Livestock and ethics : Anne Vonesch's blog

Livestock and ethics : Anne Vonesch's blog

  • 25 years of advocacy for farm animals
  • 25 years of confronting animal welfare, the environment and the economy
  • 45 years of associative involvement with Alsace Nature, then France Nature Environnement and the European Environmental Bureau, as well as the enriching experience of the Collectif Plein Air


We talk about “European values”, and animal protection is one of them. But despite some efforts and pretensions, the realities of the selection-breeding-transport-slaughter complex remain harsh.

The ethical objective is simple: to combat ALL suffering and create the conditions for happiness. Societal development based on the exploitation and suffering of the weakest is neither sustainable nor desirable. Acknowledging the suffering and the needs of others, including animals, is a matter of honesty and scientific competence. Lies and obscurantism cannot create a better world.

My blog deals with topical issues that are usually dealt with in a compartmentalised way between animal welfare, the environment, economics and ethics. Decompartmentalisation is making progress, but it’s still a struggle. I’ve put together a collection of analyses, reflections, comments and publications that I’ve written as I’ve come across them.

Farm animal ethics needs to move beyond the realms of philosophy (which has done its fair share of work) and sociology. It must take over zootechnics and invest in it. It must include the environment, which is our common home for living beings and sensibility. It must confront the economy, with its share of benefits, damage, injustices and absurdities, as well as health issues. By definition, no one is exempt from ethics, not even a prefect or a minister.

What is needed is a sincere relationship with the truth. Know what you’re talking about. Question and listen. Pay attention to the consequences of words. Detect ideologies and formatted, manipulative discourse (from whichever side). Distinguish between good faith and bad faith. Spot the “merchants of doubt” who are driving the animal industry forward in the same way as the tobacco, oil and pesticide industries.