Ever feel like your job locks you into a prison like environment with rows of cubicles and a boss always hovering around? If that’s the case, then good news, Whole Foods wouldn’t even sell you because you’d be considered a Step 0 in their Animal Welfare Rating! Whole Foods wouldn’t even consider you until you have no cages, no crates and less crowding!
As I was shopping the other day in their overstimulated world of brightly colored vegetables, GMO-free Cheerios and super cool employees, I thought about how relevant the rating scale is for our jobs. Sure, success and pay can’t be measured by their animal welfare rating, but if you’re like me, happiness as measured by freedom, might be.
Let’s take a look at each one of their Steps, theorize on what the human equivalent job would be and then you can take the poll so we can see where we’re all rated.
Whole Foods doesn’t even stoop to the level of a Step 0 type of environment. Considering Step 1 is no cages, no crates and less crowding, I think the cubicle-styled work environments many of us live in would be a Step 0. Whole Foods is pretty much telling us all that our jobs are inhumane!
Many companies have tried to hip it up by moving from the cubicle styled environments to more of an open work space concept. I guess this is Step 1. However, if your open space environment is overcrowded like one of those nasty chicken barns, you could still be in a Step 0.
If you ask me, I still prefer Step 0 to Step 1 because at least I have privacy while I’m trying to focus on my really important work efforts (like checking the stock market). Also, I really couldn’t handle staring at the people who work around me all day, I’d definitely stick with Step 0.
We step it up to a new level with Step 2 – a more enriched environment. Some of the early Silicon Valley companies hit this trend when they did crazy things like bring foosball and ping-pong tables into the office. Wow, the enrichment provided here must have been a real game changer. Now that those have become the norm for Step 2, I guess the new enrichments are things like fancy coffee machines or treadmill desks.
When you start talking about “Enriched Outdoor Access” as Step 3 mentions, that’s when I get excited. I don’t think it counts if you only walk across the courtyard to another meeting or have a basketball court outside that no one ever uses (besides those 50 year old men every Tuesday who you constantly worry about having a heart attack).
No, I think enriched outdoor access should mean something like 50%+ of your time is spent outdoors and maybe even doing something you like. Enriched outdoor experience could also go from awesome to really crappy during tough times like summer and winter. Both of my brothers are industrial electricians who work outside a lot of the time, so I think they’re fall in Step 3.
Pasture Centered is a little harder to compare to a normal career. Sure, if you’re a farmer then you could easily fall into this bucket. I really wish Whole Foods would’ve take the description a little further here like they did with Step 5 (Animal Centered, No Physical Alterations). I guess Step 4 is a job that allows you to free range and not be tied to one location or one monotonous task.
This is the pinnacle that all slaughter-able animals want to achieve – the coveted Step 5. I still don’t know if the “No Physical Alterations” refers to the animal or the environment, but the only career I can compare this to is the coveted career of Hippie… or maybe my wife and I when we were traveling! Step 5 lets you live the life you choose to live without fear of getting fenced in and forced on a production line.
With my corporate job of most of the time in an office and some flexibility to work from home, I think I’m somewhere between a Step 0 and a Step 1… since I’m an optimist I’ll choose Step 1. How about you, where you sit on the Whole Foods Animal Welfare Rating Scale: