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Animals Need More Freedom, Not Simply Taller And Bigger Cages

Marc Bekoff: ‘In their 2017 book, The Animals’ Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age, ethologist Marc Bekoff and bioethicist Jessica Pierce offer a provocative critique of animal welfare values as they play out in the real world of animals’ treatment… The Animals’ Agenda is an attempt to figure out why science is failing animals. The answer, [according to the authors], is that… “the study of animal emotion and cognition has been channeled into animal welfare science. And ‘welfare science’ is not science in the service of animals, but rather science in the service of industry… Indeed, as we delved into our research for the book, it became pretty clear that the word ‘welfare’ is a dirty little lie: Whenever you see the word ‘welfare’ in the literature, you can be pretty sure something unpleasant is being done to animals. (The word ‘humane’ is equally troublesome)”…

The science of animal well-being… developed in The Animals’ Agenda focuses on individual animals and would not allow animals to be used and abused in the way that welfarism allows. Welfarism puts human needs first, and tries to accommodate animals within the “human needs first” framework. Well-being broadens the question of “what do animals want and need” beyond the welfare box, and tries to understand animal preferences from the animals’ point of view… Out of many long, spirited, and wide-ranging discussions, the organizing principle of Freedom emerged—as the antidote to “welfarism”.’ SOURCE…

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