"Habits of Mercy": Iowa farm animal welfare, 1900-1945
Animals on Iowa farms developed close connections with their human caretakers in the first part of the twentieth century. Through development of human-animal bonds, animals determined their own welfare on farms, to an extent. Animal welfare on Iowa farms varied greatly between individual farms, but certain factors such as strong human-animal bonds and productive roles in farm operation helped determine the amount of care an animal received. Animals and people were both actors in these relationships. In general, animals on Iowa farms prior to farm commercialization received better care than animals housed in confinements during the latter part of the century. On early twentieth century Iowa farms, the welfare of the farm was dependent on the welfare of farm animals.