This article describes how livestock farmers respond to moral enquiries about their means of livelihood, by referring to ethnographic data collected in the Scottish Borders. The focus is on three controversial aspects of livestock farming: welfare issues of intensive farming methods, guilt about depriving nonhuman animals of their lives for food, and the moral dilemma of breeding and rearing animals merely to be killed. There was a feeling of uneasiness among farmers about sending the animals they looked after to the slaughterhouse. This, however, was rationalized with the recognition that livestock were bred and reared to be eaten in the first place. By examining farmers' utterances, it is suggested that livestock farmers are conditioned to consider their vocation as a part of the social system, over which they have little control.
|Publication Title||Society & Animals|
|Author Address||National Institute of Technology, Kurume College, Kurume, Japan.firstname.lastname@example.org|
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