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Humane Eating - 5 Step

Humane Eating 5-Step

About 1 year ago, I made the decision to eat “cruelty free”. When I first started this journey, I had no idea that it would be just that…a journey. Of course I did the cliche attempt of going “cold turkey”, but that was short lived. I discovered that if I really wanted to successfully make this lifestyle change, i’d have to take it step by step.

So I started with educating myself on the meat I was buying.


One of the first things I did when making better choices was using the 5-STEP ANIMAL WELFARE RATING.

At Whole Foods Market, 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating means 100+ standards for beef, pork, chicken and turkey. The system not only gives you the knowledge to make informed food choices, it encourages and rewards farmers and ranchers to improve their welfare practices.

***So this Blog doesnt turn into a 5 hour read, i’m focusing on the steps for cattle. But PLEASE go to the WholeFoods website or Google the steps for both Chickens and Pork.***

If the meat you buy is part of the 5-Step Welfare Rating System, then here are the things you can be sure of:

1. No added hormones:

Giving hormones to animals raised for meat accelerates their growth, getting animals to market faster and reducing feed costs. This is a cruel daily practice they have to endure, and not to mention we are then injecting those hormones.

2. No Antibiotics, Ever:

Producers administer them regularly to prevent disease and promote growth. WF prohibits antibiotics for treating disease or infection. The health of livestock is maintained by good management, including alternative remedies found effective in treating animals. To ensure that sick animals do not suffer, if an injury or illness does not respond to alternative methods, they require that the animal is treated; however, the meat from that animal cannot be sold to Whole Foods Market.

3. Animal Care:

Caring for farm animals goes beyond prohibiting antibiotics and added hormones. They also take into account the comfort, physical safety and health of the animals. For everything in their meat department, they require producers to verify that their practices meet their requirements.

4. Processing:

The way farm animals are raised and treated on the farm or ranch is only part of the story. They also require third-party audits at slaughter plants. The areas of evaluation include:

  • Condition of animals upon arrival