Science and farming benefit society in innumerable ways, but like other human activities, are subject to value judgements of what is and is not acceptable. In addition to traditional measures of efficiency and profitability, the acceptability of agricultural practices is also determined by requirements of food safety, resource use, environmental and animal welfare criteria, and by social and philosophical views. Since moral issues may be difficult to deal with, and are determined by a wide array of influences ranging from philosophers to the media, it is important that we establish a means of clarifying them. Agricultural ethics provides such a common framework or language. This includes tradition and common sense (our common morality), and consideration of the rights of individuals and of the consequences of our actions. In addition, the role that virtues and myths play in determining the acceptability of agricultural practices can be incorporated.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 57, , 88-90, 1997
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