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Grandin and Niman Launch New “Humane” Seal

Thanks to Bea for directing me, unfortunately, to "Meating Place" (courtesy of the "American Association of Meat Processors: Serving the Meat Industry Since 1939"). Here's the entire press release, dated 2/11/09:

Temple Grandin, renowned designer of humane livestock handling facilities, is launching a new certification program that evaluates both sustainable and humane practices, according to a statement issued by Niman Ranch, which helped Grandin develop the program.

Starting in August 2009, companies that wish to carry the certification seal will be audited on 21 core principles which must be met by all farmers and ranchers receiving certification. The 21 core principles include the following:

  • Animals must be given the opportunity to care for, interact with, and nurture their young. In the case of swine, farrowing crates are not allowed.
  • Practices must be implemented that prevent soil loss or degradation in production areas, minimizes unacceptable or unintended poor air quality for family, workers, and neighbors, and prevents water quality degradation of surface and groundwater resources.
  • Animals must be fed a 100 percent vegetarian diet and have a feeding plan that will guarantee a sufficient, well-balanced diet to appropriately meet their nutritional needs at their stage in life and maintain required Body Condition Scores. Animals shall have access to their feed as long as is necessary for them to satisfy their nutrient requirements.
  • Pasture and/or bedding are the preferred environments. To qualify as pasture, 75 percent or more of the land occupied by livestock in this program must have vegetation with a root system

. With the core principles completed, Grandin and Niman Ranch are now in the process of developing separate guidelines for each species of animals, as well as an auditing plan.

Niman Ranch said it plans to be one of the first companies to be audited to carry the certification seal for their humanely and sustainably raised natural beef, pork, lamb and chicken.

"Using animals for food is fine, but we've got to do it the right way. This program provides farmers and ranchers a practical and affordable way to give animals a decent life and minimize the impact on our environment at the same time," Grandin said in the statement.

"Using animals for food is fine, but we've got to do it the right way." Says who? The woman who designs ways to kill them.

Way back in March of 2007, I wrote "Cognitive Dissonance at the Niman Ranch,"and I maintain that the use of the word "humane" is absurd. Sure, you can make little changes here and there and you will, perhaps, make the lives of the animals you are dominating and exploiting and slaughtering a tad better. But it's insulting to them, and to the public, to sell this concept by misusing the word "humane." Maybe it's "less hideous," but I'm not even sure if that's true given why they were brought into the world and what their end will be. The nature of doublespeak is that if you use it and use it confidently, long enough, 2 + 2 will indeed = 5.

Our job is to stop each person in their tracks when the word "humane" is used, and remind them of what is going on in the name of "humane."

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dan #

    The Nazis originally shot the victims of the Holocaust, but then violence fatigue set in, and there was a demand for a more "humane", efficient, and cost effective way of killing victims: the gas chambers. I plan on publishing a series of essays this summer or fall discussing the similarities and dissimilarities of the Holocaust and animal agriculture, somewhat similar, but different, in comparison to the book Eternal Treblinka.

    February 12, 2009
  2. Dr. Martin:

    Just wanted to drop a note to clarify something. You note that "Meatingplace" is "brought to you by AAMP." I'm sure it seems like that, the way that AAMP has posted our item on its Web site. However, Meatingplace is the product of an independent publishing company (Marketing & Technology Group), and is not affiliated with any of the associations serving the meat processing industry.

    Thank you for the opportunity to make that observation.


    Lisa M. Keefe
    Editor, Meatingplace in Print

    February 12, 2009
  3. Dan – I'm anxious to hear your comparisons, as I am reading "We Are Witnesses – Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust" and "Night" by Elie Wiesel"… Oddly, I would never have read either of them if not for Eternal Treblinka and for Animal Rights. It's interesting, (and pleasantly so), how veganism opens awareness in ways I'd never guess…

    And referring to "violence fatigue" – I'm sure the kill box personnel in today's slaughterhouses must burn out very quickly too. Burn out to alcoholism, depression, rage and suicide – Nazi executioner or "kill-box-guy"… Not something anyone aspires to be, when they grow-up, that's for sure.

