E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Minding Animals: Emerging Issues Concerning Our Relationships with Other Animals"

Quicklinks

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Marc Bekoff

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Boulder (EBIO), University of Colorado at Boulder, Ramaley N122, Campus Box 334, Boulder, CO 80309-0334, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 303 443-6857
Interests: animal behavior; animal cognition; cognitive ethology; animal protection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In July 2009 more than 500 delegates from 23 countries gathered in Newcastle, Australia for the first Minding Animals conference. People from numerous disciplines including biology, psychology, anthropology, and the social sciences and humanities gathered to share ideas and learn more about the complex nature of human-nonhuman animal relationships. The essays in this volume show just how wide-ranging and eclectic we must be as we study the frustrating, paradoxical, and challenging aspects of our interactions with the nonhuman beings with whom we share Earth. For example, how can people who say they love animals go on to harm them "out of love for them?" In the end everyone agreed that each of us could do more to expand our "compassion footprint" to make the world a more peaceful place for humans and other animals. Compassion for animals will make for more compassion among people and that's what we need as we journey into the future.

Prof. Dr. Marc Bekoff
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • anthrozoology
  • animal minds
  • cognitive ethology
  • animal protection
  • animal rights
  • animal welfare

Published Papers (13 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-13
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Minding Animals: A Transdisciplinary Approach for Furthering Our Understanding of Animals in Society
Animals 2011, 1(1), 4-6; doi:10.3390/ani1010004
Received: 10 November 2010 / Accepted: 7 December 2010 / Published: 8 December 2010
PDF Full-text (25 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
I'm honored to be the guest editor of this volume of Animals. The essays included here are in the spirit of this new and forward-looking journal http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/1/1/1/pdf. They stem from a precedent setting gathering of scholars from all over the world representing
[...] Read more.
I'm honored to be the guest editor of this volume of Animals. The essays included here are in the spirit of this new and forward-looking journal http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/1/1/1/pdf. They stem from a precedent setting gathering of scholars from all over the world representing many different disciplines at a meeting called ‘Minding Animals’, held in Newcastle, Australia in July 2009 (http://www.mindinganimals.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=210&Itemid=236). All of the delegates who journeyed from varying distances, sometimes huge, to be part of this unique gathering, shared a deep interest in learning more about who nonhuman animals (hereafter, animals) are from colleagues studying them from various perspectives, representing disciplines including biology, psychology, anthropology, and the social sciences and humanities. Not surprisingly, the meeting was characterized by great enthusiasm, lots of discussion often bordering on the frenetic since people would soon be dispersing to their homelands and not be readily accessible, and a commitment to continue learning more about animals in society. [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Silence and Denial in Everyday Life—The Case of Animal Suffering
Animals 2011, 1(1), 186-199; doi:10.3390/ani1010186
Received: 18 January 2011 / Accepted: 17 February 2011 / Published: 21 February 2011
PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
How can we make sense of the fact that we live in a world where good people co-exist in silence about widespread animal suffering. How is it that sites of suffering such as laboratories, factory farms, abattoirs and animal transportation are all around
[...] Read more.
How can we make sense of the fact that we live in a world where good people co-exist in silence about widespread animal suffering. How is it that sites of suffering such as laboratories, factory farms, abattoirs and animal transportation are all around us and yet we ‘do not, in a certain sense, know about them’ [1]. This ‘not knowing’ is one of the most difficult barriers for animal activists who must constantly develop new strategies in an attempt to catch public attention and translate it into action. Recent contributions from the ‘sociology of denial’ have elucidated many of the mechanisms involved in ‘not knowing’ in relation to human atrocities and genocide. In this context, ‘denial’ refers to the maintenance of social worlds in which an undesirable situation is unrecognized, ignored or made to seem normal [2]. These include different types of denial: personal, official and cultural, as well as the process of normalization whereby suffering becomes invisible through routinization, tolerance, accommodation, collusion and cover up. Denial and normalization reflect both personal and collective states where suffering is not acknowledged [3]. In this paper, I will examine insights from the sociology of denial and apply them to human denial and normalization of animal suffering. This will include an examination of denial which is both individual and social and the implications of these insights for theory and practice in the human/animal relationship. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Conservation Ethic and the Collecting of Animals by Institutions of Natural Heritage in the Twenty-First Century: Case Study of the Australian Museum
Animals 2011, 1(1), 176-185; doi:10.3390/ani1010176
Received: 18 January 2011 / Accepted: 27 January 2011 / Published: 15 February 2011
PDF Full-text (58 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Collecting of animals from their habitats for preservation by museums and related bodies is a core operation of such institutions. Conservation of biodiversity in the current era is a priority in the scientific agendas of museums of natural heritage in Australia and the
[...] Read more.
