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In conceptualizing animal welfare, it is useful to distinguish among three types of concepts. ‘Type 1” are single, measurable attributes. ‘Type 2’ are single attributes that cannot be measured directly but can be estimated by correctly combining various contributing attributes. ‘Type 3’ are concepts involving multiple attributes which are grouped together because they serve some common function, and whose relative importance cannot be established in an entirely objective way. Individuals who treat animal welfare as a type 1 concept may propose single, objective measures of welfare, such as longevity or levels of stress-related hormones; however, this approach rests on judgements, which are not purely objective, about the relative importance of different factors for an animal's quality of life. Studies of animal preferences and motivation are sometimes seen as an objective way to weight different attributes according to the animals’ own priorities, and thus allow animal welfare to be treated as a type 2 concept. However, numerous technical and fundamental difficulties limit our ability to do this. Animal welfare is best seen as a type 3 concept incorporating multiple attributes, with considerable consensus over certain general principles (eg that a high level of welfare implies freedom from suffering) but with value-related disagreement over how these principles should be applied. Because the various attributes cannot be combined in a purely objective way, science is limited in its ability to determine the ‘overall’ welfare of an animal and to compare welfare in disparate environments. Instead of attempting to ‘measure’ animal welfare, the role of science should be seen as identifying, rectifying and preventing welfare problems.
In the social debate about animal welfare we can identify three different views about how animals should be raised and how their welfare should be judged: (1) the view that animals should be raised under conditions that promote good biological functioning in the sense of health, growth and reproduction, (2) the view that animals should be raised in ways that minimise suffering and promote contentment, and (3) the view that animals should be allowed to lead relatively natural lives. When attempting to assess animal welfare, different scientists select different criteria, reflecting one or more of these value-dependent views. Even when ostensibly covering all three views, scientists may differ in what they treat as inherently important versus only instrumentally important, and their selection of variables may be further influenced by a desire to use measures that are scientifically respected and can be scored objectively. Value assumptions may also enter animal welfare assessment at the farm and group level (1) when empirical data provide insufficient guidance on important issues, (2) when we need to weigh conflicting interests of different animals, and (3) when we need to weigh conflicting evidence from different variables. Although value assumptions cannot be eliminated from animal welfare assessment, they can be made more explicit as the first step in creating animal welfare assessment tools. Different value assumptions could lead to different welfare assessment tools, each claiming validity within a given set of assumptions.
Scientific research on ‘animal welfare’ began because of ethical concerns over the quality of life of animals, and the public looks to animal welfare research for guidance regarding these concerns. The conception of animal welfare used by scientists must relate closely to these ethical concerns if the orientation of the research and the interpretation of the findings is to address them successfully.
At least three overlapping ethical concerns are commonly expressed regarding the quality of life of animals: (1) that animals should lead natural lives through the development and use of their natural adaptations and capabilities, (2) that animals should feel well by being free from prolonged and intense fear, pain, and other negative states, and by experiencing normal pleasures, and (3) that animals should function well, in the sense of satisfactory health, growth and normal functioning of physiological and behavioural systems. Various scientists have proposed restricted conceptions of animal welfare that relate to only one or other of these three concerns. Some such conceptions are based on value positions about what is truly important for the quality of life of animals or about the nature of human responsibility for animals in their care. Others are operational claims: (1) that animal welfare research must focus on the functioning of animals because subjective experiences fall outside the realm of scientific enquiry, or (2) that studying the functioning of animals is sufficient because subjective experiences and functioning are closely correlated. We argue that none of these positions provides fully satisfactory guidance for animal welfare research.
