AI Won’t Fix Animal Agriculture

TAdi Factory Farms They are traces of humanity’s unprecedented technological sophistication and our seemingly limitless capacity for cruelty.

Over the past half century, industrial farms have selectively bred animals It grows Much faster and larger than their normal patterns, leading to health problems such as chronic pain. Meanwhile, these creatures are kept in harsh conditions, crowded Conditions and slaughter Inhumanely. Close confinement and unsanitary conditions on factory farms can lead to overbreeding Zoonotic diseases And resistant to antibiotics bacteria.

What’s more, scientists tell us that removing animal products from our plates is one of the best things we can do as individuals to mitigate their effects. Climate change And others Environmental threats.

Amid this ethical, environmental and public health disaster, meat industry technologists are proposing precision livestock farming, or PLF, as a solution. PLF uses digital tools to continuously monitor livestock parameters, providing accurate information about farm animals in real time.

PLF is a small but rapidly growing field. Although these tools have been around since the early 2000s, 65 percent All the literature on this topic has been published in the last five years alone. Improvements in sensor technology and computing power to interpret sensor outputs are responsible for this. Artificial intelligence, or AI, in particular, has given rise to many of these innovations New PLF Applications. However, the reality of AI on farms, at least for now, is more mundane than some might imagine: fewer robots, more surveillance cameras and buzzing sensors.

We are a group of college students, advocates, and scientists affiliated with the non-profit Allied Scholars for Animal Protection. with Calls To reduce or significantly eliminate consumption of meat, dairy products, and eggs a lot Scientists And with animal advocacy groups like ours, the livestock industry is striving to find ways to improve its public image.

The meat industry often uses exaggeration and Greenwashing To allay public concern, for example, “regenerative” or low-carbon agricultural practices have received a lot of hype, even though the most sustainable way to produce meat is meat production. Don’t produce it at all. PLF, described for what is supposed benefits On animal welfare, human health, and the environment, it may be the meat industry’s next marketing ploy.

It is convenient for the industry that PLF tools achieve all these changes by increasing production efficiency. For example, precision feeding technologies aim to give animals individualized and optimized diets, thus reducing food waste.

Meanwhile, physical pain can be alleviated by automated systems that adjust internal conditions in response to signs of animal distress. Disease can harm the farm production By slowing the growth of animals, disease detection systems can therefore improve efficiency by avoiding the need for costly clinical testing.

Touted for its supposed benefits to animal welfare, human health, and the environment, PLF may be the meat industry’s next marketing ploy.

It is important to note, however, that disease and misery do not seem to have been a major impediment to production in the past. Respiratory diseases are Common among farmed pigsAnd physical mutilation Without relieving pain It is standard practice. Factory farms would be hard pressed to do worse than at present in terms of animal welfare, but incremental technological improvements are unlikely to yield anything that can reasonably be described as humane.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention monitoring emotions SystemsIt aims to capture the emotional states of animals and enable modifications to improve welfare conditions. Once commercial options become available, they will likely be marketed as husbandry practices that maximize the “happiness” of animals.

Advertisements suggesting that such gadgets herald a revolution in farm animal care ignore the obvious point that no farm animal will ever be happy living its life in a small box.

It seems more likely that industry Insiderswho for decades have used fake certificates describing their products as “Humanity“To distract the public from their abuses, they will use the PLF as another way to deceive the public about where their food comes from. There There is no global standard To assess animal welfare, the meat industry has plenty of room for exaggeration.

Even the worst-performing vegan diet has less impact on the Earth and climate than the best diet containing animal products.

It is clearly inaccurate to frame PLF as a net positive for farm animals. PLF methods will only be implemented when they benefit the animal slaughter industry by increasing efficiency and enhancing production. In perpetuating the exploitation of animals, the EPLF is fundamentally at odds with its own best interests.

Ethics aside, there are many reasons why the end of large-scale animal farming is crucial to the future of our planet. For example, the global adoption of a plant-based diet could lead to this – Reducing the use of agricultural land by about 75 percent.

Instead of reforming animal agriculture, the world should move away from a diet based on animal products. Even his worst-performed vegan diet Less impact On Earth and climate the best diet includes animal products. This shouldn’t be too surprising, given that animal agriculture currently accounts for 80 percent of global cropland but produces only 17 percent of Calories.

As consumers, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of global problems and our limited ability to make a difference. When it comes to what’s on our plates, choice benefits Vegetarian diets It’s clear: better public health, a more livable climate, and a better life for our fellow creatures. Additional adjustments to animal agriculture through the PLF are misleading to consumers and do not get us to the world we need.

Shan Chungwatananukul, Penny Smith, and Dr. Faraz Harsini are the staff Scientists Allied for Animal Protection, a US-based non-profit organization founded by Dr. Harsini that focuses on animal advocacy and educating college students about sustainable food systems. Dr. Harsini is a senior biomedical and dietary scientist who studies alternative protein technology.

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