A ban on dog and cat meat, improved conditions for caged animals, and other notable developments in animal welfare
This year saw some big advances for animals in the federal legislature, in the midterm elections, and in grocery stores.
California voters approved a law requiring larger cages for pigs and chickens; nearly 400 companies, including Hyatt and Marriott, committed themselves to better conditions for animals; and plant-based meat alternatives exploded in popularity — even among consumers who aren’t vegetarian or vegan.
Not all the news was good, though. The overwhelming majority of animals raised for food are still raised on factory farms, where 50 billion animals lived and died this year. In the US, the rise of plant-based meats has provoked a backlash from agriculture lobbyists, who’ve fought to make it harder to sell soy milk, almond milk, veggie burgers, and similar products.
So 2018 offered reasons for optimism — but the promising developments took place against a dismal backdrop. Here’s a brief rundown of what happened on the animal welfare front in the past year.