Collecting of animals from their habitats for preservation by museums and related bodies is a core operation of such institutions. Conservation of biodiversity in the current era is a priority in the scientific agendas of museums of natural heritage in Australia and the world. Intuitively, to take animals from the wild, while engaged in scientific or other practices that are supposed to promote their ongoing survival, may appear be incompatible. The Australian Museum presents an interesting ground to consider zoological collecting by museums in the twenty-first century. Anderson and Reeves in 1994 argued that a milieu existed that undervalued native species, and that the role of natural history museums, up to as late as the mid-twentieth century, was only to make a record the faunal diversity of Australia, which would inevitably be extinct. Despite the latter, conservation of Australia’s faunal diversity is a key aspect of research programmes in Australia’s institutions of natural heritage in the current era. This paper analyses collecting of animals, a core task for institutions of natural heritage, and how this interacts with a professed “conservation ethic” in a twenty-first century Australian setting. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integrating Values and Ethics into Wildlife Policy and Management—Lessons from North America
Animals 2011, 1(1), 126-143; doi:10.3390/ani1010126
Received: 18 January 2011 / Accepted: 18 January 2011 / Published: 25 January 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (87 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Few animals provoke as wide a range of emotions as wolves. Some see wolves as icons of a lost wilderness; others see them as intruders. As the battle continues between wolf proponents and opponents, finding solutions that resolve conflicts while supporting the integrity
[...] Read more.
Few animals provoke as wide a range of emotions as wolves. Some see wolves as icons of a lost wilderness; others see them as intruders. As the battle continues between wolf proponents and opponents, finding solutions that resolve conflicts while supporting the integrity of nature is challenging. In this essay we argue that we need to make room for wolves and other native carnivores who are re-colonizing areas from which they were extirpated. Strategies that foster coexistence are necessary and wildlife agencies must consider all stakeholders and invest adequate resources to inform the public about how to mitigate conflicts between people/domestic animals, and predators. Values and ethics must be woven into wildlife policy and management and we must be willing to ask difficult ethical questions and learn from past mistakes. Full article
Open AccessArticle Animal Rights as a Mainstream Phenomenon
Animals 2011, 1(1), 102-115; doi:10.3390/ani1010102
Received: 21 December 2010 / Accepted: 4 January 2011 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (75 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Businesses and professions must stay in accord with social ethics, or risk losing their autonomy.A major social ethical issue that has emerged in the past four decades is the treatment of animals in various areas of human use. Society’s moral concern has outgrown
[...] Read more.
Businesses and professions must stay in accord with social ethics, or risk losing their autonomy.A major social ethical issue that has emerged in the past four decades is the treatment of animals in various areas of human use. Society’s moral concern has outgrown the traditional ethic of animal cruelty that began in biblical times and is encoded in the laws of all civilized societies. There are five major reasons for this new social concern, most importantly, the replacement of husbandry-based agriculture with industrial agriculture. This loss of husbandry to industry has threatened the traditional fair contract between humans and animals, and resulted in significant amounts of animal suffering arising on four different fronts. Because such suffering is not occasioned by cruelty, a new ethic for animals was required to express social concerns. Since ethics proceed from preexisting ethics rather than ex nihilo, society has looked to its ethic for humans, appropriately modified, to find moral categories applicable to animals. This concept of legally encoded rights for animals has emerged as a plausible vehicle for reform. Full article
Open AccessArticle What’s in a Name?—Consequences of Naming Non-Human Animals
Animals 2011, 1(1), 116-125; doi:10.3390/ani1010116
Received: 7 January 2011 / Accepted: 13 January 2011 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (51 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The act of naming is among the most basic actions of language. Indeed, it is naming something that enables us to communicate about it in specific terms, whether the object named is human or non-human, animate or inanimate. However, naming is not as
[...] Read more.
