This is a very interesting and hopeful article from the NYTimes: Meat Labels Hope to Lure the Sensitive Carnivore .
It talks about the trend toward labelling products "organic," "free-range," "animal compassionate," and "certified humane" in order to attract the more conscientious consumer.
The article notes two different consumers toward whom these labels might be appealing: 1) either the animal lovers who are worried about the treatment of chickens, cows, pigs, etc, and 2) those with a fine taste for food (free range chicken tastes better than factory farm chicken who never run around or see day light).
Now my wife and I are not well off, spending large amouts of money on organic food because it tastes so much better, nor are we out of control animal lovers (we both each meat whenever we can afford it). But we do spend extra amount on organic foods because not beause of taste, or activism, but because of Health.
Not only are organic, free range foods humane and tasty, but they are much more health for you: they don't have growth hormones, pesticides, pumped into them, and the meat has been feed what God intended for them to eat rather than artifical sources of nutrients. The factory farms are produce much lower quality foods which is contributing to Americas much lower health, and much higher cancer rate.
So I think it is interesting that the NYTimes would ignore this Health angle to the story, when for many it is their over-riding conviction on the matter, more than animal activism or food snobbery.