AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market here has introduced a new tiered, 5-step Animal Welfare Rating system developed by the Global Animal Partnership, a nonprofit organization focused on improvements in animal agriculture. At minimum, all of the company's meat suppliers must raise animals on a vegetarian diet without the use of antibiotics or artificial hormones. "Step 1" rated farms do not use crates or cages, and their animals live in uncrowded conditions. "Step 5+", the highest rating, is ...

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