Our pets get care and attention, but animals in factory farms often live in poor conditions. Some see animal rights as a luxury for leftists. Farm animals can feel pain and have social needs like us. Meat production contributes to climate change. You cannot blame cattle farmers. Most people like to eat meat, and they want it to be cheap. The meat industry will continue as long as we do not change our diets.
Meat has been on the human menu since time immemorial. It provides us with the nutrients we need. Indeed, vegans do not always look that healthy. But times are changing. Soon, there may be artificial meat and meat replacements that taste nearly as good, so it may be possible to end the meat industry.
Whether or not animals in nature have a good life is a matter of debate. Faced with predators, food shortages, and humans, their life can be more challenging than living on a factory farm. And nature is not what it used to be. Humans have profoundly altered habitats. With humans came animals that profit from them like mice, rats, seagulls, magpies, foxes and cockroaches. Often, the ecological balance is gone.
This can raise questions about animal welfare. For example, magpies profit from humans by eating their leftovers in the winter, so more survive. Magpies eat the chicks of songbirds and can decimate the songbirds. So, should hunters shoot magpies, or should we allow them to eat the chicks? And if there is not enough food for all the deer in a forest, is it better to shoot the weak than to let them starve?
Featured image: Black sheep Frank from a Tele2 marketing campaign