Thursday, August 19, 2010

Animal Welfare in the News, Discussed in Choices

Recently, news outlets like the New York Times have been discussing the issues surrounding animal welfare in response to recent agreements made in Ohio between producers and animal rights activists. AAEA members Bailey Norwood and Jayson Lusk discussed this debate in Choices last year.

In their article "The Farm Animal Welfare Debate", Norwood and Lusk discuss "how the livestock industry distracts consumers from the well-being of farm animals with two red herrings, and that the public good nature of animal welfare limits the ability of product differentiation to reconcile differences of opinion on how farm animals should be raised."

You can also check out the newest issue of Choices, released a few days ago, with themes on Agricultural and Food Markets Structure and Competition and Genetically Engineered Crops and U.S. Agricultural Sustainability.


  1. 'Free-range' is the biggest farce that has come out of the "animal welfare" movement since it started. It allows producers to continue to exploit animals whilst making people feel good about their cruel eating choices. Organisations like PETA and HSUS who ally themselves with livestock producers should be ashamed of themselves. The only morally acceptable path to animal welfare and rights is veganism. Go vegan.

  2. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. The fact that the "free-range" label is used disingenuously does not undermine the integrity of the concept. Even if you are fundamentally opposed the idea of raising and slaughtering animals for food, you must admit that the factory farm industry produces far more suffering than a family farmer who is deeply concerned with the welfare and humane treatment of his or her stock. If reducing animal suffering is the goal, legitimate free-range alternatives must be made available to those who are not willing to give up meat altogether. We should all fight for this regardless of our personal dietary choices.

  3. Thanks for the comments herfancy and anonymous! Anonymous, we'd encourage you to at least leave a name next time. That way, we can follow the conversation better!

  4. Unfortunately Veganism is not a solution to food production in the world. The fact of the matter is that it is natural for some animals (including humans) to eat other animals to survive. Wishful thinking will not change this.