animal cruelty, and global warming. In addition, you fatten Monsanto’s bottom line, since 90 percent of non-organic animal feed comes from crops that are genetically engineered to withstand massive amounts of toxic herbicides.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) wants people to start paying closer attention to where their food comes from and to take a strong stand against factory farms. Recently the OCA launched a new campaign called “Factory Farm Free Friday,” a sort of political counterpart to Meatless Monday that also strives to lessen the impact of the human diet on our struggling planet. By signing on to the OCA’s “4F Pledge,” you will pledge the following:
-- Beginning this Friday, and every Friday after, to boycott all meat, dairy, and eggs produced on factory farms
-- To source all ingredients from organic and sustainable consumers
-- To ask in restaurants where animals products come from and to go vegan if answers are unsatisfactory
While a Factory Farm Free Friday pledge may seem like a small drop in the bucket to the many TreeHugger readers who are already committed to a vegetarian or vegan diet, the OCA realizes that the general public still remains either unaware or uncaring about how truly awful factory farms are. The OCA hopes that this campaign will help to bring factory farms into the spotlight and encourage the kind of attention that GMOs and labeling laws currently receive.
Katherine Paul was hopeful when she spoke to TreeHugger:
“On the whole, consumers are becoming more and more educated, and more and more concerned about the connection between their own health and the quality of the food they buy. We believe the more information they have, the more they will demand alternatives, which will ultimately create a stronger market for factory farm alternatives.”
The OCA is working on state, local, and federal policies to support alternatives to factory farming. Its long term goal, as Paul explained, is “to facilitate a transition from a commodity-based, corporate-controlled centralized production, processing and distribution system focused on high volumes and low profit margins, to a socially responsible food system that links independent producers and processors, focusing on local regional markets, to produce high-quality food for consumers while supporting farmers, environmental sustainability and animal welfare.”
The 4F Pledge is a great way for non-vegan individuals to get involved and to start thinking about the source of the animal products they consume. Although small, at least it’s a place to start. Sign up today and start making a difference.