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Breeding for pleasure: the value of pleasure and pain in evolution and animal welfare

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Farming and laboratory industries face questions about whether to breed animals with altered capacities for pleasure and pain. This paper addresses this issue from different approaches to animal welfare based on experiences, fitness and naturalness. This can illuminate both the breeding-related issues and the different approaches themselves. These differences have practical implications for decisions about animal breeding. All three approaches will agree that pleasure that is adaptive in natural environments has positive value and that maladaptive pain has negative value. However, where animals' environments will not be natural, experiences-based approaches may support breeding animals that experience more pleasure and less pain or insentient animals; whereas, in some cases, fitness-based and naturalness-based approaches might favour the breeding of animals that experience more pain and less pleasure.
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Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; BREEDING; EXTRINSIC VALUE; FITNESS; PLEASURE; SIGNATORY VALUE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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