UK supermarket Waitrose has revealed what it calls a “pioneering”mobile app which it claims will “assess and begin to understand the emotional wellbeing” of animals that are bred and slaughtered to create products made of their flesh. Vegan charity Viva! says in response that “they seem to be missing a fundamental principle of animal sentience.”
Waitrose states the technology designed by scientists at Scotland’s Rural College, is the “first of its kind” and will provide understanding of the emotional state of animals that are killed for profit in their shops, claiming it will help improve their quality of life. The animals monitored will be what the supermarket refers to as “dairy cows, veal calves, pigs, laying hens, chickens and ducks”.
Roisin McAuley, Viva! Head of Communications responded to the app: “Although Waitrose recognising animals as sentient beings is a step in the right direction, they seem to be missing a fundamental principle of animal sentience. If all animals can experience pain, fear, and joy, it is therefore inherently cruel to slaughter them.
“As our investigations have shown time and time again, no matter the scale or intensity of farming, farmed animals lead short, miserable lives where they are denied the opportunity to express natural behaviours. We hope that this app can quantifiably reveal what we already know – that farmed animals suffer from stress, anxiety and frustration on a daily basis, which ultimately ends in brutal slaughter.
“If you truly believe that animals are sentient and can therefore experience a wide range of emotions, you wouldn’t kill them. No animal wants to die. The only way to prevent animal suffering is to go vegan.”