Our pets get love and attention but most animals in industrial farming live in poor conditions, at least if living in their natural habitat is their prerogative. Thinking about animal rights is sometimes seen as a luxury for leftists who have nothing else to worry about. Industrial farming can’t be ended so easily as humans don’t like to change their diet. But farm animals can feel pain and have social needs like us. Animal rights activists have a serious case here.
People like to eat meat and they want it to be cheap. The plight of animals will not make them change their minds so easily. The same applies to the contribution of meat consumption to climate change. Still, the end of the mass suffering of farm animals could be near. Artificial meat and meat replacements may soon be more widely available, be cheaper and taste as good, even though many people won’t believe that now.
Whether or not animals have a good life in their natural habitat is a matter of debate. Faced with predators, food shortages, and humans, life in nature can be hard. And in most areas nature isn’t what it used to be as humans have completely altered the ecology. With humans came the animals that profit from them like mice, rats, seagulls, magpies, foxes and cockroaches. Other species can suffer as a consequence.
In populated areas there is little left of nature so the remaining wildlife may need management. For example, magpies eat chicks of songbirds. As magpies profit from humans by eating their leftovers in the winter, more of them survive and more chicks will be eaten. So is it better to shoot magpies so that songbirds may survive? And if there isn’t enough food for all deer, is it better to shoot the weak? Animal rights activists have trouble accepting this.
Featured image: Black sheep Frank from a Tele2 marketing campaign