- The health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group.
- Statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need.
Attempts at animal welfare are designed more to ease human consciences about our use and abuse of other animals than to improve the wellbeing of other animals. Paradoxically, welfare measures often increase profits for those working in animal agriculture, while the animals are left to languish for decades in appalling conditions. Lest any reader imagine that the million and more Irish hens are now happy in their new ‘enriched cages’, these cages still deprive hens of their right to daylight, the outside world, grass under their feet, the freedom to move and the liberty to form the social bonds they choose. A human being confined to comparitive conditions would be described as a prisoner. Caged hens are prisoners. In fact the EU research body comissioned to study the welfare of laying hens which led to the introduction of enriched cages is called LayWell (not Hen-Well, you will note), indicating where the priorities of EU animal welfare legislators lie https://www.laywel.eu/ The video below from VIVA exposes the reality of ‘happy hens’ and their ‘enriched’ cages.
The welfare of chickens classified as free range hens or organic is not much better (see https://www.peacefulprairie.org/freerange1.html). Every egg laying hen had a brother who, being of no use to the egg industry, was sent to his death shortly after birth by gassing or live mincing. All egg laying hens suffer because in their natural state they would lay only two clutches of eggs a year to hatch as offspring. Hens as we know them are genetically bred to produce eggs in excess of what is in their interests and causes discomfort, illness and death from issues like prolapse, egg binding, and peritonitis. The eggs sold for human consumption have the hens’ blood cleaned from them. I regularly see streaks of blood on the eggs at Eden due to the strain and tearing of laying.
Laying hens’ counterparts in the meat industry are genetically bred to reach adulthood in a mere six weeks, by which time their legs and feet can hardly support their weight. They are then slaughtered.
If you want to improve the lives of other animals the most helpful thing you can do for them do is to stop eating them or their secretions. Go Vegan. https://pcrm.org/kickstarthome/
‘Happy Hens’?: The Egg Industry