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The Future of Animal Farming: Renewing the Ancient Contract



The Future of Animal Farming: Renewing the Ancient Contract

Marian Stamp Dawkins (Editor), Roland Bonney (Editor), Peter Singer (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-1-405-18583-7 May 2008 Wiley-Blackwell 256 Pages


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.



"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)

  • 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