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Animal Welfare and Human Health

Goldberg, A.M. Curr Envir Health Rpt (2016)


If we accept that a diet of the future will include fish and meat (even at a reduced level than the current western diet), then the welfare of the animals we eat will continue to be an important moral concern. How animal welfare is defined dictates conditions that are and are not morally acceptable.
Worldwide, industrial farm animal food production is approximately 50 % of the total food animal production, while in the developed world, this is closer to 90+ % [1••, 2].

Current industrial food animal production is significantly ethically challenged; however, this author believes that animal protein will continue to be a significant part of our future supply of food. It is also recognized that there are movements to eats less meat and fish and thus reduce the amount of animal-based protein in the diet.

This paper will look at the moral issues associated with industrial food animal production and approaches to continue producing industrial farm animal protein in ways that are less ethically challenged, i.e., sustainable intensification. The issues that will be examined are animal welfare, environmental degradation, human health consequences, and cost.

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