News

New York Times Explores Transparency in Meat Industry

Feature in Food Issue of The New York Times Magazine delves into what the meat industry is hiding.

An in-depth feature entitled “Close to the Bone” will be published on October 9 in The New York Times Magazine as part of its current “Food Issue.” Tasked with unveiling issues surrounding transparency in the meat industry, writer Ted Genoways discusses the efforts of uncovering cruelty at Hormel Foods Corporation, arguing that animal-rights advocates are crucial to the public understanding of the circumstances surrounding meat. “When picking among shrink-wrapped packages in the meat aisle of your local grocery,” Genoways says, “it’s remarkable how little information you’re provided about the steak, pork chop, or chicken breast inside.” Genoways contends that the government’s lack of enforcement when it comes to animal welfare standards in meat production creates a need for independent, undercover investigations, saying, “Animal rights activists, once regarded as the radical fringe, have taken on a somewhat unlikely role as consumer watchdogs.” The article argues that the lack of transparency goes unchecked by the United States Department of Agriculture due to its partnership with large meat companies in mutually beneficial checkoff programs. “With the government working hand in hand with business, the only remaining window into the food system is the lens of an activist’s camera,” Genoways says. Such windows are increasingly being targeted, however, as Genoways points to the passing of “ag gag” laws that prohibit undercover investigators from exposing cruelty found in farms—a response prompted by a threatened meat industry. However, several reforms throughout the animal agricultural sector provide evidence of the efficacy of animal activists’ work, including the removal of gestation crates and battery cages. McDonald’s, Panera Bread, Publix, Walmart, and multi-national egg producing giant Sodexo all pledged to go cage-free as a result of footage gathered by undercover investigators.

More News

Dairy Farmers Make Beer as Milk Industry Sours

Massachusetts dairy farm Carter & Stevens converted part of its facility into a brewery to offset losses incurred by low prices and decreased demand for milk.
Read More »

The Hamptons Gets Its First Vegan Café

New York's luxury vacation destination will soon be home to the Plant Based Coffee Shop, where hearty vegan food will make for a cruelty-free getaway.
Read More »

CA Senate Passes Mandatory Vegan Prison-Food Bill

State prisons, nursing homes, and hospitals may soon be required to have at least one plant-based meal option.
Read More »

Natalie Portman Survives Fiery Vegan Wings on Hot Ones

The vegan actress makes her way through the gamut of hot sauces on the series as she explains her dedication to veganism and promotes documentary Eating Animals.
Read More »

Prince's Estate Pledges to Remain Meat-Free

To pay respect to the late artist—an avid animal-rights advocate and rumored vegan—Paisley Park will maintain its meat-free policy.
Read More »

This Week on VegNews TV: The secret to these delightful sweet treats is white beans! Aylin Erman shows you how to make these simple blondies.

More Videos »