Welfare biology is the study of the welfare of living things. Welfare is net happiness (enjoyment minus suffering). Since this necessarily involves feelings, Dawkins (2014) has suggested that animal welfare science may face a paradox, because feelings are very difficult to study. The following paper provides an explanation for how welfare biology could help to reduce this paradox by answering some difficult questions regarding animal welfare. Simple means based on commonsense could reduce animal suffering enormously at low or even negative costs to humans. Ways to increase the influence of animal welfare advocates are also discussed, focusing initially on farmed animals and restrictions that are not likely to impede scientific advances on which the future large improvements in animal welfare greatly depend.

Author Biography

Yew-Kwang Ng ykng@ntu.edu.sg is Winsemius professor in economics at Nanyang Technological University. He is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Society of Australia. Yew-Kwang’s recent books include: Common Mistakes in Economics by the Public, Students, Economists and Nobel Laureates (open access); and Happinessism.

Address: HSS-04-72, 14 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637332 http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home/ykng/





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