For more info on this issue, please listen to “Humane: What’s in a Word?”
Animal welfare is based on the premise that any harm going beyond what is necessary for an established use is unnecessary and therefore unacceptable. But by contrast, any harm done to an animal that is considered necessary for an established use (e.g. food, clothing, entertainment) is acceptable.
In other words, kicking and beating animals because you enjoy doing so is not okay. Dehorning and castrating animals (without anaesthetic) because it makes them easier to manage is okay. This definition of “high standards” in animal welfare explains why industry can legitimately make such ludicrous claims in the face of cruelty so severe that most of us refuse to even look at it.
While it is better than no concern about harm whatsoever, welfare measures give consumers a false sense of security that animals are treated well in captivity, confinement, and slaughter. This mistaken (but prevailing) belief has led to increased consumer confidence in animal products, while diverting discussion from the main issue, which is that all uses of animal products are inherently harmful and unnecessary.
(Shared with kind permission of Angel Flinn )
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