Last week Japan announced it would allow experiments to grow human organs in animals. These experiments are controversial, not in the least place because of animal welfare concerns and the possibility of cross-species diseases. However, xenotransplantation is not the only line of research pursued to solve the shortage of donor organs. Continue reading Organ cultivation
Intensive animal farming, also known as factory farming, is controversial for two reasons. First of all, it has a huge negative impact upon our environment – cattle is, for instance, one of the major sources of methane (a greenhouse gas stronger than carbon dioxide) emission. Second but not least, is the suffering imposed on animals kept as livestock. Though animal slaughter is an unpleasant aspect of livestock farming, the way we keep animals is probably far more cruel than merely killing a sentient being.
In this essay I want to explore a not-too-far future in which technology has reconciled our demand for animal products and animal welfare. Of course, I know that certain animal welfare activists will argue that we should become all vegans in order to put an end to animal suffering. However, I do not believe such strategy will be successful. Too many people like meat and other animal products, while current plant-based alternatives cannot (yet) satisfy this demand.
What are the main animal products we humans consumer? Meat, dairy, eggs and leather. I will discuss each product one by one. Thereafter I will argue that we can return to small scale farms that both respect animal welfare and play an important social function.
The agricultural section of a Bernal Sphere (source: NASA)
Scientific and technological progress will make factory farming obsolete in the near future. Here is short video explaining how we can still consume meat and dairy products, while avoiding the mistreating of animals.
For more info:
Perfect Day Foods (animal free dairy)
Cultured Beef (Mark Post’s official web page)
The issue of animal testing is one of the more difficult ones within the animal welfare movement. With our hearth we would call for the abolition of animal testing, though with our brains we know it is sometimes necessary. In this respect animal testing differs from other animal welfare topics. Continue reading Animal testing
Human organs are short in supply, that is more people are waiting to receive organs than are available. There are too few donors, not in the least place because better road safety rules and better healthcare. So scientists and doctors are looking for alternatives. Continue reading Organs on demand
Japanese scientist have created bioengineered skin that is almost as real as skin can get. This skin contains hair, glands and even nerves. The researchers mention two practical applications of their invention: better treatment of burn victims and as an alternative for animal testing. Continue reading Artificial skin
Human organ transplants have become a normal medical procedure during the last fifty years. Organ transplants in animals, usually pets, are, on the other hand, quite rare. Continue reading Animals and organ transplants
In the Netherlands and Belgium there is an official list of animals people are allowed to keep as pets, the so-called positive list (Dutch: positieflijst). Animal not listed are not allowed as pets and people who still do so, are subject to penalties. Continue reading The Positive List
Shock collars are a particular type of dog collars which use electric shocks to train dogs.
We believe that shock collars are unnecessary cruel as there are other ways to train dogs. Hence we are in favour of prohibiting the use of these collars.
As everyone should know cheese is made from milk and milk is produced by female mammals to feed their young. From an animal welfare perspective there are two problems with cheese. Continue reading On cheese