We don’t always write about big stuff. It gets pretty tedious, even discouraging.
We spend too much money on eggs, not because it makes us feel good, but rather because we cannot stand the thought of animals being mistreated. Most people are like us, I know. The people who make the products we use don’t have a choice in the marketplace – they have to use the most efficient procedures to procure and produce our food. Animals suffer immensely in the process.
Advertising is manipulation, nothing more, and virtue signalling in advertising is so common as to be the norm. On Tuesday I was looking over the wide variety of eggs offered at our local King’s Sooper, and all of them in some form claimed to be kind to the hens that laid the eggs. I don’t need to go into great detail, as I’ve other things to do today, but it is enough to say that producers walk a fine line between lies and truth, often just enough truth to mislead us.
So we look for the label to the left. Here’s what is means, we are told: “If the carton says “certified humane” it means the birds were raised in a manner that meets certification requirements of Humane Farm Animal Care. Laying hens must be uncaged and have access to perches, nest boxes and dust-bathing areas.”
We can do no more. We cannot go to the farms in question or meet the hens. We have to trust at some point, and so have done so by only buying eggs that have that label on the box.
On Tuesday I paid $6 per dozen from Vital Farms, and yesterday noticed that inside the carton they offer to take us to the place where the hens live. I took them up on it. I clicked on VitalFarms.com/Farm, I urge you to do the same. I urge you to do this several times, and I’ve no doubt that each time you do, you’ll be seeing the same footage. You see, the advertisers got there first. Vital farms is running a loop, that is, the same footage again and again.
The name of the farm on the side of the carton was Featherland. When I got to the website, I was told hey, it takes a long time to get the cameras up and running. So please, instead of Featherland, take a look at our featured farm, Buckskin Acres. I did so, several times, and each time saw the same footage. I followed one hen in particular, seen to the right, always in the same place, always moving in the same direction.
OK, so this is planet earth, and people lie all the time, especially people in marketing. Why should I be upset? I’m not. I only do not like being treated as a fool with no brain or the ability to use it.
While we’re at it, let’s take a look at the farmers who own Buckskin Acres, to the left. They are obviously Midwest, and obviously not some impersonal corporation.
OK, enough. I’ve work to do today. Lies and lying liars all about, including the ad agency that was hired by Vital Farms to market its product. We can only hope that Humane Farm Animal Care is real. That part I want to believe, and if so, then Vital Farms, while not the wonderful folks running around picking up their hens and hugging them and making sure they are healthy, are at least somewhat forthright in their marketing.