Many of us unknowingly support animal cruelty every day by eating factory raised meat.
Nonprofit organization America for Animals is building a mobile app that makes it easier not to, by helping people find restaurants with vegan, vegetarian, and humanely raised options.
“Its primary use is to allow people to find restaurants that provide meat from animals that have been humanely treated,” company spokesperson Cecily Trowbridge told VentureBeat. “It doesn’t discourage one lifestyle or another, it simply facilitates making a conscientious choice when eating out. People can feel good about these decisions on a daily basis – it means they’re not supporting factory farming, which is where all the truly egregious behavior goes down.”
Your first thought as you are about to bite into a juicy hamburger is probably not “where did this meat come from and how was it raised,” but these are important questions to ask.
As Trowbridge explains, factory farms have some notoriously bad practices. I won’t go into the disgusting details, but they involve violence, pesticides and antibiotics, filth, disease, and cramming thousands of animals into tiny spaces.
America for Animals compiled a database of over 16,000 establishments that are “cruelty-free.” People wanting to make a conscientious food choice will be able to use its “Humane Eating Project” app to find nearby restaurants that don’t support animal abuse.
“There are a lot of people out there who want to do the right thing but throw their hands up in the air because they don’t know how to go about it,” America for Animals CTO Tim Drees said.
The app presents an array of restaurants that align with these values, so that more people will stop supporting the mainstream meat industry.
“This could alter the way people eat out, eventually eliminating the ability of restaurants to serve dishes that require outright animal abuse like shark-fin soup and foie gra via a Watch List feature,” Trowbridge said. “It’s crowdsourced, so people will be able to put their own two cents in as well — it’s the beginning of an international community.”
The app comes with location features, Google mapping of restaurants, driving directions, and Yelp reviews. It also has social features so people can see where their friends went and make comments.
The Watch List feature Trowbridge mentioned informs users of restaurants selling “the worst offenders” as far as humane treatment and gives them the ability to petition restaurants to stop selling those items.
America for Animals is a nonprofit organization that promotes advocacy efforts, encouraging people to fight animal cruelty in their communities. Most of its work is done through technology, by building Web and mobile apps that allow advocates to connect, organize, and participate
America for Animals is based in San Diego.