In a Dutch TV show I was asked about my motivation for writing my book ‘How many holidays does a pig have?” Justice, I replied. It’s just unfair that we treat dogs differently from pigs. And that it matters to a pig which farmer she is born to.
If all working animals have equal rights then there will automatically be a level playing field that all animal keepers have to meet. It is then no longer permissible to minimise the cost price by exploiting working animals as much as possible. Every consumer who buys an animal product knows that this animal has had equal rights everywhere. That there have been requirements for safety of the working environment, the health of the animal and social conditions. With the introduction of labour rights, it is not up to the farmer to decide whether her pigs are allowed to keep their tails. It is not up to the supermarket whether it sells eggs from laying hens that have never seen daylight. Or milk from cows whose legs and backs can no longer actually support the gigantic udders. It is not the consumer, often completely ignorant, who decides how animals are treated in livestock production. Competition on working conditions within a sector is then no longer possible. Working animals then all have the same rights and the same minimum working conditions.