Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

http://link.springer.com/journal/10806

List of Papers (Total 119)

Strong Patient Advocacy and the Fundamental Ethical Role of Veterinarians

This essay examines the fundamental role of veterinarians in companion animal practice by developing the idea of veterinarians as strong advocates for their nonhuman animal patients. While the practitioner-patient relationship has been explored extensively in medical ethics, the relation between practitioner and animal patient has received relatively less attention in the...

Death-Free Dairy? The Ethics of Clean Milk

The possibility of “clean milk”—dairy produced without the need for cows—has been championed by several charities, companies, and individuals. One can ask how those critical of the contemporary dairy industry, including especially vegans and others sympathetic to animal rights, should respond to this prospect. In this paper, I explore three kinds of challenges that such people...

Anthropocentrism: More than Just a Misunderstood Problem

Anthropocentrism, in its original connotation in environmental ethics, is the belief that value is human-centred and that all other beings are means to human ends. Environmentally -concerned authors have argued that anthropocentrism is ethically wrong and at the root of ecological crises. Some environmental ethicists argue, however, that critics of anthropocentrism are misguided...

A Public Survey on Handling Male Chicks in the Dutch Egg Sector

In 2035 global egg demand will have risen 50% from 1985. Because we are not able to tell in the egg whether it will become a male or female chick, billons of one day-old male chicks will be killed. International research initiatives are underway in this area, and governments encourage the development of an alternative with the goal of eliminating the culling of day-old male...

Agricultural Innovation and the Role of Institutions: Lessons from the Game of Drones

In 2015, observers argued that the fourth agricultural revolution had been initiated. This article focuses on one part of this high-tech revolution: the origin, development, applications, and user value of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Institutional changes connected to the UAS innovation are analyzed, based on a Swedish case study. The methods included autoethnography. The...

Managing Socio-Ethical Challenges in the Development of Smart Farming: From a Fragmented to a Comprehensive Approach for Responsible Research and Innovation

Smart farming (also referred to as digital farming, digital agriculture and precision agriculture) has largely been driven by productivity and efficiency aims, but there is an increasing awareness of potential socio-ethical challenges. The responsible research and innovation (RRI) approach aims to address such challenges but has had limited application in smart farming contexts...

Bovine Tuberculosis Policy in England: Would a Virtuous Government Cull Mr Badger?

Bovine tuberculosis (bovine TB) is the most important animal health and welfare policy issue in Britain. Badgers are a wildlife reservoir of disease, although the eight-year Independent Scientific Group (ISG) Randomised Badger Culling Trial concluded with a recommendation against culling. The report advised government that bovine TB could be controlled, and ultimately eradicated...

Bovine Tuberculosis and Badger Culling in England: An Animal Rights-Based Analysis of Policy Options

Bovine tuberculosis (bovine TB) is an important and controversial animal health policy issue in England, which impacts humans, cattle and badgers. The government policy of badger culling has led to widespread opposition, in part due to the conclusions of a large field trial recommending against culling, and in part because badgers are a cherished wildlife species. Animal rights...

Bovine Tuberculosis and Badger Control in Britain: Science, Policy and Politics

Bovine tuberculosis (bovine TB) is the most economically important animal health policy issue in Britain. The problem of what to do about badgers has plagued successive governments since a dead badger was discovered with bovine TB in 1971. Successive Labour governments (1997–2010) oversaw the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) from 1998 to 2006. Despite the RBCT...

The Development of an Animal Welfare Impact Assessment (AWIA) Tool and Its Application to Bovine Tuberculosis and Badger Control in England

Bovine tuberculosis (bovine TB) is a controversial animal health policy issue in England, which impacts farmers, the public, cattle and badgers. Badgers (Meles meles) act as a wildlife reservoir of disease. Policy options for badger control include (1) do nothing, (2) badger culling, and (3) badger vaccination. This paper argues for mandatory Animal Welfare Impact Assessment...

