Farmers Engaged in Deliberative Practices; An Ethnographic Exploration of the Mosaic of Concerns in Livestock Agriculture
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (2):163-179 (2012)
A plethora of ethical issues in livestock agriculture has emerged to public attention in recent decades, of which environmental and animal welfare concerns are but two, albeit prominent, themes. For livestock agriculture to be considered sustainable, somehow these interconnected themes need to be addressed. Ethical debate on these issues has been extensive, but mostly started from and focused on single issues. The views of farmers in these debates have been largely absent, or merely figured as interests, instead of being considered morally worthwhile themselves. In this paper the relevance for ethical debates of the ways farmers discuss and engage with moral concerns is explored. The variety of norms that figure in contemporary farming practices is sketched in its multifarious complexity, illustrated by ethnographic fieldwork, and systematized in terms of “orders of worth.” Reviewing the practical arguments and commitments of farmers within this framework reveals that farming practices are subject to mixed motives, in which an amalgam of types of concerns play a role. Recognition of the peculiarly entangled nature of the ethics of farming practices could counter the tendency in policy making, technological innovation, and ethical thought to compartmentalize our moral landscape. Understanding farming practice as the integration of a mosaic of concerns in the light of a variety of moral experiences would foster public appreciation of positions of farmers in debates on improving the sustainability and societal acceptability of livestock agriculture
|Keywords||Livestock farming Farmers’ ethics Ethnography Sustainability Convention theory|
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Citations of this work BETA
B. A. Ventura, M. A. G. Von Keyserlingk & D. M. Weary (2015). Animal Welfare Concerns and Values of Stakeholders Within the Dairy Industry. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (1):109-126.
Lewis Holloway, Christopher Bear & Katy Wilkinson (2014). Robotic Milking Technologies and Renegotiating Situated Ethical Relationships on UK Dairy Farms. Agriculture and Human Values 31 (2):185-199.
Jeffrey M. Spooner, Catherine A. Schuppli & David Fraser (2014). Attitudes of Canadian Pig Producers Toward Animal Welfare. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (4):569-589.
Franck L. B. Meijboom & Frans R. Stafleu (forthcoming). Farming Ethics in Practice: From Freedom to Professional Moral Autonomy for Farmers. Agriculture and Human Values.
Clemens Driessen & Leonie F. M. Heutinck (2015). Cows Desiring to Be Milked? Milking Robots and the Co-Evolution of Ethics and Technology on Dutch Dairy Farms. Agriculture and Human Values 32 (1):3-20.
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