The act of naming is among the most basic actions of language. Indeed, it is naming something that enables us to communicate about it in specific terms, whether the object named is human or non-human, animate or inanimate. However, naming is not as uncomplicated as we may usually think and names have consequences for the way we think about animals (human and non-human), peoples, species, places, things etc. Through a blend of history, philosophy and representational theory—and using examples from, among other things, the Bible, Martin Luther, colonialism/imperialism and contemporary ways of keeping and regarding non-human animals—this paper attempts to trace the importance of (both specific and generic) naming to our relationships with the non-human. It explores this topic from the naming of the animals in Genesis to the names given and used by scientists, keepers of companion animals, media etc. in our societies today, and asks the question of what the consequences of naming non-human animals are for us, for the beings named and for the power relations between our species and the non-human species and individuals we name. Full article
Open AccessArticle From “Animal Machines” to “Happy Meat”? Foucault’s Ideas of Disciplinary and Pastoral Power Applied to ‘Animal-Centred’ Welfare Discourse
Animals 2011, 1(1), 83-101; doi:10.3390/ani1010083
Received: 22 December 2010 / Accepted: 6 January 2011 / Published: 11 January 2011
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (91 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Michel Foucault’s work traces shifting techniques in the governance of humans, from the production of ‘docile bodies’ subjected to the knowledge formations of the human sciences (disciplinary power), to the facilitation of self-governing agents directed towards specified forms of self-knowledge by quasi-therapeutic authorities
[...] Read more.
Michel Foucault’s work traces shifting techniques in the governance of humans, from the production of ‘docile bodies’ subjected to the knowledge formations of the human sciences (disciplinary power), to the facilitation of self-governing agents directed towards specified forms of self-knowledge by quasi-therapeutic authorities (pastoral power). While mindful of the important differences between the governance of human subjects and the oppression of nonhuman animals, exemplified in nonhuman animals’ legal status as property, this paper explores parallel shifts from disciplinary to pastoral regimes of human-‘farmed’ animal relations. Recent innovations in ‘animal-centred’ welfare science represent a trend away from the ‘disciplinary’ techniques of confinement and torture associated with ‘factory farms’ and towards quasi-therapeutic ways of claiming to know ‘farmed’ animals, in which the animals themselves are co-opted into the processes by which knowledge about them is generated. The new pastoral turn in ‘animal-centred’ welfare finds popular expression in ‘happy meat’ discourses that invite ‘consumers’ to adopt a position of vicarious carer for the ‘farmed’ animals who they eat. The paper concludes that while ‘animal-centred’ welfare reform and ‘happy meat’ discourses promise a possibility of a somewhat less degraded life for some ‘farmed’ animals, they do so by perpetuating exploitation and oppression and entrenching speciesist privilege by making it less vulnerable to critical scrutiny. Full article
Open AccessArticle Challenges to the Development and Implementation of Public Policies to Achieve Animal Welfare Outcomes
Animals 2011, 1(1), 69-82; doi:10.3390/ani1010069
Received: 22 December 2010 / Accepted: 31 December 2010 / Published: 31 December 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (70 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although there is a long-established tradition of concern for the welfare of animals, it was not until the mid 1800’s that governments sought to enact legislation to protect animals from cruelty. In the 1950’s, questions concerning animal welfare re-emerged and in the ensuing
[...] Read more.
