Thursday, October 18, 2012

Benefits of Buying Green

Welcome to the October 2012 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Ethical Shopping Choices
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our members have written posts about how they make purchasing choices.

Benefits of Buying Green

Part 1 ~ Meat and Dairy

It is an unfortunate and well known fact that money talks. Do you know what your money is saying?

Many consumers do not, and up until very recently, I was one of them. For instance, I didn't know when I bought many brands of meat and dairy that I was supporting animal cruelty and abuse.

Oh sure, I'd seen a few stories on television where one company or another was exposed. They were very horrific and there was much dismay and a lot of fingers pointing another way. Then they were very soon excused and forgotten about because said company had promised to make amends.

I have since learned that such cruelty cases are much more commonplace than I ever could have believed. Its not just the few publicized cases of animal abuse by factory workers that now concerns me. The entire life of most of these animals are lived in inhumane and cruel conditions from birth to slaughter.

For example, did you know that many hens are "debeaked" to keep them from fighting? Why would they be fighting? Because they are kept shoulder to shoulder in spaces not much bigger than a piece of paper for their entire lives (keeps costs down). Debeaking is a process in which the animals are put on an assembly line and taken one by one to have their beaks inserted into a specially made machine and have it whacked off by hot cutters.

Did you know that males born to dairy cows are kept in crates for the entirety of their lives, which is about 3-4 months? At this point they are slaughtered for veal while the mother cow grieves just as much as any human mother would. In fact, mother cows have been known to outwardly grieve for months and even stop eating. Of course if she stops eating she is considered useless and carted off to slaughter as well.

The sheer magnitude of these cases baffle me and is entirely too much to cover in one blog post but I urge to take a look at some of the following sites to see for yourself:

WARNING: These sites may content graphics, videos and/or stories that are extremely disturbing:

Stop Factory Farms

United Poultry Concerns

Born Free USA: The Destructive Dairy Industry

You may be wondering at this point if I am urging you to go vegetarian. If you looked at those sites you may be considering it on your own anyway. But no, you don't have to be a vegetarian in order to stop this sort of treatment. The only way to stop it is to stop supporting companies that do it, (i.e. Don't Buy Their Products). That is how your money talks.

Thankfully not ALL companies support these practices. You can find a list of companies that support the ethical treatment of animals here:

Stop Factory Farms: Which Companies Used Humanely Raised Meat

Eat Well Guide

I also highly recommend that you read (or watch) Food Inc. Amazon sells the book used for as little as $3.49, and the used DVD for as little as $5.25. If you subscribe to Netflix, look for it there too.

But buying green is not only about animals. Buying green means that you are supporting products that are good for humans, animals, and the environment. I have highlighted the meat and dairy industries in this post only because they were what initiated the change in my personal buying habits. I hope to cover other industries in future posts as I learn more about them. Remember, I'm taking baby steps here.

So what are the benefits of buying green meat and dairy products?

  • You are supporting the billions of animals born in the United States each year for food production and kept in inhumane conditions.
  • You are also helping to keep your own family healthier by not consuming animal products that have been injected with growth hormones to produce their product more quickly and antibiotics because of their extreme living conditions.
  • You are supporting small business farmers who can barely keep up with their major corporation counterparts.

Did you know about all this? It astounds me that this information is not being blasted all over the news everyday. What are your thoughts?
Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:


  1. Thanks for sharing this important info! I agree that there is no other way to buy than to buy green.

  2. Great post! I had to read some books about this in college and that's when I found out about how animals are treated and that's pretty much when I became interested in learning how to hunt! Now we hunt for most of the meat we eat and only buy locally raised chickens to supplement if we want white meat.

  3. Excellent post! Since moving to a rural area over 17 years ago, we have supported local farmers by purchasing from them. Wish I would have known about this option prior to living in the country. It makes much more sense - not only for people, but for the animals as well.

  4. Great points to make on how buying meats have an ethical impact. We're lucky to have grass fed meats that are readily available at our Whole Foods.