The 5 Freedoms of Animal Husbandry

In the 1960s, calls for reform in the beef and dairy industries led to changes in how farm animals are kept and managed. Today, “the five freedoms” is the gold standard for all conscientious animal keepers of any species- whether for profit or pleasure. And here they are (in no particular order):

Freedom from hunger and thirst.

From sunrise to sunset, I was in the forest, sometimes far from the house, with my goat who watched me as a mother does a child. -Diego Rivera

Freedom from discomfort.

They also keep a horned cow
as proud as any queen;
But music turns her head like ale,
And makes her wave her tufted tail
and dance upon the green.
-J.R.R Tolkien

Freedom from pain, injury, and disease.

Well do the natural philosophers speak of the swine. -The Physiologus, an anonymous Greek bestiary, second century AD.

Freedom to express normal and natural behavior.

The clocking hen sat on her nest–
She made it in the hay; 
And warm and snug beneath her breast
A dozen white eggs lay.

Crack, crack, went all the eggs,
Out dropped the chickens small. 
“Clock!” said the clocking hen,
“Now I have you all. –
Old English Rhyme

Freedom from fear and distress.

To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. -Mahatma Gandhi

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CalicoBall is a grassroots effort to document, preserve, and present rural America’s diverse historical traditions. CalicoBall is an educational extension of Maggie May Clothing. ©2020 Maggie May Clothing.