Questions on articles on Human Uses of Animals (for oral presentations)

1.         Are the animals we use for food treated and killed humanely in our current system of animal agriculture? Why or why not? Give some examples from the articles we read and consider (1) whether there are any federal laws protecting animals while on a farm, (2) the enforcement of the “Humane Slaughter Act” (and its lack of application to chickens), and (3) the issue of “downer cows.”

2.         What are some of the recommendations the Pew Commission makes concerning industrial farm animal welfare? Consider intensive confinement of pregnant sows and egg laying chickens, force feeding of fowl for liver production, and forced molting of chickens.

3.         Describe some of the steps that some in the meat-food industry (and some states) are taking to improve conditions for animals raised for food.

4.         Are animals sold as “organic” humanely treated?

5.         Discuss the debate over whether or not environmentalists may/should eat meat. What are the environmental reasons for not eating meat? How are these different from the animal welfare reasons not to eat meat?

6.         What is the LD50 test?

7.         What is one reason for thinking hunters are good environmentalists and one reason for thinking they are not?

8.         Describe how good zoos differ from bad zoos. Be specific. What is the strongest argument for the existence of zoos? What is the strongest criticism of zoos? Should elephants be kept in zoos?