Archive for the ‘animal welfare’ Category

Message Changes with Age and Time

Monday, November 23rd, 2015


Summer’s gone; 15 cm of snow on the ground. Time to come in from the cold and turn on my computer.


Back in June I was asked if all the information on this blog site reflects my current experience. The answer is, “No”. The first blog on this site was posted in January 2010. A lot has changed because of:

  1. Time: We’ve had nearly 6 years to study handler / pig dynamics since 2010. We’ve learned new things and modified our thoughts in several areas. Each blog offers a snapshot of our best understanding of the topic at that particular point in time.


  1. Target audience: While others interested in pig handling and welfare (pork industry politicians, academics, lobby and advocacy groups…) are still welcome to listen in on the conversation, my priority now is communicating with people who make their livings moving and working with pigs.


  1. Feedback: When a description or explanation causes confusion for my target audience, I adapt my message to try to meet their needs. Confusion created by the term “flight” zone is a prime example.


  1. I am less willing to stay silent when I see influential parties claiming to advocate for better pig handling and welfare while putting their own financial or political interests ahead of actions that would improve the welfare of pigs and handlers.


I have a tremendous amount of respect for many of the scientists I know: others not so much so. I recognize that my work and methods color outside the lines of academic peer review / peer pressure. (My peers are working with animals, not publishing papers.) Still, I don’t like to see “science” bastardized.

The phrase ”decision based fact making” was used during the recent Canadian federal election. The phrase could easily be applied to many animal agriculture related materials that claim to be “science based”. Agriculture’s need for social licence is getting a lot of attention these days. I wonder how long it will be until we hear about social licence related to science and who will be allowed to participate in that discussion.


That’s it for this time.

Take care

Nancy Lidster


p.s. I’ll be shutting off the “comment” option on future blogs to curtail spammers. I welcome comments at my email address;   Thanks. NL