I have always been a meat-eater and don't see myself changing from this dietary choice any time soon - so give this post a chance. Through research as well as nutrition modules on my personal training course, I believe consuming meat and dairy products is the best way to consume all of the necessary vitamins etc. that we need.
But, here's a revelation... I also really love animals too and yes, this is possible.
This post is about becoming more cruelty-free whilst being a meat-eater and a consumer of dairy products. See, the trouble with being a vegan/vegetarian is you're not buying the products altogether, which is good but it doesn't stop the hoards of others purchasing these products and with that - the ones that aren't cruelty free. We need to know how to be more animal-friendly in our choices when actually purchasing animal products, and I believe this style of thinking will be the future of a cruelty-free world.
Factory farms are a horrific but very prominent part of the farming industry and according to Compassion in World Farming, take up 70% of animals farmed worldwide each year. This is a shocking statistic. The key to avoiding these farms is purchasing food from reputable, cruelty-free sources and organic farms. Please check the label before you buy, or better still visit the local butcher (but still be sure to ask of the meats' origin)!
Now 9 times out of 10 this is more expensive but try gritting your teeth and doing it anyway. One of the biggest ones for me is eggs as I absolutely love them, but I will not purchase eggs from caged/battery hens. It absolutely breaks my heart the way these hens are treated and it should not be acceptable by any standard. Instead of purchasing these, choose free range eggs. These are from happy, healthy hens and the eggs themselves tend to be bigger and tastier any way!
Along with eggs ensure your chicken and poultry is free-range, as well as pork (or ensure that it is outdoor bred & reared.) Beef and lamb should be grass-fed. When purchasing ready-made meals or sandwiches and purchasing meat dishes in restaurants/cafes be aware to check these as well, as they are usually more likely to be forgotten.
As well as choosing these cruelty-free options it's always good to use your voice. Try writing to your local supermarkets to encourage them not to support factory farmed animals. You could also share on your social media pages information (such as this blog, hehe) on how to become cruelty-free. Spreading the word never harmed anybody, but it might strike a chord with those close to you.
The horrors of factory farming and slaughter houses has to come to an end, and whilst meat eating will always be a part of this world, it's important to make choices with compassion. Do not fund the farmers forcing pigs into spaces so small they cannot turn around or the farmers with chickens who will never see daylight, forced into tiny cages.
There are always ways to become more ethical and I urge you to take this path.