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What about humane/sustainable meat?

Local, free-range meat is an improvement over factory farming. However, we can’t possibly raise 9 billion animals “sustainably.” If we’re truly going to switch to a more sustainable food system, everyone needs to drastically reduce the amount of animal products they consume, even if they’re coming from smaller, more local production facilities. Also, animal protein is a less efficient food source, so plant-based proteins are always going to be more affordable and sustainable. It takes far fewer resources, water and fossil fuels, to produce plant-based protein than animal-based protein. It's also important to keep in mind that, as we talked about, many of the “humane” and “cage-free” labels are deceptive. 99% of meat in the U.S., including much of what's marked “humane” or “free-range” is really coming from factory farmed animals. Any animal products that are truly produced by small farms that raise their animals in the best possible conditions are going to be limited and expensive. Whole Foods can't even sell meat that meets its highest criteria because it can't find a producer to supply large enough quantities. Anyone who's serious about eating meat sustainably is going to be eating a mostly plant-based diet.

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