3rd year PhD presentation - Martina Kiehas

Animal welfare in Danish broiler production – ethics and marketing

2017.05.29 | Merete Elmann

Date Fri 23 Jun
Time 10:00 12:00
Location Room 2628-M303, Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University

Friday 23 June, Martina Kiehas will present her PhD project at 10:00 in room 2628-M303. The title is:    

Animal welfare in Danish broiler production – ethics and marketing


Everyone is welcome!


In my thesis, I analyze the existence and consequences of ethical dilemmas in animal welfare.  An ethical dilemma is a situation that involves conflicting moral imperatives, so that respecting one means violating the other. Ethical dilemmas are appealing, because there is no obvious solution approach, which allows actors to argue from different perspectives. In addition, it is interesting to see if assigning animal welfare high relevance leads to better animal welfare.

Farm animal welfare can conflict with goals such as feeding a growing human population or environmental protection. I conducted 22 semi-structured interviews about broiler (chickens in meat production, not egg-layers) production in Denmark and then a discourse analysis. The three articles I wrote draw on institutional theory, sensemaking and marketing ethics. They deal with the definition of animal welfare in Danish broiler production, the ethical considerations marketers of welfare broilers have and how actors argue for or against change.

I found that the different definitions of animal welfare pose a barrier to its improvement and that those marketing welfare broilers because of ethical concerns regarding conventional production do not necessarily improve welfare more than those who market the products for other reasons. Finally, those who argue for change by problematizing institutionalized practices regarding farm animal welfare do so using utilitarian or altruistic arguments, while defenders use mostly ethical egoist phrasing.


Opponents: Alice Grønhøj and Sarah Krøtel