We’ve noted for some time that there is a fundamental difference between animal welfare, which is the well-being of animals, and animal rights, a radical ideology that proposes that society instill legal “rights” upon animals and ultimately ban the use of animals. Animal welfare requires science-based, sometimes difficult choices, as we told readers of the Bucks CountyCourier Times:
Egg-laying hens are generally housed in cages, which ruffles some people’s feathers. Aren’t birds better off running around outside, they ask?
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) notes that hens in cages have lower mortality rates. Moreover, cage-free and free-range environments expose birds to more disease vectors, predation risks, and cannibalistic behavior (the phrase “pecking order” has a basis in fact).
The science may not lead to making decisions that would look best in a cartoon. But just like the science on vegetarian doggie kibble, the science on farm practices doesn’t necessarily align with the animal rights songbook. If you’re looking for credible advice on animal welfare, the HSUS/PETA crowd are the last people you should seek out.