Compassion, by the Pound: The Economics of Farm Animal Welfare

ISBN : 9780199551163

F. Bailey Norwood; Jayson L. Lusk
432 ページ
162 x 237 mm

For much of human history, most of the population lived and worked on farms but today, information about livestock is more likely to come from children's books than hands-on experience. When romanticized notions of an agrarian lifestyle meet with the realities of the modern industrial farm, the result is often a plea for a return to antiquated production methods. The result is a brewing controversy between animal activist groups, farmers, and consumers that is currently being played out in ballot boxes, courtrooms, and in the grocery store. Where is one to turn for advice when deciding whether to pay double the price for cage-free eggs, or in determining how to vote on ballot initiates seeking to ban practices such as the use of gestation crates in pork production or battery cage egg production? At present, there is no clear answer. What is missing from the animal welfare debate is an objective approach that can integrate the writings of biologists and philosophers, while providing a sound and logical basis for determining the consequences of farm animal welfare policies. What is missing in the debate? Economics. This book journeys from the earliest days of animal domestication to modern industrial farms. Delving into questions of ethics and animal sentience, the authors use data from ingenious consumers' experiments conducted with real food, real money, and real animals to compare the costs and benefits of improving animal care. They show how the economic approach to animal welfare raises new questions and ethical conundrums, as well as providing unique and counter-intuitive results.


1. Economics and the Farm Animal Welfare Debate
2. A Complex Relationship: A Natural and Cultural History of Humans and Their Livestock
3. Animal Farms, Animal Activism: The Emergence of Factory Farms and Its Opposition
4. Animal Qualia: Investigating Animal Sentience
5. Raising the Animal: The Life of Birds, Pigs, and Cows
6. Talking With Philosophers: How Philosophers Discuss Farm Animal Welfare
7. Talking With Economists: How Economists Discuss Farm Animal Welfare
8. Your Eating Ethics: A Guide to Eating Based on Your Beliefs and Preferences
9. Consumer Expressions: The Willingness of Consumers to Pay Higher Food Prices in Return for Improved Animal Care
10. Farm Animal Welfare and the State
11. The Question Before Us


Dr Norwood received his PhD from North Carolina State University and Masters Degree from Kansas State University. Dr Norwood's research focuses on consumer behaviour, food and livestock marketing, food policy, non-market valuation, and survey techniques. His research has resulted in numerous journal articles, agricultural newspaper articles, and an undergraduate textbook on agricultural marketing and price analysis. Dr Norwood true passion is teaching. He teaches an introductory course in agricultural economics, a senior-level course in data analysis, and advises over fifty students. ; Professor Lusk previously served on the faculties of Purdue University and Mississippi State University. Professor Lusk conducts research related to consumer behaviour and decision making, food and livestock marketing and policy, and non-market valuation. In the last 10 years, Lusk has published 3 books and over 100 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals, and has been invited to present his research at over 25 Universities in the US and abroad. He is Associate Editor for 6 academic journals including the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. Lusk was Chair of the American Agricultural Economics Association's Food and Agricultural Marketing Policy Section, and serves on the executive board of the Western Agricultural Economics Association and the Southern Agricultural Economics Association.