Bovine Tuberculosis and Badger Culling in England: A Utilitarian Analysis of Policy Options

Bovine tuberculosis (bovine TB) is an important animal health policy issue in Britain, which impacts farmers, the public, domestic farmed cattle and the wild badger population. The Westminster government’s badger culling policy in England, which began in 2013, has caused considerable controversy. This is in part because the Independent Scientific Group advised against culling...

Ethics of Dietary Guidelines: Nutrients, Processes and Meals

Dietary guidelines are mostly issued by agrifood departments or agencies of governments, and are the result of power play between interest groups and values. They have considerable influence over food preferences and purchases of consumers. Ethical problems are at stake not only with respect to power strategies and their influence on consumers. In this paper I will consider three...

Time for a New EU Regulatory Framework for GM Crops?

In recent years, the EU legislation on genetically modified (GM) crops has come under severe criticism. Among the arguments are that the present legislation is inconsistent, disproportionate, obsolete from a scientific point of view, and vague in terms of its scope. In this paper, the EU GM legislation (mainly the “Release Directive”, 2001/18/EC) is analysed based on five...

Sharing the Earth: A Biocentric Account of Ecological Justice

Although ethical and justice arguments operate in two distinct levels—justice being a more specific concept—they can easily be conflated. A robust justification of ecological justice (justice to nature) requires starting at the roots of justice, rather than merely giving, for example, an argument for why certain non-human beings have moral standing of some kind. Thus, I propose...

The Pedigree Dog Breeding Debate in Ethics and Practice: Beyond Welfare Arguments

Pedigree dog breeding has been the subject of public debate due to health problems caused by breeding for extreme looks and the narrow genepool of many breeds. Our research aims to provide insights in order to further the animal-ethical, political and society-wide discussion regarding the future of pedigree dog breeding in the Netherlands. Guided by the question ‘How far are we...

Taxing Meat: Taking Responsibility for One’s Contribution to Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic use in animal farming is one of the main drivers of antibiotic resistance both in animals and in humans. In this paper we propose that one feasible and fair way to address this problem is to tax animal products obtained with the use of antibiotics. We argue that such tax is supported both by (a) deontological arguments, which are based on the duty individuals have to...

How Good? Ethical Criteria for a ‘Good Life’ for Farm Animals

The Farm Animal Welfare Council’s concept of a Good Life gives an idea of an animal’s quality of life that is over and above that of a mere life worth living. The concept needs explanation and clarification, in order to be meaningful, particularly for consumers who purchase farm animal produce. The concept could allow assurance schemes to apply the label to assessments of both...

Environmental Ethics in Poland

In the 1960s, western societies discovered that unlimited technological progress has a very high price that the environment pays. This was also the beginning of the discussions on the role of ethics in the protection of the environment and the moral aspects of nature exploitation. Even though the state of nature was not better in Poland, it took Polish philosophers a few decades...

Environmental and Ecological Aspects in the Overall Assessment of Bioeconomy

Bioeconomy solutions potentially reduce the utilization demand of natural resources, and therefore, represent steps towards circular economy, but are not per se equivalent to sustainability. Thus, production may remain to be achieved against losses in natural resources or at other environmental costs, and materials produced by bioeconomy are not necessarily biodegradable. As a...

Climate Change and National Self-Interest

Mitigation of climate change is often described as a tragedy of the commons. According to this theoretical framework, it is collectively rational for present-generation countries to mitigate climate change, but not individually rational to do so. It is rather in national self-interest to ‘free-ride’ on the mitigation actions of other countries. In this paper, I discuss two...

Do We Care About Synbiodiversity? Questions Arising from an Investigation into Whether There are GM Crops in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault provides a backup of seed collections from genebanks around the world. It’s unique character has made it iconic in the public imagination as a ‘Noah’s Ark’ for crop plants. Its remote location and strict controls on access have, however, also lent it an air of mystery, swirling with conspiracy theories. In this paper, I first clarify the aims of the...

Transferring Moral Responsibility for Technological Hazards: The Case of GMOs in Agriculture

The use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture makes great promises of better seeds, but also raises many controversies about ownership of seeds and about potential hazards. I suggest that owners of these seeds bear the responsibility to do no harm in using these seeds. After defining the nature of this responsibility, this paper asks, if ownership entails moral...