We suggest instead that ethical concerns about the quality of life of animals can be better captured by recognizing three classes of problems that may arise when the adaptations possessed by an animal do not fully correspond to the challenges posed by its current environment. (I) If animals possess adaptations that no longer serve a significant function in the new environment, then unpleasant subjective experiences may arise, yet these may not be accompanied by significant disruption to biological functioning. Thus, a bucket-fed calf may experience a strong, frustrated desire to suck, even though it obtains adequate milk. (2) If the environment poses challenges for which the animal has no corresponding adaptation, then functional problems may arise, yet these may not be accompanied by significant effects on subjective feelings. Thus, a pig breathing polluted air may develop lung damage without appearing to notice or mind the problem. (3) Where animals have adaptations corresponding to the kinds of environmental challenges they face, problems may still arise if the adaptations prove inadequate. For example, an animal's thermoregulatory adaptations may be insufficient in a very cold environment such that the animal both feels poorly and functions poorly. We propose that all three types of problems are causes of ethical concern over the quality of life of animals and that they together define the subject matter of animal welfare science.
In the past decades the Three Rs concept, famously launched by Russell and Burch in their 1959 book The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, has gained a prominent place in the landscape of societal and ethical concern about animal use. Important scientific and institutional initiatives have been taken in order to promote replacement, reduction and refinement. It appears, however, that conceptual and ethical thinking about the presuppositions and changing contexts of the Three Rs concept has lagged behind the scientific and practical efforts. In this paper, first, I argue that there is a threefold argument to make for the need to reconsider the moral basis of the Three Rs concept. Second, I outline a number of standard assumptions of the traditional approach to the Three Rs and question the tenability of these assumptions. Third, I propose some elements of a new framework for the Three Rs principle and connect this to a number of developments in science and society. I conclude with four remarks on the future of the ethics of the Three Rs principle.
In this introductory chapter, we first provide an overview of the whole book and discuss some global issues affecting legal practice and lawyers’ ethics. We then explore insights from general morality as an underlying framework for the four approaches to lawyers’ ethics explored in Chapter 2. This framework compensates, to some extent, for the lack of an explicit statement of values in our current rules of professional conduct. We consider the professional imperatives for ethical action (legal and cultural norms) and the ethical decision-making process, including the skills we need to put our ethics into action.
In Hungary, where intensive and non-intensive pig production co-exist, in-depth interviews were used to explore the views and priorities of pig producers regarding animal welfare and ethical animal production. Farmers using confinement systems and those with alternative, non-confinement systems shared certain core values such as attachment to animals and to traditional community values. Both groups agreed on most key elements of animal welfare (health, nutrition, etc) but had different priorities for how to achieve these within their production systems. Alternative producers considered unconfined, semi-natural environments important for animal welfare, and confinement producers with medium-sized operations (400-600 sows) generally agreed. Only the three largest producers (> 1,000 sows) expressed strong confidence in confinement methods. Different producers emphasised different features for ensuring animal welfare. Producers with large-scale confinement systems depend strongly on staff and automation and require the means to find and retain good staff. Those with medium-scale confinement systems see automation and personal involvement with animals as crucial, and they need economic conditions that allow herd size to remain within their personal capacity. Those operating alternative systems see small herds and non-confinement systems as crucial for animal welfare and need markets that encourage such systems. Subsidies, regulatory systems and technological developments would need to be tailored to meet the different needs in order for producers to improve animal welfare in the different systems and according to their own values and priorities. Medium-scale confinement producers could better act on their values if economic conditions allowed them to use more natural systems.
There are competing conceptions of animal welfare in the scientific literature. Debate among proponents of these various conceptions continues. This paper examines methodologies for use in attempting to justify a conception of animal welfare. It is argued that philosophical methodology relying on conceptual analysis has a central role to play in this debate. To begin, the traditional division between facts and values is refined by distinguishing different types of values, or norms. Once this distinction is made, it is argued that the common recognition that any conception of animal welfare is inherently normative is correct, but that it is not ethical normativity that is at issue. The sort of philosophical methodology appropriate to use in investigating the competing normative conceptions of animal welfare is explained. Finally, the threads of the paper are brought together to consider the appropriate role of recent empirical work into folk conceptions of animal welfare in determining the proper conception of animal welfare. It is argued that empirical results about folk conceptions are useful inputs into conceptual philosophical investigation into the competing conceptions of animal welfare. Further mutual inquiry by philosophers and animal welfare scientists is needed to advance our knowledge of what animal welfare is.
