What Does “Cruelty-Free” Really Mean?


Neither the FDA nor USDA oversees the use of this term in adver­tising, so other groups have stepped in. The agricultural organization A Greener World, which also certifies organic, grassfed, and non-GMO products, awards the Animal Welfare Approved label to independent farms where animals are raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives and are slaughtered hu­manely. These farms must also practice sustainable growing techniques.

The Humane Farm Animal Care group labels products Certified Humane Raised & Handled to indicate the animals have been humanely raised from birth through slaughter. The Global Animal Partnership, launched by Whole Foods in 2008, certifies animal welfare, including emotional well-being, and requires that animals be stunned before slaughter.

Halal and kosher certifications require “quick and swift slaughter” but do not guarantee animals are humanely raised.

This was excerpted from “How to Read Misleading Food Labels” which was published in the July/August 2022 issue of Experience Life.

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