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The Swedish debate about the cruel meat industry: will it resist affected ignorance and change the animals’ situation?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Management & Organisation. (Entrepreneurships and sustainable development)
2014 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The issue of how animals are treated in a large-scale meat industry is repeatedly discussed in the Swedish mass media where demands for change are directed towards politicians and the meat industry. During the last years this debate often starts with NGOs campaigns when they reveal cruel treatment of animals. This paper discuss the food industry and how different actors such as the meat-industry, food retailers, farmers’ associations, politicians, farmers, NGOs, consumers and mass media in Sweden relate to this debate and the animal welfare issue over a time period of ten years. The aim is to discuss if the debate resist affected ignorance and changed the animals’ situation to the better. The empirical data is based on a qualitative study of Swedish newspaper articles and television news but also statistics of organic food sales and organic certified animals. In Sweden the public debate where many different actors are involved show the power and strong forces in society in which a profit-maximising business ideology is dominating and suppress ethical considerations and will preserve the poor treatment of factory animals. Still after 10 years the debate has a minor influence of changing the cruel treatment of animals in the food industry since the alternative farming methods as organic with better treatment of animals still has such a small market share even if it has increased. The consumers’ reactions of not buying conventional meat seem to only last for some weeks after the reveal of mistreated factory animals in videos taken by NGOs. The affected ignorance is still dominating the consumers despite the increased information and public debate and only a minor part of the consumers are taking a moral stance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Havana: LAEMOS , 2014.
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111989OAI: diva2:777346
The 5th Latin American and European Meeting on Organization Studies, LAEMOS conference Subtheme 3: Animals and Organizations in Havana, Cuba, April 2-5, 2014
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2015-08-12

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