The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Well-Treated Animals Show Vastly Superior Nutritional Benefits over Factory Farmed Animals
Is there a definitive link between animal welfare and nutrition? Having looked at findings from more than 200 studies based on the relationship between the welfare of animals and the nutrients from animal products, Compassion in World Farming culled data from 76 of the strongest to provide the answer.
The evidence is compelling and our key findings can be found below:
Higher welfare = lower fat content
By opting for higher welfare animal products rather than factory farmed ones, consumers could significantly reduce their dietary intake of fat, including saturated fat:
- Free-range & organic chicken—up to 50 percent less fat
- Slower-growing chicken—up to 65 percent less fat
- Pasture-reared beef—25 to 50 percent less fat
Higher welfare = higher levels of Omega-3
Our new report demonstrates that the fat in higher welfare animal products consistently contains a higher proportion of Omega-3 than factory farmed animal products, making it much healthier:
- Pasture-reared beef—up to 430 percent higher
- Higher welfare chicken—up to 565 percent higher
- Higher welfare eggs—up to 170 percent higher
- Pasture raised lamb—30 to 245 percent higher
- Pasture produced milk—50 to 185 percent higher
Higher welfare = higher levels of antioxidants
Higher levels of antioxidants, which are vital to good health, and help fight diseases such as cancer, were found in higher welfare animal products compared to those from intensive factory systems.
- Free-range eggs—up to 100 percent more vitamin E & 280 percent more beta-carotene
- Free-range pig meat—up to 200 percent more vitamin E
- Higher welfare beef—335 to 700 percent more beta-carotene
- Higher welfare milk—60 to 436 percent more beta-carotene
A life worth living = food worth eating
Farm animals are sentient beings with the full capacity to experience both well-being and suffering. In the drive for cheap animal protein, billions of animals endure the barren confinement of factory farming systems. Overcrowded, vulnerable to disease and denied basic needs, they have little or no opportunity to exercise or to express important natural behaviours and are often pushed to their physiological limits in the pursuit of ever-higher yields.
The industrial farming model is unsustainable and relentless in its exploitation of animals, land, energy and water. An urgent move from intensive to higher welfare farming is required to improve animal welfare, as well as to reduce environmental pollution and waste.
Higher welfare farming produces healthier meat, eggs and milk than similar products from factory farms. Switching from factory farmed animal products to higher welfare meats, eggs and milk could contribute to improved consumer health, especially if consumed in moderation within a balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables.
To read the full report by Compassion in World Farming, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
East Africa is facing its worst locust infestation in decades, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.
200 Years of Exploring Antarctica — the World’s Coldest, Most Forbidding and Most Peaceful Continent
By Dan Morgan
Antarctica is the remotest part of the world, but it is a hub of scientific discovery, international diplomacy and environmental change. It was officially discovered 200 years ago, on Jan. 27, 1820, when members of a Russian expedition sighted land in what is now known as the Fimbul Ice Shelf on the continent's east side.
By Erica Cirino
Visit a coral reef off the coast of Miami or the Maldives and you may see fields of bleached white instead of a burst of colors.
By Jason Bittel
High up in the mountains of Montana's Glacier National Park, there are two species of insect that only a fly fishermen or entomologist would probably recognize. Known as stoneflies, these aquatic bugs are similar to dragonflies and mayflies in that they spend part of their lives underwater before emerging onto the land, where they transform into winged adults less than a half inch long. However, unlike those other species, stoneflies do their thing only where cold, clean waters flow.