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Review: Can Economists Speak for Farmed Animals?

Reviewed Work: Compassion, by the Pound: The Economics of Farm Animal Welfare by F. Baily Norwood and Jayson L. Lusk
Review by: Steven McMullen
Journal of Animal Ethics
Vol. 3, No. 2 (Fall 2013), pp. 174-181
DOI: 10.5406/janimalethics.3.2.0174
Stable URL:
Page Count: 7
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Can Economists Speak for Farmed Animals?
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Compassion, by the Pound is an excellent volume on the economics of animal agriculture. The authors' analysis of animal welfare includes important contributions to the practice of cost-benefit analysis and a groundbreaking study of consumer preferences for more ethically produced animal products. Undergirding their economic analysis, however, is an inadequate engagement with animal ethics and economic ethics. This review highlights the strengths of this book and then considers three problems with the authors' implicit ethical framework. This book highlights both the value and the difficulty of using standard economic methods to contribute to the field of animal ethics.

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