Those who exploit and regulate the exploitation of other animals automatically translate animal rights "down" to animal welfare. They cannot - and will not - meet animal rights demands for the end of animal use. They can - and do - think about small reforms which may (they hope) have the effect of taking the heat off them. They'll dress up little baby welfare steps the best they can (rather like the victory-hungry national animal welfare corporations do), saying that reforms and the regulation and monitoring of animal use shows that they "care" about their animal property - all the things animal users tend to say routinely for, as we know, all animal exploiters claim that animal welfare is one of their main priorities.
Writing for the "business journal for meat and poultry processors," MeatPoultry.com, Bernard Shire reports on a "discussion in Congress about how much space laying hens should be allowed to have in order for them to move around and spread their wings."
"...should be allowed to have..." The language exploiters use about their victims is revealing in itself.
Part of the Congress discussion was about legislation known as the "Egg Inspection Act Amendments of 2012," which is designed to "codify an agreement between the Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers to double the size allotted to egg-laying hens."
So, the HSUS are in the mix here too. That raises the interesting question as to whether the activities of the HSUS added to the social turbulence I speak of. I can imagine quite a bit of very different claims-making in the animal advocacy movement about that.
At the end of Shire's report, however, is this:
Backers of the national plan deny it would lead to a “slippery slope” where animal welfare groups, if they can succeed in changing how hens are raised, would next go after livestock industries, including poultry and meat producers and processors.
If the national plan were to stand up to the scrutiny it is undergoing, it would then be added to the 2012 Farm Bill being considered by the House and Senate. What would stop additional amendments to the Farm Bill from affecting meat and poultry producers and processors? Could it lead to additional space and humane regulations before animals are slaughtered?
Recent charges of humane treatment violations in the meat industry are making this issue even more challenging to the industry.
First, we should note that "humane treatment violations" is industry talk for what rights-based animal advocates regard as animal rights violations.
Second, if I'm right about how social turbulence is caused by the interactive activities of social movements, countermovements, and state agencies, and what may follow is increased interaction between the countermovement and state elements of this three-part model, then it is not necessary for it to be "animal welfare groups" succeeding in making changes. Change can also result in the increased interaction caused by vegan-based animal rights campaigning.
In addition, of course, welfarists do welfare, so the welfare corporations will continue to do their thing anyway. What seems clear, though, is that vegan-based animal rights advocates need not busy themselves supporting them - or raise funds for them - or use their style of claims-making. Animal rights advocates can get on with the urgent need to advocate for animal rights.
The grassroots of the movement in particular need not support animal welfare measures - they can simply know that their animal rights advocacy will have the effect of pushing the user industries towards reforms. The national welfare corporations need victories for membership and staffing reasons (all those careerists to pay for), so it make sense for them to want to be able to claim that a particular campaign led to a particular welfare measure. They cannot fundraise as easily if all they can suggest is that their general campaigning may have contributed to this or that reform. They need the direct credit, not to be part of the mix.
The grassroots need not get involved in all of that it seems to me.
Look at that last sentence from Shire again: "Recent charges of humane treatment violations in the meat industry are making this issue even more challenging to the industry." In other words, if animal use is exposed, and rights are seen to be violated, the industry may well end up in deeper trouble. When animal use is exposed and/or talked about, this is the very thing which will increase the pressure on industry from those who regulate it or make law related to its regulation.
When it does - and whether that is caused by turbulence caused by a new film of animal use, or press coverage of an animal rights events - you can be sure of one thing.
Trust me, you can bet your house on this - they'll respond with welfare.
It is the only thing the use industry can do.
 Once again, I would like to credit sociologist Richard Gale (see HERE) with first exploring the relationship(s) between social movements, their countermovements, and state agencies.