This coming April Fools’ Day can remind us that the meat, egg, and dairy industries have been playing us for fools year-round. Their more remarkable hoaxes include “California's happy cows,” “free-range chickens,” and “humane slaughter.” All cruel lies.
Less amusing is the stuff they never talk about. Like the millions of male baby chicks ground up alive or suffocated slowly in plastic garbage bags because they don’t lay eggs. Or the millions of hens crammed seven to a small wire-mesh cage, unable to move or spread their wings. Or breeding sows locked in metal crates, as their babies are castrated without anesthesia.
In the spirit of year-round April Fools’ Day, the meat industry has developed a whole dictionary designed to fool unwary consumers. Those filthy cesspools of animal waste that overflow into our drinking water supplies and poison downwind neighbors with putrid odors? They call them "lagoons." And to make sure that kids don't confuse pig flesh on their plate with “Babe” or “Wilbur,” they call it "pork."
But, their fooling days are about done. Many of us are replacing animal meat, as well as dairy milk, cheese, and ice cream, with healthier nut and grain-based products available in every grocery store.