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Human Myth . org

June 2008

Contact: James LaVeck, Site Sponsor, 607-275-0806 x113, 

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HUMANE ANIMAL PRODUCTS offers provocative new testimony from former farmers, investigators, and animal rescuers who expose fallacies associated with animal product labels such as cage-free, sustainable, organic and certified humane

Ithaca, NY - June 19, 2008 - With growing media attention on the devastating impact large-scale industrialized farming is having on animals and the environment, concerned citizens are seeking alternatives. Labels such as "Certified Humane," "Cage-free," "Free-range," and "Organic" make it seem that those who are willing to pay a higher price can enjoy meat, dairy products, and eggs from small-scale farms that treat animals with respect.

But is the public being misled?

Launching today, a new web site called offers expert testimony, educational slide shows, critical analysis, a glossary, and a media database that together challenge the considerable misinformation behind these rapidly proliferating feel-good labels.

"Any term referring to the supposed �humane production� of animal products is an oxymoron," says Michelle Alley-Grubb, founder of Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary and one of the experts featured on "Some of the most egregious cases of animal abuse we have encountered have come from so-called �cage-free� facilities and �family� farms. Many people get upset when they learn the truth, and even feel betrayed because respected organizations, on whom they relied for accurate information, told them that certain animal products were a �humane� or �compassionate� choice."

Some high-profile animal protection organizations are now collaborating with the animal-using industry on campaigns promoting products such as cage-free eggs and "uncrated" veal, and husbandry practices such as controlled atmosphere killing (gassing) of chickens. Meanwhile, our planet is facing an ecological disaster caused in large part by animal agribusiness. According to a recent United Nations report cited on, animal agribusiness is responsible for more greenhouse gas impact than all forms of transportation combined. In fact, environmental degradation and excessive resource consumption are inherent in all styles of animal farming when practiced on the scale needed to feed humanity.

The web site raises critical thinking questions such as:

Since "humane" animal husbandry requires vastly more land than currently being used, is it realistic or ethical to promote it as sustainable, as there will never be enough land available to feed more than 6 billion humans by using this style of agriculture? Isn't plant-based agriculture the only truly sustainable food source for our rapidly growing human population?

If an animal advocacy organization endorses and even certifies an animal product as being humane, effectively promoting consumption of those beings it has pledged to protect, has that organization become entangled in a conflict of interest?

What do words like "welfare" and "humane" really mean? How can we justify applying these concepts so strictly in matters involving humans, and so loosely in matters involving non-human animals? offers a wide range of teaching tools that can help any concerned person become an effective educator online and within their community, including informational brochures and introductory slideshows which explore the fallacies associated with products such as "cage-free" eggs and advertising campaigns featuring "happy cows."Flyers, t-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons and other outreach tools are also available on the site. is sponsored by award-winning filmmakers James LaVeck and Jenny Stein, whose documentaries The Witness (2000) and Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home (forthcoming) explore the emerging new ethics of the human-animal relationship. "We are concerned that this �Humane Myth� being propagated by both the animal using industry and some animal advocacy organizations offers a misleading portrait of the confinement, social deprivation, mutilation, reproductive manipulation, indignity and premature death endured by animals being exploited for profit. We also feel that many of those involved are minimizing or failing to reveal the full impact on human health, wildlife and our environment that is going to result from the continuing production and consumption of animal-based foods. Therefore, we have joined with other advocates and educators to correct the misinformation that is associated with the Humane Myth, and to inspire a form of working for the peaceful transformation of our society that fully respects the inherent dignity and worth of animals and people alike."

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