Slaughter and Animal Welfarism in Sweden 1900–1944
Animal welfare has become a nearly indisputable value in many countries today. States, politicians, consumers and animal protectionists — indeed, even the animal industries themselves — all claim to support the ideology and politics of animal welfare. Many also embrace the idea that animal welfarism has been an historic success story. Though change has been slow, it remains a common assumption that animal welfare reform has followed an essentially progressive historical trajectory. This assumption is shared even by some of the more philosophically radical animal advocates who feel that welfarism, while in itself far from satisfactory, constitutes a necessary step on the road towards the full recognition of animal rights (see, for example, Friedrich 2011, Phelps 2007). From this perspective, the current regulatory system of animal protection legislation is often seen as a crucial advance over the less comprehensive anti-cruelty laws of a previous era. Extrapolating from this perceived development, the hope is that real rights for animals will grow out of animal welfarism in much the same way as welfarism grew out of an earlier anti-cruelty discourse.
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