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The ethics of food and agriculture is confronted with enormous challenges. Scientific developments in the food sciences promise to be dramatic; the concept of life sciences, that comprises the integral connection between the biological sciences, the medical sciences and the agricultural sciences, got a broad start with the genetic revolution. In the mean time, society, i.e., consumers, producers, farmers, policymakers, etc, raised lots of intriguing questions about the implications and presuppositions of this revolution, taking into account not only scientific developments, but societal as well. If so many things with respect to food and our food diet will change, will our food still be safe? Will it be produced under animal friendly conditions of husbandry and what will our definition of animal welfare be under these conditions? Will food production be sustainable and environmentally healthy? Will production consider the interest of the worst off and the small farmers? How will globalisation and liberalization of markets influence local and regional food production and consumption patterns? How will all these developments influence the rural areas and what values and policies are ethically sound?
All these questions raise fundamental and broad ethical issues and require enormous ethical theorizing to be approached fruitfully. Ethical reflection on criteria of animal welfare, sustainability, liveability of the rural areas, biotechnology, policies and all the interconnections is inevitable.
The International Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics contributes to a sound, pluralistic and argumentative food and agricultural ethics. It brings together the most important and relevant voices in the field; by providing a platform for theoretical and practical contributors with respect to research and education on all levels.