Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
general schools have emerged on how animal welfare is mea-
sured. These are the (1) function-based, (2) feeling-based, and
(3)  nature-based schools. These different schools have pro-
vided a framework within which the public debate on the
treatment of domesticated animals has taken place since the
early twentieth century. The schools do not compete for legiti-
macy, as all are considered valid ways of measuring animal
welfare. However, there is overlap between schools, and many
times, the importance given to each school will vary from
person to person according to philosophies, experiences, cul-
ture, and societal influences. Ultimately, animal welfare is best
served when advocates combine the most rational features of
each school, particularly where all three intersect.
It can be difficult for the average person to understand the
modern livestock farm, but those who have pets understand
more than they think, so we will use the analogy of caring
for a dog to help readers understand how and why livestock
industries raise livestock the way they do.
Humans care deeply for their pets. Many smokers say they
are more likely to quit smoking for their dog's health than their
own. Lawyers have argued that pets be recognized as family
in courts. Some Christians even baptize their pets. People cer-
tainly don't have these feelings about cows, chickens, or hogs,
but in some aspects it seems as if they do.
Most dog owners demonstrate their love by purchasing dog
food scientifically tailored to their dog's breed, age, and size,
and they take their dog regularly to the veterinarian. These
owners want their dogs to function well biologically; this is an
example of the function -based school of animal welfare.
Likewise, farmers also keep their animals biologically fit so
that they are healthy enough to grow and reproduce. In recent
years, pet foods have become increasingly sophisticated and
targeted. One brand trumpets its sophistication with the name
“Science Diet.” The process behind livestock feed is arguably
more scientific. Visit a dairy farm to see how the cows' feed is
formulated. As a supplement to hay and silage, the farmer may
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