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Farmed Animals

 

Survey Finds Support for Open Housing for Sows

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The intensive confinement endured by female pigs used for breeding is an issue of importance in the animal protection community. A recent study commissioned by the National Pork Board examined pig farmers’ opinions on a variety of topics including gestation stalls. The findings indicate that a quarter of the pork producers surveyed no longer use gestation crates and 28% intend to adopt open pens or convert to stalls that allow for more movement. The survey also touched on pig farmers’ satisfaction with their line of work, their thoughts on the direction the industry is heading, and what they consider to be their biggest challenges.

Animals We Use and Abuse for Food We Do Not Eat

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Counting Animals has put together a piece on the amount of animal-based foods that end up in our landfills. Waste occurs at both the consumer and retail level and the numbers range from a low of close to 1/5 of chicken to nearly a half of the fresh/frozen fish and shellfish. Cutting the waste at the consumer level in half would reduce the number of animals killed per year in the U.S. to the tune of more than 15 billion fish and shellfish, 500 million broiler chickens, 35 million egg-laying hens, 15 million pigs, and 3 million cows. These insights provide a potentially new angle for animal advocates to consider.

Differences Between Health and Ethical Vegetarians. Strength of Conviction, Nutrition Knowledge, Dietary Restriction, and...

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The ways in which health and ethical vegans/vegetarians are dissimilar is explored in this piece of research. The authors used an online survey to determine how those in each category differed based on conviction, dietary restriction, duration of adherence, and knowledge of nutrition. Results showed that while the level of nutritional knowledge was no different, ethical vegans/vegetarians had stronger feelings of conviction, consumed fewer animal products, and had been following the diet for a greater length of time than those who motivated by health.

Modifying and Commodifying Farm Animal Welfare: The Economisation of Layer Chickens

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The welfare of farmed animals is increasingly finding its way into the consumer conscience. This article explores what happens when the market and farm animal welfare collide. The authors examine the commodification of animal products deemed to have higher welfare standards with a look at industrialized free-range laying chickens and the market for their eggs. The authors maintain that economisation and marketisation processes have significant ramifications for the welfare of farmed animals.


Different Cut? Comparing Attitudes toward Animals and Propensity for Aggression within Two Primary Industry Cohorts—Farmers and

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The connection between working in a slaughterhouse or as an animal farmer and an individual’s attitudes towards animals and their likelihood for aggressive behavior is explored in this study. Results showed that while those employed in these professions have poor attitudes towards animals, they are no more likely than a control group to have a propensity for aggression. However, when slaughterhouse workers and farmers were examined separately, those employed in a meat processing plant showed a significantly higher predisposition for aggression, most notably in the areas of physical aggression and hostility. These findings speak to existing concerns about the effects this brutal industry has on humans, other animals, and the communities it calls home.

The Powerful Impact of College Leafleting

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Advocates have gravitated towards the popular trend of leafleting (particularly on college campuses) as a tool for promoting veganism, yet the effectiveness of this approach has remained untested until now. New data from Farm Sanctuary and The Humane League has begun to fill this gap in advocates’ knowledge. For their study, the team distributed thousands of leaflets to students at two large state schools and returned two months later to administer an in-person survey to assess changes in the consumption of animal products. The main finding was that there was a 2% conversion rate to vegetarian or pescatarian diets for those who received a leaflet, while a considerable reduction in the intake of animal-based foods was experienced by 6% to 12% of those surveyed (differing based on the specific food in question). The study’s write-up also highlights more detailed findings and translates the data into the number of farmed animals left off dinner plates in the U.S. as a result of leafleting.

Assessing Impacts of Land-Applied Manure from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations on Fish Populations and Communities

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Manure runoff from concentrated animal farming operations in Indiana is impacting the reproduction and gender of wild fish, according to this study. The hormone-laden waste contaminates local waterways, leading to 60% of fish embryos being male (in a control setting with fish in uncontaminated water, the ration was close to 50:50). The study's authors and other fish experts worry that the contaminants may lead to a decline in fish populations. Additionally, waterways contaminated by animal farms had 50% less fish diversity and a 28% higher adult minnow death rate when compared to the uncontaminated waterway.

An Inquiry into Animal Rights Vegan Activists' Perception and Practice of Persuasion

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This thesis paper investigates the strategies of "animal rights vegan activists," with emphasis on their persuasive practices and why they have failed to convince large numbers of people to become vegan. The author examines a wide range of tactics and explores two case studies involving the "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the college leafleting promoted by Vegan Outreach.

Do Hens Have Friends?

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This study involving (non-invasive) experiments with hens found no compelling evidence that they prefer the company of other specific hens. However, the findings suggest that there may be a preference among some hens when it comes to night-time perching. The study has implications for how hens are treated and confined by egg farmers, including the use of battery cages compared with group housing.


Consumer Survey Outlines Pork Perception Issues

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This study by researchers at Purdue University found that 14% of U.S. consumers have reduced their pork consumption by more than half (on average) due to animal welfare concerns. This is despite the fact that more than half report having no source of information for animal welfare and nearly 75% have not seen any news related to pig welfare. The findings show a disconnect between consumers and animal farming - a third of respondents had never visited such a farm.

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