A paper published in Neuroscience has Adam Shriver suggesting that genetically engineered cows are made to feel no pain and that this could be an acceptable alternative to eliminating factory farming. 

This might sound far fetched, but some neuroscientists are actually taking Shriver's suggestion as a very real possibility. Zhou-Feng Chen, a neuroscientist at Washington University has been working to identify the genes that affect pain. His team have found a gene called P311 and found that mice who lack that gene did not have any negative associations with pain.

Chen believes if this gene is removed, then engineered farm animals could be having one sensation less. It does seem cruel that we cause pain for livestock, but even with pain-free meat, can we be comfortable that we removed one of the most important senses in a living being?

Pain-free animals could take suffering out of farming [New Scientist]