Serve a "Humane Table" This Holiday Season

Humane Table

With nearly 10 percent of all farm animals raised in country under American Humane Association’s certification, it is easier than ever for Americans to make humane choices at the grocery store.

With the jack-o’-lantern candles blown out and the costumes all tucked away, the calendar turning to November signifies Americans starting to think about the upcoming holiday season. Families and friends will soon come together to break bread, and almost as important as the company sitting around the table is the food that will be served on it. American Humane Association, the first national humane organization and originators of the oldest and largest third party farm animal welfare certification program in the country, urges all Americans to serve a humane table this holiday season. 

American Humane Association now certifies the humane treatment of nearly 1 billion farm animals, which represents 10 percent of all animals raised for food on the country’s farms and ranches every year. Products bearing the American Humane Certified™ label signify that the animals were raised under science-based standards that provide good welfare and humane environments. This is not only good for the animals, it is good for people with better tasting and more nutritious products. And because of the number of animals in the American Humane Association’s farm audit program, it is now easier than ever for Americans to find meat, dairy, and eggs bearing this seal of quality at their local retailers.

Turkey is the centerpiece of nearly every American Thanksgiving table, and American Humane Association is pleased to announce that Butterball, the largest producer of turkey products in the United States, now bears the American Humane Certified™ label on all of its fresh, whole turkeys. The company intends to incorporate the seal onto its frozen whole turkey packaging and other products in 2014. Another producer whose turkeys meet American Humane Association’s rigorous standards for welfare is Illinois-based Caveny Farms, famous for its naturally-raised Bourbon Red heritage turkeys. Butterball turkeys can be found at most major grocery stores nationwide while Caveny turkeys can be ordered online at

Though turkey is the mainstay protein throughout the holiday season, American Humane Association also certifies producers that raise beef, chicken, and pork products. 

No holiday table is complete without sides and dessert, and again American Humane Association is there to provide choices for consumers. Many stuffings and desserts call for eggs and American Humane Association is proud to certify more than 90 percent of all cage-free egg production in the United States, with these eggs found at most major national retailers. Mashed potatoes would not be the same without milk and butter, and a number of dairy farms around the country have made the humane choice to have their facilities audited with American Humane Association’s standards, meaning a much happier life for their cows.  

It is clear that Americans are demanding humanely-raised options in their grocery store now more than ever, and a survey recently published by American Humane Association confirms this. The Humane Heartland™ Farm Animal Welfare Surveyrevealed that 89 percent of almost 3,000 Americans surveyed stated they were concerned about the welfare of animals raised on farms and ranches. In addition, when asked what factors were most important to them, a label indicating the animals were humanely raised was ranked as the highest in importance, over organic, natural, and antibiotic-free. 

“Americans have a number of choices when deciding what to serve their family and friends at the holidays, and we are proud to see that more and more of them are opting for humanely-raised products because it is the right thing to do,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association President and CEO. “While we know the decision to consume animal products is a personal one, we do recognize that millions of Americans will consume meat, dairy, and eggs during the holiday season, and we urge them to consider products with our American Humane Certified™ seal, because they will be purchasing something raised under the most humane conditions possible. 

“This holiday season, be a Humane Hero for America’s farm animals and the guests you’re serving.”  

The American Humane Certified™ program employs ethical, science-based standards regularly reviewed and updated by world-renowned animal welfare experts and advocates such as Dr. Temple Grandin and poultry specialist Dr. Joy Mench, who serve on the organization’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Program standards and audit criteria assess animal welfare, ensuring environmental, nutritional, behavioral, and health needs of animals are addressed and met. Program standards are based on the internationally accepted values of the Five Freedoms, as adopted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
  2. Freedom from discomfort
  3. Freedom from pain, injury, disease
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviors
  5. Freedom from fear and distress

For a full list of the certified producers and their products and for a download of the “Humane Heartland™ Farm Animal Welfare Survey,” please visit