One of the main reasons cited by consumers for purchasing higher-welfare animal products is a perception that they are healthier. If this perception is true, choosing higher-welfare animal products over intensively-produced ones could be expected to have a beneficial effect on the public’s health, enabling food companies to market higher-welfare animal products on the basis of nutritional advantage.
Compassion conducted a literature review to examine the evidence for a range of nutritional benefits of higher-welfare animal products, including comparing extensive production systems (e.g. free-range, organic or other pasture-based system) with intensive production systems (e.g. cage, indoor or feedlot system).
In general, extensive farming systems are considered to have the potential for higher animal welfare than intensive systems, and higher welfare animal products were shown to have a number of nutritional benefits over intensively-reared animal products.