Know your labels

Factory farming resulting from the rapid growth in demand for cheap meat and dairy products means farm animals experience relentless suffering.

Image credit: iStock

In Australia, processed ham and bacon products are often labelled as ‘Made in Australia’, even if the ham comes from the United States or Canada, where mother pigs are cruelly confined to cramped stalls for the entire duration of their pregnancy.

Meat in a supermarket

Apart from meats, there are also various kinds of labels for eggs, which make it difficult to differentiate between products that come from low-welfare farming systems and high-welfare ones. 

Learn about your labels

Meat in a supermarket

High welfare labels to look for

If you choose to eat meat and eggs, below are higher-welfare labels to look out for on your next grocery run.


Free-range pork: comes from pigs that were born and raised with free access to the outdoors.

Sow-stall free pork: comes from pigs raised in an enhanced indoor environment or a combination of indoor and outdoor.


Barn-laid eggs: come from hens housed in a large shed where they’re able to move around, stretch, flap their wings and socialise.

Free-range eggs: come from hens that have access to the outdoors. Look for those with a maximum of 1500 hens per hectare!

Purchasing only higher-welfare animal products helps the planet, improves the lives of animals, and is better for your overall health, so make sure to look for the above-mentioned labels on your next trip to the grocery store.