    Yet, there is Grandin… whose whole purpose in life has directed her precisely there. There as the authority of not only what animals want in their "humane" murder, but now, in their "happy" imprisonment, as well. There's so much regarding the Niman 21 core principles of "welfare" that deserve to be challenged. In just previewing the initial outline, I can see this. But I think energy spent discrediting specifics of "welfare", just isn't worth the time.

    Not when I may rebuke Ms. Temple "using animals for food" Grandin… for she certainly is the champ of smiling butchers! Everything nice and calm. Clean and tidy… No muss, no fuss. Just lights out and bleed 'm gently. Grandin is the master abattoir illusionist. She reveals exactly what her keepers wish her to, and does so, to an audience of willing takers. It is fantastical! Indeed in this world 2 + 2 can make 5. And calling a rock a banana does make it so. And the deceit is embraced so desperately. Magician, sponser and patrons. The collusion is complete…

    And Mary, you're absolutely right that this is an insult to the public. At least those who think the logic through… That all of this… breeding animals, killing them… no matter how "acceptable", how "pretty", or "nice"… is not "necessary". We don't "need" to make/kill these animals at all…

    Not for "food"… or "leather"… or "wool"… or lipstick… or nuggets… or any of it. And that killing animals when you don't "need" to is wrong. And there is no "right" way to do a "wrong" thing. None of it is necessary, and none of it is justified.

    And I do intend to vigorously tell anyone who uses the words "slaughter" and "humane" interchangeably, that they are being duped. That it is a hoax. I intend to offer them refuge from the tricks, prevarications and downright malarky that Grandin and her cronies perpetrate. I intend to tell them to go vegan… every chance I get.

    February 13, 2009
  4. "The nature of doublespeak is that if you use it and use it confidently, long enough, 2 + 2 will indeed = 5."

    Animal Advocates has written repeatedly on its site for more than a decade about the fraudulent use by the pet-disposing industry of words that denote compassion when behind the scenes animals are being kept in grim cells and cages and killed annually by the thousands by every one of these "humane" businesses. Those businesses include SPCAs and Humane Societies which elicit billions of dollars from gullible animal-lovers by the simple expedient of using words such as "euthanasia", "shelter", "adoption", "adoptable" "welfare" "humane" and others. Many of these SPCAs and Humane Societies are so adept at mass killing for private dumpers of unwanted pets that they take public money to kill for municipalities too: contracts to do animal control – the dog-catcher. Yet even where an SPCA or Humane Society has a contract to dispose of pets and uses killing as one of the primary way to dispose of them, the public still donates to them, believing that they are true animal welfarists. The public has been blinded by the simple use of shining words. More exposure of the pet-disposal businesses use of doublespeak to fool and defraud is so badly needed.

    Read more:

    February 13, 2009
  5. Just one example of SPCA doublespeak, this one by the CEO of the BC SPCA

    February 13, 2008, BC SPCA CEO Craig Daniell wrote in the Vancouver Sun, 'When the SPCA must euthanize an animal, it is for the same reason so-called "no-kill" facilities euthanize animals — to end the suffering of an animal that is beyond medical help.'

    In June 2008, AAS was sent this list of 56 reasons that staff choose from to put into the SPCA's system when animals are killed, by an SPCA employee. AAS also knows that some SPCA staff are forced to quietly sneak animals about to be killed, out of the SPCA and into the hands of little rescuers. So some staff are still stealing animals from SPCAs, just as staff publicly stole “Cheech” from the Delta SPCA in June 2004. AAS was sued on the orders of the CEO by the SPCA in August 2004. The lawsuit is still grinding on to its inevitable end.

    Read more:

    1. Aggression-humans
    2. Aggression to humans
    3. Behavioural
    4. Blind
    5. Cat flu
    6. Compulsive, obsessive, stereotypic behaviour
    7. Congenital defects
    8. Contagious
    9. Critical distress
    10. Deaf
    11. Declared dangerous
    12. Dental disease
    13. Dominance aggression
    14. Dominant behaviour
    15. Ear mites
    16. Escape behaviour
    17. Excessive vocalization
    18. Failed BA (behaviour assessment)
    19. Fearful/aggressive
    20. Feline leukemia
    21. Feral
    22. FIV positive
    23. Guarding behaviour
    24. Hair loss-demodex
    25. Hair loss-non specific
    26. Hair loss-ring worm
    27. Head trauma
    28. Heartworm positive
    29. Humane grounds
    30. Hyper reactivity to stimuli
    31. Hyperactive
    32. Idiopathic aggression
    33. Injured
    34. Kennel cough
    35. Kennel crazy
    36. Lack of pigmentation
    37. Litter box aversion
    38. Neurological problems
    39. Old
    40. Orthopedic problems
    41. Owner request
    42. Parvo
    43. Parvo contact
    44. Poor condition
    45. Seizures
    46. Separation anxiety
    47. Sick
    48. Spraying stress
    49. Tick paralysis
    50. Timid/fearful with accompanying anxiety
    51. Too many cats
    52. Too many dogs
    53. Too young
    54. Trauma
    55. Unsocial
    56. Wolf hybrid

