An Overview of Engineering Approaches to Improving Agricultural Animal Welfare

Abstract

In this essay, we provide an overview of how production systems can be re-engineered to improve the welfare of the animals involved. At least three potential options exist: engineering their environments to better fit the animals, engineering the animals themselves to better fit their environments, and eliminating the animals from the system by growing meat in vitro rather than on farms. The morality of consuming animal products and the conditions under which agricultural animals are maintained remain highly contentious, and when concerns about animal welfare are coupled with concerns about sustainability and global food security, the problem of welfare in animal agriculture constitutes “a wicked problem,” because it is unlikely that any proposed solution will simultaneously address all the issues of concern. In the final section of this essay, we offer some observations on how debate over reforms in animal agriculture could proceed going forward.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,855

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-02-11

Downloads
17 (#642,268)

6 months
1 (#386,031)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Gary Varner
Texas A&M University

References found in this work

Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 1983 - University of California Press, C1983.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan & Mary Midgley - 1986 - The Personalist Forum 2 (1):67-71.
Animal Liberation.Bill Puka & Peter Singer - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (4):557.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 1985 - Human Studies 8 (4):389-392.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Similar books and articles

Transgenesis in Animal Agriculture: Addressing Animal Health and Welfare Concerns. [REVIEW]Michael Greger - 2011 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24 (5):451-472.
Animal Agriculture: Symbiosis, Culture, or Ethical Conflict? [REVIEW]Vonne Lund & I. Anna S. Olsson - 2005 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 19 (1):47-56.
Ethics and Farm Animal Welfare.J. F. Hurnik & Hugh Lehman - 1988 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1 (4):305-318.
Animal Welfare at Home and in the Wild.Kyle Johannsen - 2016 - Animal Sentience 1 (7/10).
Ethical Limits to Domestication.P. Sandøe, N. Holtug & H. B. Simonsen - 1996 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 9 (2):114-122.
Incorporating the Philosophy of Technology Into Animal Welfare Assessment.Courtney Lynd Daigle - 2014 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (4):633-647.
Genetic Engineering and the Integrity of Animals.Rob De Vries - 2006 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 19 (5):469-493.
Human Diets and Animal Welfare: The Illogic of the Larder. [REVIEW]Gaverick Matheny & Kai M. A. Chan - 2005 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (6):579-594.