H.C.M. van Trijp
- What is careful livestock farming? Substantiating the layered meaning of the term ‘careful’ and drawing implications for the stakeholder dialogue
- NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Modern livestock farming systems typically stand out in terms of production efficiency and chain integration. However, the legitimacy of animal production systems is currently being questioned, due to social and ecological concerns. The term ‘careful’ livestock farming has been coined to reflect a production system that addresses this broader range of concerns. In this paper we argue that although the term ‘careful’ provides a useful starting point to bind together a diversity of concerns that require further attention, it lacks action-ability unless its meaning is further substantiated. Such substantiation is important to provide more concrete action perspectives both in relation to consumers as well as the diverse group of other stakeholders involved.
First, the term careful is analysed from the perspectives of consumer psychology, ethics, and organizational science, showing a high level of agreement on the underlying dynamics and layers of the concept. The resulting insights are integrated into a pragmatic map with social and temporal dimensions, combined with three basic questions: (1) what levels of psychological distance are taken into consideration when designing farming practices? (2), what are the concrete farming system/product features and their benefits?, and (3) how are the benefits distributed over the levels of psychological distance? The map and questions help to substantiate the different meanings of ‘careful’ when used in relation to animal production. We conclude with exploring actions for achieving careful livestock farming and argue that delineating and articulating concrete meanings of the term is a condition for reflection and strategy formulation in multi-stakeholder dialogues.
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