Animal Ethics Conference 2012

Not many decades ago a considerable higher percentage of the Norwegian population was involved in the production of food and had daily contact with livestock. While the masses have distanced  themselves from the animals that give us meat, egg and milk, the Norwegian livestock farming has changed significantly.


What do the Norwegian masses know about animal lives, transportation and slaughter? Do they stress the conditions of production and animal welfare when choosing what to buy and eat?

Norwegian livestock farming has been intensified, yet the consumers are still presented with idealized images of animal husbandry in commercials, open farms and other contexts: «Happy» grazing cows, free ranging hens and chickens, pigs rooting in the dirt and living happily ever after.

The reality is gloomier: Several thousand chickens in each production house, pigs that never go  outside and milk cows that rarely do so, bulls standing on slippery slatted floors their entire lives, kids that are put down immediately after being born, and laying hens that are discarded after one year's production of eggs. The future prospects are challening to all that walks and breathes, given the continued development toward even more intensified farming systems, even fewer farmers and even bigger livestocks.

With this conference – the first of a planned annual event - we wish to draw attention to the average Norwegian citizen's level of knowledge of animal husbandry in Norway. Are the consumers uninformed about the conditions? Do they want to know? Shall we ignore and accept the development, or do we wish to influence it?

The Animal Ethics Conference will provide an annual meeting place in which to present, exchange and debate ideas pertaining to animal ethics and animal welfare in Norway. This year's topic is animal husbandry, but the conferences will also cover animals with other roles in society and free-living animals.

When and where: 21. september 2012, 09:00-15:00

  • Location: Litteraturhuset, Oslo
  • Organizers: Rådet for dyreetikk, Senter for Utvikling og Miljø (SUM, UiO) og Minding Animals Norge

 More info about the conference program will be published later.