In an article that attempts to “characterize the current state of the farm animal welfare debate” is some interesting information about public opinion regarding animal agriculture:
“Animal rights groups and livestock industries have adopted very different strategies in debating farm animal welfare. Animal rights groups tend to focus on the farm animals and how they live. [...] The livestock industry has tended to focus less on what happens on the farm and instead has relied on two red herrings.
In other words, the people who care about animals are relying on the truth and the people who care about profits aren’t.
But the animal exploiters’ spin doesn’t even matter since a significant portion of people don’t care how farm animals live. “Consumers were asked a question to determine whether they think farm animal feelings are important.” See the responses in this graph:
Note: none of the survey options represents a true vegan or animal rights perspective. I find a question like this difficult to answer because the question assumes that raising animals for food is acceptable. There is no option that honestly represents my beliefs.
Which brings us to the real issue: fundamental differences in foundational beliefs (or ethical principles) and their reflection in the so-called “free market”:
“When roughly one-third of consumers who do not care about animal feelings confront the other sector of America who feels modern farm practices should be banned, there is no market solution, only public battles.”
Let me say that again: “there is no market solution“.
We can’t conscientiously consume our way towards a society that respects animals. Boycotts aren’t enough. We must do more.