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Animal welfare: science and awareness

Animal welfare: science and awareness


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Contrary to what happens with companion animals, the concept of 'animal welfare' applied to animals whose use implies strong economic interests, as is the case of animals that serve for our food, has traditionally assumed a self-limitation that, required from the outside, it has been accepted from the inside: the scientific evidence. We have all admitted the need to empirically ‘prove’ commissions of intuition. The submission of consciousness to science. Consequently, scientific evidence becomes an essential piece to defend any animalistic argument, ethics alone is invalidated. The sense of suffering, and the feeling of mercy, solidarity or respect derived from our perception of the amount of pain that we apply in the use of these animals, are subject to the scientific demonstration that such suffering exists, to the empirical measurement of its quantity in time and space, and to the practical efficacy in the application of palliative methods.

The tyranny of the physical world, expressed in mathematical formulas for measuring pain, imposes its limiting rules on the experience of our moral experience in a project on the relationship with animals and on our behaviors in relation to that project. Empirical science does not occupy more than one plot in the set of stimuli and sensitive information, or not, that define our individual integration in an idea of ​​respect for animals in whose delimitation and transformation we also participate, and with the same tools. Animal protection, an integral form of our culture, acts, and evolves, based on individual and collective, intuitive or reasoned decisions, which facilitate the movement from one point already overcome to the next and where technological scholarship does not have a special role and Furthermore, its value will depend on each personal spirit. Therefore, it is not fair that a part of current cultural knowledge, empirical science, is imposed as an inevitable starting point towards the culture that may come, nor that in its definition everyone is forced to grant it the specific weight felt by some few.

Man, as a set of individual decisions, moves in space, yes, measurable and quantifiable, but it is also projected in time. We are a society, we are a movement that, derived from the cultural vision of our ancestors and inspired by our intrinsic way of feeling cultural, we are defining the culture of our pending future. The protection of animals is already an intrinsic part of that becoming, and it is by feeling, by intuition, by empathy, by attachment or adhesion. It does not matter whether it derives from an ethical attitude, a social feeling or a piety of mystical or religious origin; or that it is expressed in each one of us as affection, sentimentality, pity, compassion, tenderness, passion or companionship: the way in which each one lives their relationship with animals is a matter of each one, but in one way or another , it is found in all of us. We cannot reduce this internal, personal and transcendent experience to a Cartesian axis, to a specific point in physical space, to an aseptic numerical framework, to a cause-effect solution. Animal protection belongs to our internal character, it is an evolving feeling, not a static phenomenon on which a mechanistic dissection can be practiced.

Furthermore, the 'objective' scaffolding with which science is clothed to justify its inescapable omnipresence in any decision on animal protection is an entelechy, or an invention of the reduced group of initiates to subjectively manage and dominate the great mass of neophytes and thus sanction the result of their empirical formulas. In this false plot is where the imposition of a scientific basis is embedded as the foundation of any animal welfare measure that affects the animals on our farms. This scientific, forced premise does not objectify anything but raises new uncertainties: what is the valid scientific basis? That of a veterinarian? An agronomist? A biologist? An expert in rural economics? One expert in waste management? Another in genetics? Even within a specialty, there is no commonality of opinion. Each researcher starts from specific and concrete premises derived from his own experience and way of understanding his relationship with animals, from his personal perception of possible conflicts of interest, which, in addition to influencing the starting point, also influence the priorities and in the applied methodology. The conclusions of each scientific discipline or each scientist within a discipline always differ, often incompatibly, and are necessarily subjective.

Finally, the scientific procedure applied to animal welfare does not usually follow a deductive method that, from objective data, draws a logical conclusion, but rather proposes an inductive system in which, from a preconceived conclusion, it investigates in search of a justification scientist to support it.

We must return to consciousness the part that corresponds to it in the formative process of our cultural ethics on the protection of animals, without technical complexes or scientific ambiguities. For being conscience. For being human.

Photo: Laura and Carmen, a free cow at the Wings of Heart sanctuary in Madrid. Photo: Behind the Walls

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