How Consumers are deceived

Consumers want to know – it is said again and again – how the animals they eat and whose products they consume are doing. The majority of people oppose factory farming and keep emphasizing that it is okay to slaughter animals and exploit their products as long as they have lived well. Whatever a good life means, the question naturally arises, how do you look at a product in the supermarket and see how the animal lived. The cheapest meat lies next to the expensive meat and just looks the same. You neither hear the screams, nor see the injuries, nor recognize the pain. Everything neatly packaged and set up in a user-friendly manner. It’s interchangeable. How can you explain the difference as briefly and concisely as possible to people who want to shop in a reflective way? After all, you can’t add essays because people don’t have time. It should be clear at first glance what is being bought.

One option that is now widely used to which consumers have already gotten used to and think they know when to buy quality or cruelty-free products, as far as this is possible with animal products, are quality seals. Thanks to enormous marketing measures, the AMA seal of approval was made known even in the farthest corners of the country. And for that she has an advertising budget that runs into the millions. People trust this seal of approval and believe in the advertising measures. On 11/28 The AMA placed an advertisement in the online courier with the title: “Moni, passionate dairy farmer” [1]. To round it off, there was a picture of a cow lying all alone in the straw in a huge stable.

The article itself is not about animal welfare directly, but about the controls that are made. The farmer has to work through a checklist every day, followed by permanent checks by the AMA itself. In addition, there is an article on the AMA website about cow welfare, in which it says: “Cow stalls should offer the cows a corresponding level of comfort. In addition to perfect feed, this is optimal for the health of the animals. The freedom of movement and social contact among animals are part of their quality of life. The stable must be adequately supplied with air, but it should not be drafty. Sufficient light and temperatures that are not too warm also contribute to the well-being of the animals.“ [2]

It all sounds wonderful and trustworthy. Then let’s take a look at what can be found in a brochure from the animal lawyer. Various quality seals for milk were subjected to the test here. For this, five criteria were used for the evaluation: Freedom of movement, dehorning, appropriate nutrition, keeping calves and other measures. Each seal of approval received a milk pack for fulfilling the criteria. So, five milk packets could be achieved. If you look at the AMA quality seal under this assessment, it receives 0 out of 5 milk packs. So, it doesn’t meet any of the specified criteria, but let’s take a look at them in detail:

  1. Freedom of movement: The playpen with precisely specified minimum widths and tethering corresponds to the minimum standard. Accordingly, the AMA seal of approval does not indicate which types of husbandries are intended.
  2. Dehorning: Dehorning or destruction of the horn system in the head is permitted if the appropriate painkillers are used and carried out by the veterinarian. That means AMA means cattle de-horning.
  3. Appropriate diet: The use of concentrated feed contradicts the normal diet of ruminants but is used to achieve a high milk yield. There are no legal regulations, so the AMA cannot speak of a species-appropriate diet for dairy cows.
  4. Keeping of calves: calves are evidently kept in individual pens after birth, which corresponds to the minimum standard.
  5. Further measures: The focus here is primarily on breeding goals. Torture breeding is forbidden, but whether breeding for enormous milk yield and the associated health problems is compatible with the Animal Welfare Act is doubtful, but it is apparently practiced at the AMA.

In summary, it can be said that the AMA seal of approval is a pure fake milk pack. The animal welfare that is suggested is not complied with. Incidentally, this does not only apply to the AMA quality seal, but not a single one of the quality seals, organic quality marks or brand programs manages to earn more than three milk packets. [3]

The fact is that, regardless of the type of husbandry, dairy cows produce almost five times the milk yield than was the case 50 years ago, which their bodies exploit sustainably, so that they usually do not get older than three to five years old and are ripe for the butcher are. Some of these cows, the so-called downer cows, are so weak that they can no longer even get up and are dragged into the transporter, accordingly, as can be seen from this video, which was created by SOKO-Tierschutz:

So what to do if you can’t trust the seals of approval or brands? Quite simply, do without dairy products, for the animals, the environment and your own health. And above all, don’t believe everything that is suggested to you in advertising.


[1] https://kurier.at/cm/ama/moni-milchbaeuerin-mit-leidenschaft/401819971?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%25DATE%25&tpcc=daily&pnespid=u6V8DSNIZfJE0.Sc.yWkEoCSuAy_SodmIeKmnLd2pAVmY_POLbRP8HetGgG7UkH_tsC1kw, Abgerufen am 28.11, 13.00 Uhr

[2] https://amainfo.at/artikel/ama-guetesiegel-kontrolle-tiergesundheit-kuh-hygiene-milch; Abgerufen am 05.12, 13.00 Uhr

[3] https://www.tieranwalt.at/de/Projekte/Gutes-Gewissen-Guter-Geschmack/iActivityId__387.htm, Abgerufen am 05.12, 14.00 Uhr.

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