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The morality of livestock farming: a view from the British farmers' standpoints

By K. Fukuda

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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
Volume 24
Issue 1
Pages 17-33
ISBN/ISSN 1063-1119
DOI 10.1163/15685306-12341385
Language English
Author Address National Institute of Technology, Kurume College, Kurume,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal production
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Attitudes
  4. British Isles
  5. Commonwealth of Nations
  6. Developed countries
  7. Domestic animals
  8. Europe
  9. Livestock
  10. Livestock farming
  11. OECD countries
  12. peer-reviewed
  13. slaughter
  14. United Kingdom
  1. peer-reviewed