I guess it may seem a little odd for a vegan blog, a site concerned for the way animals are treated and who wants all animals to be free from abuse, harm and cruelty to be anti RSPCA (for those outside the UK, that’s the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). But I was in a supermarket and saw an oven ready chicken. Chickens always get to me because it’s still in the chicken form. Harder to disconnect the meat from the animal. Unlike other meat products such as bacon (what the hell happened with bacon btw, Like it became an Internet meme a few years ago where everyone has to love bacon.) and steaks.
Anyway, this chicken had a logo similar to the below on it saying “RSPCA Assured”. I thought that to be odd considering what the RSPCA supposedly stands for. The fact that a prevention of cruelty charity, which asks for money to help fight cruelty to animals, actually approved the murder of these chickens enough to put its logo on it!! Wtf. That’s like the NSPCC or Childline endorsing child sex trafficking! “CHILDLINE ASSURED SEX SLAVES”. It seems counter intuitive.
I looked around he store more and saw this logo on other animal products. Eggs “free range”. Minced beef. Lamb….. I mean wtf!?
It pissed me off so much. A charity I actually used to think was cool, helpful and worthwhile. They put out adverts/commercials with abused dogs and cats and how they save these animals and rehabilitate them into new homes etc. I mean these are quite graphic videos of abused dogs, left to starve with open sores and damaged limbs.
I can be quite a mouthy sod so I emailed them, a genuine question of
I was wondering how a body with the term “Prevention of cruelty” in their name can endorse meat, dairy and egg products? Is it not cruel to kill another being. To keep animals purely to kill them? To remove calves from their mothers to obtain their milk? I always used to look at RSPCA as a charity looking out for animals, but now I feel if someone/business can score high enough on an audit and pay a large enough sum, they can use the RSPCA logo to help sell more of their “product”.
When these RSPCA assured farms and abattoir/slaughter houses are approved and checked, is there really no sign of cruelty? When looking at hatcheries, are male chicks cruelty free?
I am just trying to understand how a cruelty prevention charity can approve slaughtering?
The reply I received (to their credit pretty quickly).
Thank you for your enquiry.
We’re often asked why we’re not a vegetarian or vegan society. Whilst we respect those who choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle and the personal commitment it takes, we take the view that as long as millions of animals continue to be exploited, we must continue to campaign for the highest possible standards of animal welfare in all areas.
The majority of the general public do eat animal products and, therefore, one of our aims is to raise awareness of how farm animals are reared, transported and slaughtered and the welfare issues of farm animals. As more and more people become aware of these issues, we hope that they will be able to make better-informed decisions about the food they choose. We always encourage people to choose ‘higher welfare’ products such as our RSPCA Assured labelled food, which is an assurance that the rearing, transportation and slaughter of the animal involved in producing the food have been inspected to our strict welfare standards.
By working with the government, consumers, retailers, farmers, stock-keepers and other key organisations we’ve achieved a lot for farm animals. You can find out here about the key welfare issues, what we are doing and how you can help.
Thank you again for contacting us, and for caring about farm animals.
RSPCA Advice Team
So I followed up with
Thank you for the quick reply. It really is appreciated. I don’t want to come across as “an angry vegan” and I hope my messages don’t come across as such. I am merely trying to get my head around things. I never really knew that RSPCA put their name to meat and dairy products until I saw it on the side of a raw chicken earlier and I had to double take as I thought it seemed contradictory, much like NSPCC endorsing child labour.
I appreciate the link to the welfare standards and will read through these later. I guess I am just after some information if possible and some form a discussion/Q&A.
It is commendable to want to raise awareness to people as “of how farm animals are reared, transported and slaughtered “, but wouldn’t a campaign showing what happens in the slaughter houses, on the farms etc raise the awareness more? As, as you say the majority of the general public eat meat, they may see you logo and think that’s all there is to it. That they can feel in themselves that “aww the animals are ok” while eating it.
I notice the adverts relating to abused dogs and abandoned cats are to raise awareness and show the realities, as opposed to the meats with a RSPCA approved stamp.
Can I ask how often the farms etc get inspected/audited and if there is a fee for them to pay to use the logo?
Thank you for the link showing how I can help, but I will continue to not eat animal products which contributes to suffering and learn more about organisations like yourself and other practices.
