I ran across this food label at Whole Foods in San Antonio.
1) Does this rating cover the animal’s entire life? The last week? Adulthood?
2) Who verifies this information? Is this a self-rating, honor-system based rating classification? I see huge incentives to lie.
3) Did anyone bother to ask the cow about the rating? (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
4) Would an animal lover be eating steak anyway?
5) In what ways are these labels supposed to influence my behavior? Should I not buy ratings less than (or greater than, in this case) of 1? What if I’m in a hurry, and the best I can do on short notice is a rating of 3. Am I a bad person?
6) Would the store carry anything other than a rating of 1? While I didn’t look too hard, I did not find a product carrying a rating greater than 1.
If this new rating system is voluntary, I have little objections. Whole Foods caters to yuppies (besides me), the environmentally sensitive crowd, and (obviously) animal lovers. I support any voluntary food labeling by the private sector. However, my fear is that some busybody government official will latch onto the idea and force it onto the grocery industry via regulation. This action would drive meat prices higher, reduce the supply of beef, and hurt consumers.