Ethical Considerations of Pork Production

Pork production has a major impact on the lives of many humans and involves the lives of millions of pigs. The impact on individual beings ranges from negative to positive, from suffering to pleasure. This range applies to both humans and other animals. Traditionally, swine producers have worked to minimize the cost of pork and have given relatively little direct attention to issues such as animal welfare. Today, meat has been made readily available and at cheap prices, but now questions are being raised as to whether some aspects of animal production ought to be modified and many of the concerns are related to issues such as animal welfare. Ethics is the discipline that deals with questions about what ought to be. While many of the questions involve animal welfare, other questions are related to human well-being (changes in rural life, farm and food processor labor issues, etc.) and also to the impact of pork production on the environment.