Commercial beef production in western Canada involves raising cows and calves on large tracts of grassland, plus grain-based ‘finishing’ of animals in outdoor feedlots. This study used open-ended, semi-structured interviews to explore views on animal welfare of 23 commercial beef producers in this system. Although wary of the term ‘animal welfare’, participants understood the concept to encompass three well-known elements: (i) basic animal health and body condition; (ii) affective states (comfort, contentment, freedom from hunger or thirst); and (iii) the ability to live a ‘natural’ life. Participants attached importance to protecting animals from natural hardships (extreme weather, predators), yet many regarded some degree of natural challenge as acceptable or even positive. Quiet rumination was uniformly regarded as indicating contentment. Avoiding ‘stress’ was seen as a central goal, to be achieved especially by skilful handling and good facilities. Invasive procedures (branding, castration, de-horning) were recognised as painful but were accepted because they were seen as: (i) necessary for regulatory or management reasons; (ii) satisfactory trade-offs to prevent worse welfare problems such as aggression; or (iii) sufficiently short-term to be relatively unimportant. Other issues — including poor facilities, rough or excessive handling, poor nutrition, and failure to protect health — were regarded as more serious welfare concerns. While feeling constrained by low profits, participants saw good welfare as crucial to profitability. Participants uniformly expressed an ethic of care, enjoyment of working with animals, and varying degrees of willingness to sacrifice personal comfort for animal well-being. We argue that animal welfare policy and advocacy are likely to be more successful in engaging producers if they acknowledge and address producers’ views on animal welfare.
Some decision situations are so objectionable or repugnant that people refuse to make a choice. This paper seeks to better understand taboo responses, and to distinguish choices that are truly taboo from those that are merely difficult or confusing. Using 22 scenarios that describe potentially taboo issues, Experiment 1 explores reasons for disapproval of the scenarios. We measure a large number of possible reasons for disapproval and a variety of preference responses (including willingness to accept), in order to test for subtleties in taboo responses. We also test cognitive and affective responses to the scenarios. Experiment 2 further explores the interaction, found in Experiment 1, between affective and cognitive factors. Taken as a whole, our results show that people are able to indicate their disapproval consistently across a variety of preference elicitation methods, that their disapproval is better understood as an attitude measure than as an economic valuation (even when the measure is in monetary terms), and that taboo responses are driven primarily by affect.
All systems of scoring animal units (groups, farms, slaughter plants, etc) according to the level of the animals’ welfare are based inevitably on normative decisions. Similarly, all methods of labelling, in terms of acceptability, are based on choices reflecting ethical values. The evaluative dimension of scoring and labelling does not mean that we should reject them, but it does mean that we need to make the normative and ethical background explicit. The Welfare Quality® scoring system is used as a case study in order to highlight the role of underlying value-based decisions. In this scoring system, which was designed in accordance with assessments and judgments from experts in animal and social sciences and stakeholders, we identify value-based decisions at the following five levels. First, there are several definitions of animal welfare (eg hedonist, perfectionist, and preferentialist), and any welfare scoring system will reflect a focus upon one or other definition. In Welfare Quality®, 12 welfare criteria were defined, and the entire list of criteria was intended to cover relevant definitions of animal welfare. Second, two dimensions can structure an overall evaluation of animal welfare: the individual animals and the welfare criteria (here 12). Hence, a choice needs to be made between the aggregation of information at the individual level (which results in a proportion of animals from the unit in a good vs bad state) and the aggregation at criterion level (which results in a proportion of criteria to which the unit complies vs does not comply). Welfare Quality® opted for the second alternative to facilitate the provision of advice to farmers on solving the welfare problems associated with their farms. Third, one has to decide whether the overall welfare assessment should reflect the average state of the animals or give priority to worse-off animals. In the Welfare Quality® scoring system the worse-off animals are treated as much more important than the others, but all welfare problems, major or minor, count. Fourth, one has to decide whether good scores on certain criteria can compensate for bad scores on others. In the opinion of most people, welfare scores do not compensate each other. This was taken into account in the Welfare Quality® scoring system by using a specific operator instead of mere weighted sums. Finally, a scoring system may either reflect societal demands for high levels of welfare or be based on what can be achieved in practice — in other words, an absolute assessment or a relative one may be proposed. Welfare Quality® adopted an intermediate strategy: absolute limits between welfare categories (Not classified, Acceptable, Enhanced, or Excellent level of welfare) were set, but the rules governing the assignment of an animal unit to a category take into account what had been observed on European farms. The scientists behind Welfare Quality® are keen to make the value-based choices underlying assessments of animal welfare transparent. This is essential to allow stakeholder groups to understand the extent to which their views are acknowledged and acted upon.
