Learning More About Animal Welfare

Professor Natalie WaranAfter the rise in awareness of animal abuse in the dairy industry in recent weeks, I’m very excited to have just completed the first week’s assignments of a FREE 5 week online course on Animal Behaviour and Welfare from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I am very interested in animal behaviour and want to understand more fully what truly constitutes animal welfare from their perspective, so coming across this course was a great find.

Taking a look at the participant comments and program materials I’m very pleased to see so many other people interested in the subject as well AND to see so much work being done worldwide to study, share and understand the implications to our furry and feathery Fuzzy Buddies.

Much has changed in our knowledge about animals but our actions have not kept pace with the new information. Well, not that new, actually. Charles Darwin was a phenomenal researcher and his work The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals published in 1872 — that’s almost 150 years ago! — was pretty clear on the matter of animals expressing emotion. But, with a long history of philosophic thought on the topic his wasn’t a very popular notion at the time so it remained outside the mainstream.

That notion still isn’t terribly popular because as a society if we believe that animals are more sentient than we’ve previously allowed ourselves to believe, we’ll have to seriously reconsider how we behave. Especially when it comes to how we produce food.

Jeremy Bentham Quote

I’m looking forward to learning more about what’s being done to improve the welfare of animals in all manner of settings, from food production to zoos, and in the wild as well as how we can ensure that we’re treating our companion animals in ways that truly meet their innate needs.

Hey, why don’t you join me? It’s not too late to sign up if you’re interested in the subject matter. It doesn’t take much time, the content is easy to absorb, and you can audit it if you don’t want to take the quizzes.