This was their final reply, they have since stopped replying to emails which is disappointing as I felt I was controlled, genuine, approachable and open to dialogue. I wasn’t the stereotypical “angry vegan” I wasn’t abusive. I wasn’t threatening to throw red paint over their outfits etc.
Thank you for your reply, your comments have been noted.
We can assure you that farmers, hauliers and abattoirs wishing to join RSPCA Assured must undergo a thorough inspection by RSPCA Assured assessors before they can be recommended for accreditation to the scheme. Then, in addition to the annual inspection by RSPCA Assured staff, the RSPCA’s Farm Livestock Officers carry out random inspections of accredited premises to ensure that welfare standards are being maintained.
This also enables the RSPCA to talk directly to producers operating within the scheme to discuss any problems found when implementing the standards and ideas on how they might be improved still further. If a scheme member is found not to be adhering to the scheme, they are suspended and a full investigation takes place.
There is an annual membership depending on the species and number of animals on a farm and RSPCA Assured is also currently funded through a licence fee levied on all products carrying the RSPCA Assured label, in common with other assurance schemes.
Thank you again for contacting us and for your interest in our work.
They didn’t want to divulge the amount they charge for use of their logo. But if it’s anything like other assured themes (BSI, BBA etc which I deal with in my day job) it won’t be cheap. And to be honest, it isn’t hard to keep the standards and awards and ultimately the governing body wants the membership to keep the paid audits, licence fees etc going and the money rolling in. Plus the more companies which hold those specific standards and badges, the more the remaining ones will want them as consumers become aware of such things. A consumer seeing two packs of eggs on the shelf, one with the logo and one without, will more likely opt for the logo’d one and feel a sense of pride as they think they’ve helped the animals. Not only does this lessen guilt, but may actually increase their consumption. Now the products without the logo, may do market research to see why their sales are down and find the reason being they aren’t RSPCA assured. So they join.
My last message to the RSPCA is below, I have not had any reply or acknowledgement as of yet, it’s been weeks now so I guess I won’t be getting one. I have also taken to Instagram and posted images and tagged RSPCA in them and still had no response.
I just saw your advert about giving £2 a month and how you can act as soon as cruelty is reported.
How would I go about reporting chickens having their beaks cut, calves being killed by opening the throat with a knife and slicing its artery? Male chicks being killed because they aren’t wanted?
If I changed chicks, calves and chickens to cats and dogs, would you act on it? Where do you draw the distinction between which animals are allowed to be cruelly treated, abused, mutilated and killed and which to save? And why do you actually have instructions on how to kill animals, how to mutilate them? Do you think, ethically, you can have “prevention of cruelty” in your name when you instruct how to cut a chicks beak? Do you have instructions on how to dock dog tails? And how to kill puppies that aren’t wanted?
What really gets to me is they sent me the standards to which they audit to. Including the approved killing practices. Th approved debeaking practices. This, from a charity which pleads for money to save animals, using graphic videos of dogs to guilt people into donating, who then charge slaughterhouses a fee to use their logo. This is crazy and messed up. If you would like a link to the standards please feel free to ask,mi will screen shot some and post below for you to see why this angers me so.
(The RSPCA approved way of mutilating female chicks before they are a day old)
(RSPCA instructions on gas chambers…….and people deny this is a holocaust)
(RSPCA Method of disposing male chicks who are no use to the egg industry. The standard above, demonstrated below)
It is a bit of a long post and it’s been written on my tablet as I am currently in the states, so excuse any formatting issues but I wanted to get this uploaded and posted as it’s something that boils my blood. Hypocrisy for money.
In their new commercials the RSPCA say under new laws they can investigate any complaints of cruelty, I will keep reporting slaughterhouses and animal farms, I hope you do too. Charities like the RSPCA have a brand behind them. They are “known” or thought of as a helpful compassionate organisation. So people who buy the RSPCA assured products are misled into believing that there is no cruelty occurring in the production of these products. I think it is morally and ethically wrong to be called the prevention of cruelty charity when their own standards teach and instruct cruelty.
Go vegan, stop the above practices. You have more power than the RSPCA. They regulate the suffering, you can stop it by stopping demand. Please, stop the pain and torture to these beautiful animals.