I thought I’d start out with a question: Why do we care if farm animals are intelligent? Is it important if we are breeding or housing them in ways that impairs their intelligence?
I’m often asked, “Aren’t farm animals better of being not very smart? Maybe a chicken or pig is happier if they are *not* intelligent, so they don’t miss challenges on the farm.”
There are two main reasons why we *should* care that farm animals are intelligent, in my view.
The first is practical. Farms are (luckily) becoming increasingly complex: group housing, tiered aviaries, outdoor range. Animals need to be smart enough to navigate the social and spatial challenges to thrive on farm.
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