Although there is a long-established tradition of concern for the welfare of animals, it was not until the mid 1800’s that governments sought to enact legislation to protect animals from cruelty. In the 1950’s, questions concerning animal welfare re-emerged and in the ensuing years have been an on-going focus of government activities. These developments occurred against a backdrop of significant social change but there are important differences in what now underpins and informs these considerations. In the formulation and implementation of public policies, governments look for a course of action that represents and protects the interests of the community; the process may be challenging with competing interests but the final determination seeks a middle ground that best meets the needs and interests of the community as a whole. When policy development concerns our relationship with other animals, the complexity of this relationship presents particular challenges not only to the formulation of policies but also to the evaluation of outcomes. Notably, the depth of feelings and diversity of views in our community reflect the complex social, cultural and personal dimensions of this relationship. The use of animals for scientific purposes remains one of the most contentious animal welfare issues primarily because when animals are used for these purposes, accepted animal welfare benchmarks cannot always be met. Based on the Australian experience, this paper will discuss the influences in and on-going challenges to the development and implementation of public policy when animals are used for these purposes. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Translocal Perspective: Mustang Images in the Cultural, Economic and Political Landscape
Animals 2011, 1(1), 27-39; doi:10.3390/ani1010027
Received: 29 November 2010 / Accepted: 9 December 2010 / Published: 14 December 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (421 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Translocal spaces are created out of the process of globalization whereby interventions such as electronic media and migration radically change social relations and breakdown the isomorphism of space, place, and culture [1]. This approach is useful in examining the controversy surrounding the mustang.
[...] Read more.
Translocal spaces are created out of the process of globalization whereby interventions such as electronic media and migration radically change social relations and breakdown the isomorphism of space, place, and culture [1]. This approach is useful in examining the controversy surrounding the mustang. This paper explores how different social constructions influence the management of mustangs as they move between the local and national level. At each cultural level, political, economic, and environmental issues converge encouraging the emphasis of some cultural constructions over others. These socially constructed images give insight into what the mustang means to a post-industrial culture and it may simultaneously contribute to the animal’s eventual demise. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Inclusive Re-Engagement with our Nonhuman Animal Kin: Considering Human Interrelationships with Nonhuman Animals
Animals 2011, 1(1), 40-55; doi:10.3390/ani1010040
Received: 19 November 2010 / Accepted: 9 December 2010 / Published: 14 December 2010
PDF Full-text (68 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As humans increasingly acknowledge the effects that they are having on the planet, there is a realisation implicit in these effects that human interrelationships with nature are actually arbitrated and expedited exploitatively. Understanding how the different discourses and histories through which the interrelationships
[...] Read more.
As humans increasingly acknowledge the effects that they are having on the planet, there is a realisation implicit in these effects that human interrelationships with nature are actually arbitrated and expedited exploitatively. Understanding how the different discourses and histories through which the interrelationships with nature are mediated and actually told and then retold is fundamental to appreciating how humans may relate with nature less exploitatively and in ways that are more inclusionary, particularly with nonhuman animals. Humans perceive nature and individual nonhuman animals in various ways. This paper provides an investigation of how humans have socially constructed nature and their place as either within or outside of it. Such constructions are elaborated conceptually and through narrative. More pertinently, this paper examines how nature and nonhuman animals are perceived and placed within those narratives that humans construct from reality. It is stressed here that such constructions have, and may continue, to lead to a worsening of the effects that humans have on the planet if there is no acceptance or recognition that certain realities exist beyond the exploitative bounds of any human-inspired concept or narrative. This paper therefore provides the groundwork for the foundations of an ethic that is both socially and ecologically inclusive and is based on a soft realist approach. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Mirror Has Two Faces: Contradictory Reflections of Donkeys in Western Literature from Lucius to Balthazar
Animals 2011, 1(1), 56-68; doi:10.3390/ani1010056
Received: 30 November 2010 / Accepted: 9 December 2010 / Published: 14 December 2010
PDF Full-text (61 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
How we represent animals both reflects our attitudes towards them and affects our treatment of them. The donkey has lived alongside humans, bearing their burdens since the time of their domestication over 10,000 years ago. Despite this, they have invariably enjoyed a low
[...] Read more.
