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How Our Freedom to Eat Whatever We Want Violates the Animals We Consume

Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce: ‘The Five Freedoms are a set of guiding animal welfare principles drawn up in 1965 in the Brambell Report. These include freedom from fear, hunger, distress, and pain, and the freedom to engage in at least some species-specific behavior. (For example, birds must be able to stretch their wings) Adherence to these animal welfare goals is not enforced and violations do not incur punishment but are, rather, fully accepted as the cost of doing business. Additionally, because the Five Freedoms are typically understood, as by the Brambell Report, as unachievable ideals, failure to achieve them is viewed as inevitable. What happens, then, is that welfare science focuses on minor improvements to caging systems or slaughterhouse design, without really examining the serious deprivations and constraints to freedom that our food-production systems, and our eating habits, impose on sentient creatures. We may proclaim that we should have the freedom to eat whatever we want, but this proclamation sounds mighty selfish in the context of a discussion of how profoundly we violate animals destined for our stomachs’. SOURCE…

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