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For how long can we treat the suffering of animals as an inconvenient truth?

MICHAEL BROOKS: ‘Scientific insight is a powerful thing, but will it ever override the human lust for health, prosperity and, saddest of all, convenience?… Those alert to animal sentience already find themselves in difficult situations. Richard Dawkins, for example, has declared: “We have no general reason to think that non-human animals feel pain less acutely than we do”…

Exchanging views with an animal consciousness researcher, she admitted she found it difficult to eat animals that she knew were sentient. As a result, she said, she never ate any species she had studied. And, she added, she would never study cows… But here’s the real dilemma: how many inconvenient truths will we tolerate?… Now that science is showing us the reality of what it’s like to be a factory chicken, an ostrich raised for steaks or a caged cockroach, can we overcome our conditioning and react appropriately?

Bioethicist David Mellor, who was influential in drafting New Zealand’s progressive animal welfare legislation, says our deepened scientific understanding of the animal experience means we should move away from giving the animals in our care mere “freedoms” from negative experience; we should, instead, be ensuring they enjoy lives that are “worth living”.’ SOURCE…


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