I am often questioned why veganism is not part of Crate Free USA’s strategy. After all, we are an animal welfare organization.

What my vegan questioners usually don’t realize is that they’re asking someone who shares their lifestyle. I bring Beyond Burgers into restaurants so I can get my protein. I buy faux leather stuff. I bring Tofurky to Thanksgiving dinner and have to promise not to make my family feel guilty about eating turkey.


Help Animals by Reducing Meat Consumption and Buying Humanely Raised Meat

While these are my personal choices, I knew from the start that I wanted Crate Free USA to be a more mainstream organization. Rather than trying to transfer my convictions to others, my strategy was to influence as many people as possible to reduce meat consumption and commit to buying humanely raised products. Instead of meat seven days a week, throw in a plant-based meal a few times a week. Rather than going to the grocery store to pick up a Hormel ham, find a local farm where the animals lead natural lives and see the light of day.

While our practical approach may not be perfect, we offer a framework that’s workable for most people who have yet to adjust their eating habits to benefit farm animals.

Things like:

I believe we’ll change more minds by letting people reduce farm animal suffering in their own way, at their own pace.

More than one way forward

According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average consumer will eat 222.2 pounds red meat and poultry this year. From a tactical perspective, getting hundreds of thousands of these consumers to simply reduce their meat consumption by 20 or 30 percent can spare hundreds of millions of animals from factory farms and slaughter plants – far more animals than convincing much fewer people to become vegetarian or vegan.

While veganism may be my personal choice and is clearly a way forward it is not the only way forward for farm animals.

Crate Free USA is made up of omnivore, flexitarian, reducetarian, vegan, and vegetarian volunteers. We’re all in it together to create change for farm animals. To those who question us, we’re not undermining the goals of veganism. We’re comfortable with the concept of “humanely raised” animals because we see it as part of the larger process to protect America’s farm animals today. Let’s all stay focused on measuring our collective progress rather than squabble on whose approach is more perfect.

Now let’s go change some minds!

Reducetarian Summit 2019

Yes to this message! One of our volunteers at the Reducetarian Summit 2019 in DC


Jessica Chipkin is a veteran public relations consultant, strategist and writer specializing in technology innovation and corporate social responsibility. A longtime animal welfare and political activist, she is founder and president of Crate Free USA.

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We are now Crate Free USA!


We have some news to share that we are pretty excited about…

We have changed our name to Crate Free USA!

But our mission remains the same: to reduce the suffering

of animals on factory farms.


We are still based in Illinois and will continue our grassroots efforts to support local farmers who pasture raise and treat their animals and the environment with respect. And, we’ll be as vocal as ever about the growth of factory farms in Illinois and beyond and all of the negative impacts on animals, the environment, and rural communities.


That said, we have also been working on national campaigns for a few years now — starting with our success in 2018 in getting Trader Joe’s to commit to a largely crate-free pork supply chain.  And now we are deeply engaged in two other campaigns, both national in scope, to get Aldi and Costco to take a strong stand for pig welfare and commit to a public timeline to go 100% crate-free.  


Our new name more clearly reflects the scope of our work and we are excited to continue our work on behalf of farmed animals across America. We hope you will continue to support us in this important work. Onwards!

Thank you!