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Author(s) : A.C.D. Bayvel, S.A. Rahman & A. Gavinelli

Summary :

Certain features of animal agriculture remained largely unchanged over time until the mid-twentieth century; humans had provided animals with food and shelter from the elements and from predation, while the animals provided food, fibre and energy in return. The 1950s saw the emergence of two major developments with huge implications for this traditional human–animal relationship. Firstly, animal usage in biomedical research increased dramatically during that decade, and secondly, animal agriculture was industrialised, resulting in a twofold increase in productivity gains over the ten years. The previous such increase in productivity had taken 30 years and prior to that, it had taken a century (1820-1920) for productivity to increase at such a rate. The industrialisation of agriculture and increasing urbanisation have isolated the majority of people from contact with agriculture, which in turn has produced an increasing public and media interest in farm animals.

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