When responding to peers, you should strive to first understand the reasons they are offering before challenging or critiquing those reasons. One good way of doing this is by summarizing their argument before offering a critique or evaluation.
Ethical issues and reasoning
The video on
What is Animal Welfare (Links to an external site.)
by Compassion in World Farming highlights animal welfare by highlighting ethical issues and reasoning. I believe that the video has opened up my eyes to different animal welfare issues (Compassion in World Farming, 2014). The ethical issues highlighted in the video are that some animals are mistreated by their owners and farmers. Thus, the video uses ethical reasoning that state that animals are a sentient being. It has been proved scientifically that animals are sentient because they feel fear, stress, and pain. Therefore, it is paramount to maximize the welfare of the animals by taking care of their (1) physical wellbeing, (2) mental wellbeing, and (3) normal behavior (Compassion in World Farming, 2014).
Moral arguments in the video
The narrator and narrative of the video use the moral arguments of utilitarianism. According to utilitarianism, our actions should maximize happiness and satisfaction and avoid actions that cause unhappiness and harm (Thames, 2018). The narrator is guided by utilitarianism by stating that animals are sentient beings and thus, they feel fear, stress, and pain amongst others. The narrator suggests the idea of animal welfare that would ensure that the farmers maximize the satisfaction of animals by looking at their physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, and ability to show normal behaviors (Compassion in World Farming, 2014). Furthermore, the narrator reinforces his moral arguments using scientific research that shows that animals can exhibit happiness, excitement, contentment, and show empathy when they are treated right. Finally, the narrator provides fundamental freedom that ensures that animal welfare is well taken care of.
My thoughts on Animal Welfare
I believe that animal welfare should be reinforced through our ethical behavior toward animals. I concur with the narrator that animals are sentient beings and thus, they can feel pain, stress, and discomfort. Secondly, animal welfare would maximize the productivity of the farm animals because they would be healthy holistically. I believe that mistreatment of animals reduces the yield significantly and thus, every farmer should strive to practice animals’ welfare (Compassion in World Farming, 2014). Animal welfare would entail giving animals freedom from (1) hunger and thirst, (2) discomfort, (3) pain, injury, or disease, and (4) fear and distress. Furthermore, the animals should be given the freedom to express normal behavior. These freedoms are also aligned with the key doctrine of utilitarianism of maximizing happiness and satisfaction of others (and in this case, animals).
It is true that animals are sentient but not cognitive beings. However, it makes sense to talk about animal happiness because it maximizes their contentment. Animals are domesticated for commercial use. The video state that there is a positive correlation between productivity and animal welfare. These animals are kept for their products and animal welfare will maximize their productivity. Therefore, it is not only ethical to talk about animal happiness but also profitable to the farms (Thames, 2018).
Compassion in World Farming. (2014). What is Animal Welfare? Retrieved from YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1-sd9JUoIE&ab_channel=CompassioninWorldFarming (Links to an external site.)
Thames, B. (2018). How should one live? Introduction to ethics and moral reasoning (3rd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.