How we represent animals both reflects our attitudes towards them and affects our treatment of them. The donkey has lived alongside humans, bearing their burdens since the time of their domestication over 10,000 years ago. Despite this, they have invariably enjoyed a low status in human cultures, received little appreciation and been treated harshly. We view some animals as being more worthy than others and represent them accordingly: donkeys have been ridiculed and derided. Literary representations of donkeys from the fables of Ancient Greece to contemporary iconic texts are explored to follow the donkey through the human imaginary. These representations derive from two main, conflicting sources, Greek literature and the Bible. Examining these cultural representations may lead towards a greater understanding of the way they affect the actual animal and lead to a greater understanding of that animal and, ultimately, to better treatment of them. Full article
Open AccessArticle An International Comparison of Female and Male Students’ Attitudes to the Use of Animals
Animals 2011, 1(1), 7-26; doi:10.3390/ani1010007
Received: 7 December 2010 / Accepted: 8 December 2010 / Published: 9 December 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Previous research has demonstrated that in households where the male partner is more dominant, there is convergence in male and female attitudes towards animals, whereas if the female partner is empowered they exhibit greater empathy towards animals than the male partner. We tested
[...] Read more.
Previous research has demonstrated that in households where the male partner is more dominant, there is convergence in male and female attitudes towards animals, whereas if the female partner is empowered they exhibit greater empathy towards animals than the male partner. We tested this theory of ‘female empowered empathy’ internationally in a survey of female and male students’ attitudes towards use of animals, conducted in 11 Eurasian countries: China, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Iran, Ireland, South Korea, Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Spain and Sweden. Gender empowerment was estimated for each country using the Gender Empowerment Measure designed by the United Nations. The survey was administered via the internet in universities within countries, and 1,902 female and 1,530 male student responses from 102 universities were received. Respondents rated the acceptability of 43 major concerns about human use of animals, and the importance of 13 world social issues, including animal protection, environmental protection and sustainable development. Females had greater concern for animal welfare and rights than males. There was a positive correlation between the Gender Empowerment Measure and the ratio of female to male concern for animal welfare and rights, but not for other world issues. Thus in countries where females were more empowered, principally Sweden, Norway and Great Britain, females had much greater concern than males for animal issues, whereas in other countries the responses of males and females were more similar. Across countries female students were more likely to avoid meat and less likely to avoid eggs, milk and seafood than male students, and were more likely to have kept pets than males. Females rated cats as more sentient than males did. The results demonstrate that females have greater concern for animal welfare and rights than males, and that this is more likely to be expressed in countries where females are relatively empowered, suggesting that ‘emancipated female empathy’ operates across countries as well as at a local level. Full article

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Conceptualising Animal Abuse with an Antisocial Behaviour Framework
Animals 2011, 1(1), 144-160; doi:10.3390/ani1010144
Received: 21 December 2010 / Accepted: 18 January 2011 / Published: 26 January 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (79 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews current findings in the human aggression and antisocial behaviour literature and those in the animal abuse literature with the aim of highlighting the overlap in conceptualisation. The major aim of this review is to highlight that the co-occurrence between animal
[...] Read more.
This paper reviews current findings in the human aggression and antisocial behaviour literature and those in the animal abuse literature with the aim of highlighting the overlap in conceptualisation. The major aim of this review is to highlight that the co-occurrence between animal abuse behaviours and aggression and violence toward humans can be logically understood through examination of the research evidence for antisocial and aggressive behaviour. From examination through this framework, it is not at all surprising that the two co-occur. Indeed, it would be surprising if they did not. Animal abuse is one expression of antisocial behaviour. What is also known from the extensive antisocial behaviour literature is that antisocial behaviours co-occur such that the presence of one form of antisocial behaviour is highly predictive of the presence of other antisocial behaviours. From such a framework, it becomes evident that animal abuse should be considered an important indicator of antisocial behaviour and violence as are other aggressive and antisocial behaviours. The implications of such a stance are that law enforcement, health and other professionals should not minimize the presence of animal abuse in their law enforcement, prevention, and treatment decisions. Full article

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Animals Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
animals@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Animals
Back to Top