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Earth at Risk: Animal Welfare


The treatment of animals throughout human history has been highly ambivalent. While some animals have been prized and pampered as pets, others have been tortured, driven out of their homes, or exterminated altogether in the name of commerce, progress, or entertainment. Since its beginnings in 19th-century Britain, the modern animal rights movement has attempted to shape a more compassionate philosophy concerning animals, recognizing their capacity to suffer at human hands. Animal Welfare discusses the history of humanity’s relationship to the animal world, as well as contemporary concerns of animal rights activities – the treatment of animals in laboratories and factory famrs, the problems resulting from the overpopulation of common pets, and the increasing threat of extinction are all thoroughly examined. In addition, the book offers suggests that ordinary people can follow to help reduce animal suffering.


Chapter 4: In Our Care: Companion Animal Welfare

For most people, their first close encounter with an animal is with a household pet. In fact, the majority of homes in the United States boast at least one companion animal, with 56 million cats and 52 million dogs heading the list, followed by 250 million fish, 45 million birds, and 125 million other assorted creatures such as horses, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles. In recent times, the human-animal bond has received much attention as more people come to believe that their lives can be enhanced through relationships and that animals enjoy this alliance as well.