Morally challenging decisions tend to be perceived as difficult by decision makers and often lead to post-decisional worry or regret. To test potential causes of these consequences, we employed realistic, morally challenging scenarios with two conflicting choice options. In addition to respondents’ choices, we collected various ratings of choice options, decision-modes employed, as well as physiological arousal, assessed via skin conductance. Not surprisingly, option ratings predicted choice, such that the more positively rated option was chosen. However, respondents’ self-reported decision modes also independently predicted choice. We further found that simultaneously engaging in decision modes that predict opposing choices increased decision difficulty and post-decision worry. In some cases this was related to increased arousal. Results suggest that at least a portion of the negative consequences associated with morally challenging decisions can be attributed to conflict in the decision modes one engages in.
Human activities may cause conservation concerns when animal populations or ecosystems are harmed and animal welfare concerns when individuals are harmed. In general, people are concerned with one or the other, as the concepts may be regarded as separate or even at odds. An online purposive survey of 339 British Columbians explored differences between groups that varied by gender, residency, wildlife engagement level and value orientation (conservation-oriented or animal welfare-oriented), to see how they rated the level of harm to wildlife caused by different human activities. Women, urban residents, those with low wildlife engagement, and welfare-orientated participants generally scored activities as more harmful than their counterparts, but all groups were very similar in their rankings. Activities that destroy or alter habitat (urban development, pollution, resource development and agriculture) were rated consistently as most harmful by all groups, including the most conservation-oriented and the most welfare-oriented. Where such a high level of agreement exists, wildlife managers should be able to design management actions that will address both conservation and animal welfare concerns. However, the higher level of concern expressed by female, low engagement and welfare-oriented participants for activities that involve direct killing indicates a need for wildlife managers to consult beyond traditional stakeholders.
There is a memorable line by ancient Greek poet Archilochus: 'The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.' Drawing on this metaphor made popular by Isaiah Berlin, this book sets out to 'think like a fox' about transitional justice in an intellectual environment largely dominated by hedgehogs. Critical of the unitary 'hedgehog-like' vision underlying mainstream discourse, this book proposes a pluralist reading of the field. It asks: What would it mean for transitional justice to constructively deal with conflicts of values and interests in societies grappling with a violent past? And what would it imply to make meaningful room for diversity, to see 'the many' rather than just 'the one'?
The Schwartz theory of personal values has been used extensively, and almost exclusively quantitatively, by researchers to increase understanding of the impact of values on human behaviour. While it provides a well-tested methodology and common language, the approach has been limited by its reliance on survey work, in which the researcher asks participants questions of interest, and then correlates these with respondents’ self-reporting of their values. There is limited qualitative work that has drawn on the insights of the Schwartz theory. The main exception is based on a lexicon of values words derived from Schwartz’s work which has been used to identify dominant societal values across time. We are proposing that the Schwartz theory can also be used to analyse values appeals in persuasive speech. Using thematic analysis of an example of political persuasion, we illustrate how Schwartz’s values work can be further adapted for qualitative research.