    February 13, 2009
  6. Dan #


    One of my main motivations for writing it is to provide something short enough to be read in one sitting that is nuanced and sufficiently reasoned to point out the similarities and differences and avoid the superficial comparison which some people understandably find offensive, despite that much of the ‘offense’ is due to speciesism.

    The similarities are enough that we should all be horrified by our society’s present indifference (and if we last long enough as a species, future societies WILL BE horrified by our indifference), but the non-speciesist differences are enough, and the Holocaust is still an emotional enough event (being so close in time), that superficial comparisons can cause a lot of misunderstanding.

    February 13, 2009
  7. And I would never intend it to be seen as a superficial comparison either… but there is hard evidence that the methods used for exterminating people are also a mainstay for the way nonhumans are put to their death as well. The obvious one that comes to mind first is that the extreme numbers of each require absolute "efficiency".

    And too, there is the outright callousness – made quite obvious in:
    "Maceration, utilising a mechanical apparatus with rotating blades or projections, causes immediate fragmentation and death in day-old poultry"

    Really, only monsters devise such contraptions… Regardless of the brutality to human or nonhuman – the link to evil is just as vile.

    February 13, 2009
  8. Dan #

    Yes, only sick monsters devise and use such contraptions. The true colors of many humans really shine through, and it ain't pretty.

    February 13, 2009
  9. Sorry, I did not intend to glaze over the SPCA doublespeak with their words: "euthanasia", "shelter", "adoption", "adoptable" "welfare"
    "humane" and others… And that list of 56 "good reasons" to kill the animals. I'm surprised "breathing" wasn't included as well. That we accept such trivial justifications to dispose of "pet animals" – it's no wonder that "food animals" hardly stand a chance.

    February 13, 2009
  10. Dan – I look forward to your essays, as well! In addition to Eternal Treblinka, have you read Karen Davis' The Holocaust & the Henmaid's Tale? She spends much of the book examining whether such comparisons are permissible (as opposed to actually drawing the parallels), but there's some powerful stuff in there. In particular, the chapter 'The Life of One Battery Hen,' which is available online at

    February 14, 2009
  11. Dan #

    No Kelly, I haven't read Karen Dawn's writing on the topic, but I will; thank you for the suggestion. Obviously from what I've written here so far, you can tell that I think such comparisons are not only permissible, but to be strongly encouraged, as long as they are made with attention to details and reason.

    February 14, 2009
  12. Dan #

    Oops, I meant Karen Davis in the previous comment. My apologies to both Karens.

    February 14, 2009
  13. Karen Davis is a wonderful spokeswoman not only for chickens and birds… but for all animals. It's amazing the grand scale efforts she accomplishes on a small scale budget… Perhaps this is why the CCF is so threatened by her?
    BTW her sanctuary just gave home to 60 hens from a cockfighting ring, Isn't that wonderful?

    Anyway, I initially came here to post a piece from Nov… It's the perfect manage et trois: Grandin, Niman & Chipotle…

    The article is based on an interview with one of Niman's/Chipotle's pig suppliers… What happy animals, he loves them… they (fortunately) get slaughtered in a small (humane) establishment – Grandin approved, of course… Well anyway, it's yet one more look at the "natural-food reform" movement…

    And there's even more strange bedfellows and recent smooching… R. Kennedy, Jr. selected Nicolette Niman to head up his environmental organization's "hog campaign". Oddly, just recently Kennedy was under fire for calling hog farms more dangerous than BinLaden… And who is defending him on the Glen Beck show of all places? A PETA spokesman!
    No… I did not make this up:

    February 15, 2009

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