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From the Editor
The current issue contains three articles and six book reviews. The first two articles are about restrictions that ought to be placed on the use of animals in meat production. The third concerns the limitations that we should recognize in the use of a purely economic analysis to assess the value of using pesticides in third world countries.
The first article is by Jocelyne Porcher. In “The relationship between workers and animals in the pork industry: a shared suffering,” Porcher focuses especially on pork production to argue that, although growing international criticism focuses mainly on “the environment, the animals’ living conditions, and the occupational diseases,” human and animal conditions are rarely considered together. To correct this omission, Porcher argues that the living conditions at work and the emotional bond that develops between workers and animals leads to shared suffering. “Suffering does spread from animals to human beings and can cause workers physical, mental, and also moral suffering, which is all the more harmful due to the fact that it is concealed. The conceptual tools used to conceal suffering (‘animal welfare,’ stress, pain) suggest that the industrial system can be improved, whereas for farmers it is by definition incompatible with animal husbandry.”
In the second article (“Legitimacy and Canadian Farm Animal Welfare Standards Development: the Case of the National Farm Animal Care Council”), Andrea Bradley and Rod MacRae present a theoretical and methodological framework for analyzing legitimacy in the context of animal welfare standards-development in Canada and discuss associated policy considerations. They do this in the context of looking at the effects of a growing awareness in Canada of farm animal welfare issues and its possible effects on the acceptability of the changes that might be made in the Recommended Codes of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals that is up for revision. The success of the revisions and whether they will be voluntarily accepted by the audiences at which they are aimed will depend both on their perceived legitimacy, which “will also hinge on whether the standards-developers marshal narratives about farm animals that accord with their audiences’ expectations.” The authors explain legitimacy theory, the governance of farm animal welfare in Canada, and then go on to “employ a basic framework that divides legitimacy into input and output factors. Input factors include stakeholder representation on the rule-developing body, the procedures established for developing the rules, and what might be termed ‘problematization’.” They discuss the various stakeholders and the different ways in which welfare is conceptualized.
The third article is by Kishor Atreya, Bishal K. Sitaula, Fred H. Johnsen, and Roshan M. Bajracharya. In their paper, “Continuing issues in the limitations of pesticide use in developing countries,” the authors critique the way costs and benefits of the use of pesticides, especially in third world countries, are evaluated solely in terms of economic analysis. “Valuing the benefits by simple economic analysis has increased pesticide use in agriculture and consequently produced pesticide-induced ‘public ills’.” These ills include soil, water, and air pollution; pest resistance and resurgence; bioaccumulation, bio-magnification; and loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience, as well as the ill-health suffered by their users. Rather than use a simple economic analysis, the authors call for a multi- or inter-disciplinary approach to their evaluation. Even though such an approach is not new, developers still ignore it and still encourage the use of pesticides.