The pressure to collect more health data and use that data more effectively is mounting as healthcare systems face greater challenges. However, the risks of increasing health data collection and making our health data work harder are myriad. Given that ‘good outcomes’ in relation to health data usage will be context specific and temporally contingent, the emphasis here is on fit-for-purpose instruments and good practice, acknowledging that health data usage is mediated not only through law, but also through governance structures around data resources themselves. This chapter therefore reviews the Canadian health data ecosystem, examining its federal and provincial legislative elements (with an emphasis on Nova Scotia). It then critiques that ecosystem, bearing in mind the needs of learning healthcare systems. In doing so, it highlights four ecosystem shortcomings, which are grounded in no small part on the perceived competition between private and public interests, and the poor alignment between contemporary data uses and traditional protections associated with autonomy (consent) and privacy (anonymisation). Finally, it offers some key considerations for ecosystem design, addressing specifically social license to operate and the value foundation of both legislation and repository governance instruments.
Internet of Thing (IoT)s. It focuses in particular on the question of liability in circumstances where an IoT system has not performed as expected and where this has resulted in loss or damage. The authors argue that the combination of AI and the IoT raises several novel aspects concerning the basis for assessing responsibility and of allocating liability for loss or damage, and that this will necessitate the development of a more creative approach to liability than generally followed in many legal systems. Linear liability based on contractual relationships and fault-based or strict liability of a wrongdoer in tort law are no longer sufficient to deal with the complex issues associated with the interaction of AI and the IoT. According to the authors, the values underpinning established liability systems, particularly in the field of consumer protection law, should be maintained in the context of new digital technology applications. The adoption of new digital technology applications cannot be a basis for imposing a lower threshold of liability than the level of liability established in other contexts.
This chapter questions whether evolution would have resulted in people inheriting the kinds of preference systems that economists normally assume, whose generic form offers little to explain responsiveness to price changes or what people mean if they say they “don’t like” something or “wouldn’t change for the world.” The chapter fills these gaps by exploring the relationship between cognitive rules and operating systems, emotions and values, via a novel extension of Kelly’s personal construct psychology, means-end-chain analysis, Hayek’s theory of the mind and the notion of brain plasticity, with the resulting synthesis providing foundations of the core modern behavioral notion of loss aversion as well as showing how people can change their minds through time even though they may have trouble accepting some new situations. This analysis centers on the complex cognitive architecture of the systems of thinking and neural networks that people build to make sense of the world, where change in one area may require collateral change elsewhere and the mind favors options that limit the amount of cognitive restructuring necessary to prevent reductions in its ability to make sense of the world.
Digital media are integrated into the lives of adolescents in almost every corner of the globe, yet the extent of integration, how media are used, and the effects of media in development are anything but universal. In this chapter, we summarize studies that illustrate how cultural context matters for understanding digital media and adolescent psychological development. In keeping with our transactional view of culture and human development, we explore how cultural values, structures of community, and notions of selfhood shape, and are shaped by, digital media use. To balance the disproportionate representation of survey research with samples in North America and Western Europe, we draw from anthropological and ethnographic research, including our own fieldwork in northern Thailand and a Maya community in Mexico. We conclude by proposing future directions in the study of culture and digital media.
We suggest studying how using social media affects adolescent identity development to understand the mechanism of the impact of social media on adolescent mental health. We present a model of the dual aspect of adolescent identity development – the progression towards the formation of self-evaluated commitments and values and construction of a coherent life story – and discuss how using social media facilitates or hinders processes involved, namely introspection, storytelling, and dialogue. Social media topics include dialogue with a diverse group of people, censorship, the permanence of social media data, potent social norms and values, and emphasis on appearance. Future research should develop methods for studying narratives on social media and establish the adolescent development of a narrative identity. We also suggest examining the affordances of social media platforms and how they affect processes of identity development. The chapter calls for media developers to design social media environments that support identity development.
Joint entitlements have bred constant controversy and recurrent rejection within the Anglo-American philosophical or politically scientific universe and its Continental European counterpart. They will occupy the present discussion. It will painstakingly parse the Northern Atlantic disputation around them, together with the definitional and practical conundrums chalked up to them, and cautiously ride to their rescue.