*Farm Animal Welfare Resources Index

*Farm Animal Handling, Transport & Welfare: Documentary Film - The Life & Work of Temple Grandin

Farm Animal Welfare - The Power Struggle!

Farm Animals Welfare - Animal Rights debate - issues resources

KEY PLAYERS IN THE LIVESTOCK WELFARE POWER STRUGGLE
What do they want? - How will they get it?

Consumers   Farm Animals   Farmers   Food Retailers   Media
Politicians   Scientists   Vegetarians   Welfare campaigners
Conclusion   Your Views?

 

*The Wonder & Magic of Farm Animals in Images, Video, Song, Poetry!
*Animals as Teachers and Healers

 

 

 


^

Consumers

consumer concerns about food animal welfare in a caring society

goal

cheap plentiful meat to eat with a clear conscience!

strengths

voting power
purchasing power
complaining power

possible weaknesses

easily mislead by media
easily mislead by marketing
insensitivity to needs & problems of farmers
inexperience of farm animals & farm economics
little time & inclination for purchase discrimination
emotional reactions & ideologies may obscure economic & practical realities

opportunities

willingness to pay more for high wefare meat!
to become more discriminating when buying & voting
to relate to farmers & work constructively with them
to come to terms more with worldly realities of suffering & death

dangers faced

hypocrisy: supporting high welfare but buying cheap low welfare meat
confusion & chaos from conflicting information & views
demanding the impossible from farmers & food industry

 


^

Farm Animals

pigs sheep dairy cattle poultry

goals

To Live! & Express Natural Behaviour & Follow Natural Instincts
To suffer no more than necessary

strengths

entertaining & interesting unique life-forms
vulnerability & innocence attracts compassion & caring
nutritious & tasty to eat

possible weaknesses

vulnerability to abuse & exploitation
limited means of communication & no linguistic or literacy skills
projected onto by people not taking responsibilty for their inner emotions & issues

opportunities

to get better care by people meeting our needs as well as their own!

dangers faced

spread of vegetarianism may deny us life
a lifestyle determined by ignorant, impoverished, insensitive or unhappy people

 


^

Farmers

chicken farmers sheep farmers cattle farming hog production

goals

enjoy an occupation of raising livestock
provide material security for self & family
be independent - avoid outside crticism & interference

strengths

practical experience of livestock needs
practical experience of economic realities

possible weaknesses

financial desperation: low margins over costs
insensitivity to ethical needs of consumers
insensitivity to welfare needs of livestock
rejecting concerns of welfarists (= customers or speak to customers)

opportunities

communicate their situation more effectively to consumers
realise benefits of compassionate & sensitive relationship with livestock
be more proactive & less (defensively) reactive on welfare
to dialogue & work with welfarists rather than condemn them

dangers faced

increased costs of high welfare farming
insensitivity to animal suffering: "familiarity breeds contempt"
reduced income from alienating consumers
competition from global trade
time & paperwork of government & QA welfare measures
bitterness, bancruptcy, depression & suicide

 


^

Food Retailers

consumer reactions & scares affect meat sales from intensive farms

goals

enjoy the occupation of food retailing
increase revenue from meat sales
decrease customer complaints

strengths

point-of-purchase communication with consumers
purchasing power with farmers
independent of farmer & welfarist pressure groups

possible weaknesses

ignorance of farming methods
reluctance to become involved directly on farms

opportunities

to ensure that Quality Assurance Schemes are effectively policed
to mediate between consumers & farmers

dangers faced

being caught in the middle of conflicting pressures
erratic sales volume arising from welfare scandals

 


^

Media (press, radio, TV)

recent news: undercover investigations have exposed cruelty & neglect on British factory farms

goals

to provide informed comment & news on public issues
to maintain & increase readers/listeners/viewers

strengths

a regular & widespread audience
seen as caring & unbiassed on this issue by the public
courage to uncover truths & expose deception

possible weaknesses

temptation to inflame conflict & passions
lack of experience & understanding of farming

opportunities

to present balanced & factual comment from all players
to provide a constructive rather than destructive forum

dangers faced

irresponsible sensationalism
spreading of inuendo, misinformation & smears

 


^

Politicians

legislation by EU and by United Kingdom, Sweden etc has banned some farm housing & management practices

goals

to represent public interest
to contribute to the nation's economic & moral welfare
to maintain & increase support of voters

strengths

ability to institute or threaten legislation
power of public condemnation or judgement

possible weaknesses

pandering to popular but ill-informed opinion

opportunities

to understand the dynamics of the issue
foster public understanding of all points of view
encourage dialogue, collaboration & mutual respect between opposing interests
bring players together to work out balanced & mutual solutions

dangers faced

instituting hasty, unwise or ineffective legislation
adding to wasteful bureaucracy or litigation

 


^

Scientists

major grants by EU, MAFF & supermarkets to support welfare research

goal

to contribute objective investigation, research & scholarship

strengths

objectivity (hopefully)
independence from vested interests (except where funded by them)
wealth of factual & objective data & experience

possible weaknesses

welfare questions cannot be resolved by science alone

opportunities

to foster objective understanding of the needs of livestock
to analyse the dynamics of welfare issues
to devise economic & practical ways of meeting livestock needs

dangers faced

disregarding the emotional & spiritual components of welfare issues

 


^

Vegetarians (militant)

meat is murder! vegetarians claim

goal

to discourage others from eating meat

strengths

strong personal convictions
growing spiritual interest & practice in many countries
self-discipline respected by many in society

possible weaknesses

personal beliefs may be seen as "supreme truths" applying to all
inexperience of livestock farming
if less meat is eaten, less farm animals will live (be kept)

opportunities

to set personal example of the ultimate option of rejecting unacceptable farming

dangers faced

self-righteous "crusade" which attacks beliefs & rights of others

 


^

Welfare campaigners

campaign for caring society to care about morality & animal rights

goals

to improve quality of life for farm animals

strengths

caring image: sensitivity & compassion for suffering of sentient beings
the moral "high ground": do as you would be done by!

possible weaknesses

insensitivity to the economic difficulties of farmers
subjective approach - may lack objectivity & realism

opportunities

to awaken farmer & public awareness of animal suffering
to encourage action & fight ignorance & insensitivity
to dialogue & work with farmers rather than condemn them

dangers faced

anthropomorphism - not recognising animal needs may differ
being self-righteous but ineffective in practical terms
causing suffering to farmers & their families


^

CONCLUSION

conflict or constructive debate co-operation & practical recommendations? THE POWER STRUGGLE WILL CONTINUE UNTIL THE PLAYERS SEE THE MUTUAL BENEFIT OF BALANCING CONFLICTING INTERESTS!
pursuing personal interests by blaming and power struggle is automatic, instinctive & easy
mutual recognition & mutual co-operation require conscious visionary effort

Author:  Dr. Michael Meredith


^

Your Views?

I don't have all the answers, and probably not even all the questions!
I may even have unintentionally maligned you in what I have written above
Put me straight by contacting the author

 

 

controversial issues of farm animal livestock welfare and review of ethics controversy and animal rights debate controverseyAnimal Welfare: New Books!
 
 
Welfare of Farm Animals

Animal Welfare Discount Book Sale
 

*More about Power Struggle in Human Relationships

*Farm Animal Welfare Issues Controversy - Meatrix Online Video: Meat Tricks

 

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*Pigs & Swine Behaviour & Welfare - Main Resources Index


 


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