Many of us have worked towards animal welfare causes with the best intentions. However, upon deeper reflection, we've realised the inherent contradictions in this approach.

Here's why our stance evolved from advocating for animal welfare to championing animal rights:

1. The Fallacy of Ethical (Ab)use

The concept of "humane" treatment in farming contexts is misleading. Labels like "free range", "cage free", "organic", "local" etc soothes consumer conscience without addressing the fundamental wrong — the use and abuse of sentient beings for our ends.

One might also contend that ending the life of a happier individual may be even more unethical than taking the life of one enduring continous suffering.

2. Corporate Non-compliance

Experience and evidence show that businesses routinely fail to adhere to their animal welfare commitments or comply with existing welfare laws.

This gap between promise and practice further undermines the goal of improving animal lives.

3. "High Welfare" is AWFUL

Did you know that gas chambers are considered humane by industry welfare experts? Commonly used to stun chickens and pigs before their throats are cut, the sensation has been described as burning from the inside out where carbon dioxide is used, and drowning in the case of other gases. The desperate thrashing and screaming will forever leave a mark on anybody that has witnessed it.

The RSPCA, considered by much of the public to be on the side of animals, endorse routine horrors when they sell their seal of approval to businesses.

4. Environmental Cost of Welfare

The push for "better" conditions for farmed animals, without reducing their consumption, inadvertently advocates for greater environmental degradation.

The logic is straightforward yet often overlooked.

4.1 Land

When farmed animals like cows are kept at lower densities, more land is taken from nature, displacing free living animals (wildlife). The vast majority of agricultural land is dedicated to pastures, while virtually all chickens and pigs, which greatly outnumber cows, are kept in factory farms using far less land.

4.2 Crops

Animals fed crops, such as chickens and pigs, when grown slower or killed at an older age, consume significantly more resources. This necessitates more land to grow these additional feed crops, again encroaching on natural habitats and competing with free living animals (wildlife).

4.3 Pollution 💩 

Of course everything that goes in one end comes out of the other. Animal excrement is already a major pollutant worldwide and with farmed animals living longer and eating more this further exacerbates the issue. 

5. More Lives Taken

The measures taken to improve the welfare of farmed animals, making them grow slower or extending their lifespans before slaughter, results in the industry breeding even more animals to maintain constant outputs.

This increase not only demands more housing but significantly increases the need for feed crops, exacerbating the environmental impacts highlighted in section 4.

The Golden Cage

The process of breeding, keeping, and killing these animals already consumes significant resources. When we focus on improving their quality of life without addressing the demand that leads to their breeding in the first place, we inadvertently increase the resource cost of an entirely unnecessary process. This "golden cage" scenario, where animals are treated slightly better but at a greater environmental and ethical cost, fails to confront the core issue — the ongoing exploitation and use of sentient beings.

"Ending the cage age" has been a very literal campaign by welfare organisations, it's time to consider the philosophical meaning of a caged existence.

Our Choice

Factory farming, as abhorrent as it is, is currently the least environmentally destructive method of farming animals. This presents us with a choice:

1. Abuse animals in factories while killing free living animals to feed them.

2. Abuse animals in fields while killing vastly more free living animals to allow them to roam, to feed them, and to protect them from predation.



The uncomfortable truth is that improving welfare within the context of continued consumption doesn't address the root of the problem, it merely shifts the burden, often exacerbating other critical issues like environmental degradation.

The realisation that there's no ethical way to use and exploit animals led us to advocate for animal rights over welfare. It's a stance that acknowledges the intrinsic value of all sentient beings and the complex impacts of our choices on the planet and those we share it with.

The path forward lies not in finding more palatable ways to use animals but in challenging their (ab)use in the first place.

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