Genetically Modifying Livestock for Improved Welfare: A Path Forward

Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 31 (2):161-180 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In recent years, humans’ ability to selectively modify genes has increased dramatically as a result of the development of new, more efficient, and easier genetic modification technology. In this paper, we argue in favor of using this technology to improve the welfare of agricultural animals. We first argue that using animals genetically modified for improved welfare is preferable to the current status quo. Nevertheless, the strongest argument against pursuing gene editing for welfare is that there are alternative approaches to addressing some of the challenges of modern agriculture that may offer ethical advantages over genetic modification; namely, a dramatic shift towards plant-based diets or the development of in vitro meat. Nevertheless, we provide reasons for thinking that despite these possible comparative disadvantages there are important reasons for continuing the pursuit of welfare improvements via genetic modification.

Author's Profile

Adam Shriver
Drake University


Added to PP

1,770 (#5,810)

6 months
230 (#12,217)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?