Just three days ago I wrote a post titled "Why Animal Welfare Won't Work in the Long Run to Decrease Meat Consumption." Something happened today that has prompted me to write another post pointing to the same thing... that if you want to decrease the eating of animals in the long run, it's not animal welfare that is going to do that.
Here's what happened today that provides a second look at why animal welfare won't decrease meat consumption. I did my shopping this morning to get what I needed to for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner, including Tofurky, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, pumpkin pie, etc. Turns out, that I forget a couple of small items and needed to make a run back to the store. I get over by the produce department, because I needed lettuce, and I spotted one of my friends. We started chatting about cranberries, when another woman walked over that we both know.
The woman was very excited to quickly inform me that she got her turkey from "the good place." She couldn't wait to tell me this news! I was a little lost as to what she meant and why she had come up to me telling me this. She continued to confirm what she was saying... you know, that her turkey came from the "good place." Supposedly the "good place" is a place that takes better care of the turkeys, which apparently had her feeling pretty darn good about her decision to make the purchase.
My response was something along the lines of "If the turkey is being killed in the end I don't know how good the place is..." and she walked away to take a phone call. My other friend could sense there was trouble on the horizon and tried to smooth it over and say to the other woman (before she walked away) that it was a tofu turkey. The woman said yeah, it's a tofu turkey (although it wasn't at all), realizing that it was a little odd to be telling me her "good place" news.
The point here is that animal welfare has made her feel good, actually excited, about purchasing this turkey to serve tomorrow. Is one less turkey being slaughtered tomorrow? Not at all. As excited as she was about the idea of getting the turkey from the "good place," I'm sure they will be dining on that place's turkey for years to come. When they sit down at her house tomorrow to dine on a turkey they will have a dead bird on the table. Animal welfare didn't keep less meat on that table, it just made someone feel better (actually excited) about their purchase of the turkey.