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Battery Farming New Zealand Essay

  • Submitted by: lazmilliken
  • on June 12, 2011
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,517 words

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Below is an essay on "Battery Farming New Zealand" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

From ancient times, humans have considered themselves to be essentially different from all other creatures, not just different, but better (Rachels, 2007, p. 130). In 1910, the Journal of Agriculture stated “the proper housing of fowls is one of the most discussed questions of the day… the old, closed in, ill ventilated house must go.” However the New Zealand government still rejects the law to ban the battery farming. One could argue the animals live in extremely cruel conditions, however the population’s growing need for cheap meat and eggs has called for less costly methods to be used. But, because we are the ‘more intelligent’ beings, does that mean that we have the right to be cruel to them?

Kantian ethics is based on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804). Kant believed that humans were the higher beings and we have no duties towards animals. In particular, animals, in his words, exist “merely as means to an end, that end is man.” (Regan, 2001, p.13) Intensive farming assists in cutting costs in both production of animals and the sale of animal products. Cage farming means we are producing meat and eggs at a rate faster than ever before, to fulfill an ever-growing demand. At the beginning of the 20th century New Zealanders were eating on average 100 eggs a year; our own personal hens usually satisfied the demand for eggs. As our need for eggs increased to on average 250 eggs per person annually, hen farming needed to dramatically change to support the market. Intensive farming ensures that poorer New Zealanders can buy high protein foods at a lower price. Kant, himself, excludes animals from the moral community, claiming they are merely instruments for human purposes. Whatever duties we have towards animals are really only indirect duties towards human beings (Taylor, 2003, p.44) meaning we have a duty not to be cruel to them, not because it would cause them discomfort, but because in Kant’s words “he who is cruel to animals becomes hard in his...

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