On one side of the animal welfare debate is the highly effective, emotionally charged campaign by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to promote its agenda to reform livestock housing.
On the other side stands the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), whose goal is to encourage a rational, scientific and non-emotional approach to improving the conditions imposed on animals through factory farming methods.
As the AVMA readily admits, the Humane Society does a much better job garnering public support for its position. The truth is, evoking emotion around animal welfare issues is much easier to accomplish than generating public interest in a scientific discussion of the pros and cons of reform measures.
However, intelligent decisions about issues of animal welfare cannot be made fueled only by emotion. Scientific solutions, no matter how tedious and unglamorous they seem, are the best way to achieve sustainable reform which takes into account all potential consequences.