The Techno-Ethics Of Welfare Quality Meat

In the past 100 years, agricultural practices - and the explicit and implicit ethics around them - have changed dramatically, to be almost unrecognizable from their former selves. The shift in animal farming has be especially dramatic, so much so that it has also resulted in widespread public concern, leading to both public pressure campaign and industry-led initiatives to try to address the issues. Of course "ethical food" markets are almost as varied as there are different ethical positions: they develop in specific forms depending on the social context, and they give rise to different kinds of consumer engagement. What's more, even in places where markets have developed for products that arguably improve environmental sustainability, animal welfare, or social justice, these achievements are often contested and challenged. According to the authors of this paper, ethical markets are fragile, because of "the constant work required by the involved actors in the supply chain to sustain the 'ethical' qualification of the foods that characterize them." 

 
Looking at Europe, the authors are "especially devoted to exploring the potential" of ethical markets to "broaden the range of actors getting involved in animal welfare issues and who might offer new and different perspectives on these issues from the traditional stakeholders."
 
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