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The Future of Animal Farming: Renewing the Ancient Contract

Marian Stamp Dawkins (Editor), Roland Bonney (Editor), Peter Singer (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-8583-7
256 pages
May 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
The Future of Animal Farming: Renewing the Ancient Contract (140518583X) cover image
Does animal welfare have a place in sustainable farming, or do the demands of a rising human population and the threat of climate change mean that the interests of animals must be put aside? Can we improve the way we keep animals and still feed the world – or is it a choice between ethics and economics?

The aim of this book is to challenge the "them-and-us" thinking that sets the interests of humans and farm animals against each other and to show that to be really "sustainable," farming needs to include, not ignore, animal welfare. The authors of this remarkable book come from a diversity of backgrounds: industry, animal welfare organizations, academic institutions, and practical farming. They are united in arguing that farm animals matter and that sustainable farming must have animal welfare at its ethical core, along with the production of healthy, affordable food and care for the environment.

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Foreword: Peter Singer.

1. The Future of Animal Farming: Roland Bonney and Marian Stamp Dawkins.

Part I: Voices for Change.

2. The Ethics of Agriculture: The End of True Husbandry: Bernie Rollin.

3. Why Farm Animals Matter: Mary Midgley.

4. The Urgency of Change: A View From a Campaigning Organization: Joyce D’Silva.

5. Environmental Ethics and Animal Welfare: Re-Forging a Necessary Alliance: Kate Rawles.

Part II: Bringing About Change.

6. The Business of Farm Animal Welfare: Roland Bonney.

7. What is Good Welfare and How Can We Achieve It?: Marian Stamp Dawkins.

8. Animal Needs and Commercial Needs: Ruth Layton.

9. Hard Work and Sustained Effort Required to Improve Livestock Handling and Change Industry Practice: Temple Grandin.

10. Bringing About Change: A Retailer’s View: Michelle Waterman.

11. Animal Welfare as a Business Priority: Keith Kenny.

12. Providing Assurance on Welfare: David C.J. Main.

13. The Role of Assurance Schemes and Public Pressure: Colin Spedding.

14. Improving the Welfare of Cattle: Practical Experience in Brazil: Mateus J.R. Paranhos da Costa.

15. Organic Farming and Animal Welfare: Helen Browning.

16. Enlightened Agriculture and the New Agrarianism: Colin Tudge.

17. Conclusions: Marian Stamp Dawkins and Roland Bonney.

References.

Index

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Marian Stamp Dawkins is Professor of Animal Behaviour in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford and Vice-Principal of Somerville College, Oxford. As a graduate student, she was supervised by Niko Tinbergen, the Nobel Prize winning pioneer of the study of animal behaviour. She has a long-standing interest in the study of animal welfare and the practical application of research to commercial farming.

Roland Bonney is a Director of the Food Animal Initiative and a main board Director of the Benchmark Holdings group. He has more than twenty years of professional farming experience, from New Zealand, Australia and the UK, and set up his own agricultural business based on arable, sheep and cattle production in Wiltshire, UK. He is committed to driving progress towards sustainable agriculture that delivers good animal welfare and conserves the environment, while feeding people and providing farmers with a viable income.

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  • Written by world-leading experts in farming, animal behaviour, food production, animal welfare, and ethics

  • Foreword by Peter Singer

  • This is the first book to seriously examine the farming of animals and to recommend future practice from an ethical, environmental, economic, and sustainable viewpoint
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"Eminent authors dig deep into the principles of farming animals, and leave the reader with unanswered questions about the future of animal agriculture. This is a book that takes a long and sometimes uncomfortable journey to provide a big picture of farm animal agriculture." (Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, 2009)

"A collection of essays that is a must for every shelf, whether the reader eats meat or wears a wool sweater. Economics, environmental issues, health concerns, philosophy, ethics and morals, psychology, and behavioral studies as well as their relationship to modern animal production issues, are just a hint of the topics discussed in this book. Essential. All readers and libraries." (CHOICE, November 2008)

The Future of Animal Farming is timely, authoritative and stimulating, and it avoids simplistic answers. I recommend it to all who are concerned about the future of animal welfare and food.” Lord Krebs, University of Oxford and formerly Chairman of the UK Food Standards Agency

"In an important sense, this book is continuing the work started by Ruth Harrison and David Wood-Gush, and bridging the gaps between science, farming, and the ethically concerned consumer. May this work continue to thrive." Professor Peter Singer, Princeton University

"Concern for farm animal welfare is a virtue, but often seen to be in conflict with other virtues; environmental sustainability and economic justice. The value of this book is that it sees all three as facets of the same thing: respect for life. From this firm base it offers a moral and a sensible guide to the future. It explains not only why we should all care for all life on the land but also how we may all contribute to that care." John Webster, Emeritus Professor, University of Bristol

“This book should be read by anyone interested in animal welfare, and in the environment. ‘Factory farming’ is rightly receiving much criticism but what are the ethics of rearing animals in this new century, and what are the practical answers to treating our animals properly? With considerable editorial skill Marian Dawkins and Roland Bonney have drawn together articles encapsulating the views of campaigning groups, of farmers and of retailers. What emerges is a consensus for soundly based farming methods which are humane. The really interesting conclusion is that such methods bring economic advantages to those who introduce them.”
Sir Brian Follett, University of Oxford

"As the dark clouds of our own making gather over the world’s future and the joie de vie of its creatures, this is a cheering ray of light. The case for the pursuit of high but attainable ideals is made powerfully here with the quiet authority, sparkle, wisdom and graciousness that can move mountains." James Kirkwood

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