Alligators were perceived as dangerous by early settlers in Florida, and they also reflected the untamed and potentially untameable Florida wilderness. By the 20th century, alligator farms capitalized on the thrill of alligator encounters in controlled theme park experiences. Alligators are tamed in the current farm context and valued increasingly for the products that can be derived from their bodies. This anthrozoological investigation of perceptions of Florida alligators explores how farms define alligators and why visitors might accept these particular constructed images of alligators, concluding with a wider view to consider these perceptions of farmed animals in relation to the idea of the nuisance alligator. The discussion is framed by multi-species studies that rest on notions of embodiment and attentiveness, which in this case push the importance of alligator experience and agency to the foreground.
Animal welfare is an increasingly important component of veterinary medicine. While the AVMA Model Animal Welfare Curriculum is not required, there is growing research that examines veterinary students’ understanding of animal welfare and moral and ethical responsibility to animals. However, there is limited research that investigates incoming veterinary students’ perspectives on animal welfare: a significant pedagogical gap, as successful curriculum interventions take into account students’ pre-existing experiences. This study investigates this gap in the literature through a qualitative, interview-based study of twenty incoming veterinary students at an accredited veterinary college. Four themes are identified in the data: formative childhood experiences; pre-professional experiences in the field; public conversations in the media/ social media; and academic definitions memorized for admission interviews. In conclusion, I draw on the field of narrative medicine to discuss how students’ stories are important to understanding the curriculum and pedagogy of animal welfare in veterinary education.
Some recent psychological studies suggest that the belief that humans matter more than other animals can be strengthened by cognitive dissonance. Jaquet (forthcoming) argues that some of these studies also show that the relevant belief is primarily caused by cognitive dissonance and is therefore subject to a debunking argument. We offer an alternative hypothesis according to which we are already speciesist but cognitive dissonance merely enhances our speciesism. We argue that our hypothesis explains the results of the studies at least as well as Jaquet’s. We then respond to a series of objections. Along the way, we highlight various respects in which further studies are needed to decide between Jaquet’s hypothesis and ours.
AAALAC International is a nonprofit organization that evaluates and accredits research, testing and educational animal care and use programs around the world. The ethical review and oversight processes are key elements of a program, and therefore are thoroughly assessed during the accreditation process. Legal approaches to ethical review and oversight vary across geopolitical areas and are nonexistent in some regions, creating a heterogeneous landscape of processes globally. In AAALAC’s interpretation, ethical and oversight processes must first comply with applicable legislation (engineering standards), but also they must be effective (performance standards). To evaluate the efficacy of each system and be consistent in the assessments, AAALAC relies on a performance-based approach which focuses on the outcome of the process, as AAALAC considers that the same satisfactory outcome can be achieved by different procedures. How AAALAC assesses the combination of legal compliance and the efficacy of ethical review and oversight processes in the international context is described.
Through a series of in-depth interviews asking individuals about their decisions to adopt special-needs companion animals, we discovered that a combination of anthropomorphism and empathy are at play when individuals decide to adopt them. This tendency is explained using David Blouin’s typology of guardians: humanistic and protectionistic guardians anthropomorphized their companion animals, exhibited greater empathy, and were more willing to adopt animals with special needs.
Postage stamp imagery reveals how humans see other animals in their society; how this relationship changes over time; and in particular political, economic, and cultural contexts; and what the stamp-issuing state wishes to communicate to its citizens. A qualitative mixed-methods exploration of this overlooked, easily accessible visual data identifies trends and representative examples of human-animal relations in Finnish society during the country’s independence (1917-2016). The empirical discussion strengthens method(olog)ical discussion on visual culture and data in animal studies. The examination shows the value of systematic longitudinal data, the inclusion of both consumer and producer perspectives in the analysis, and engagement with scholarly debates outside animal studies.
According to Directive 2010/63/EU, project proposals involving experiments on animals must be favourably evaluated by the local Animal Welfare Body (AWB) before submission for approval to the central competent authority, i.e., the Ministry of Health in the case of Italy. Here the working experience of the AWB established in one Italian veterinary public health institution is considered and discussed to identify limits, difficulties, and provide suggestions for improvement based on practical cases. Given its pivotal role, the AWB should be strengthened to guarantee the safety and welfare of animals used for scientific purposes, and to further the awareness of researchers about animal welfare and ethics.
The aim of this pilot study was to examine the effects of different videos of an unfamiliar dog (tranquil and active) on subjective mental state measures. All participants watched two videos of an unfamiliar dog (tranquil and active). Subjective measures of stress, anxiety, alertness, attention, likeability, and cuteness were assessed. The results showed that the tranquil dog video significantly decreased anxiety only. Additionally, the active dog video significantly decreased stress and anxiety. Across the videos, the results showed the active dog video significantly improved subjective alertness and attention when compared with the tranquil dog video. Lastly, the active dog video was rated more likeable and cuter relative to the tranquil dog video. The practical implications of these findings could include how to improve various subjective mental states for humans in public settings (e.g., hospital) where nonhuman animals are not always allowed.
Animal assisted interventions (AAI) have seen a significant development in the last fifty years. They are based on human-animal interactions, and some scientific research is beginning to provide evidence for the benefits of these interventions. However, ethical issues, particularly from the animals’ point of view, are yet to be considered properly. This article contextualizes AAI and the ethical issues concerning the animals involved. Then it outlines the potential adaptation of the Three Rs principle (replacement, reduction, refinement) to this field, considering all aspects related to animal behavior, health, and wellbeing. The analysis of the conditions for the application is accompanied by suggestions to guide research and general practice in AAI in favor of animal welfare, including assessment of the environmental conditions and competence of the professionals involved. Finally, a fourth R, Relationship, is proposed as the distinctive R for ethical AAI practice, possibly interpreted as cooperation.
The topic of this contribution is the moral justification of the use of non-human animals in scientific research. First, we will discuss the position of leading antispeciesist approaches of animal ethics, arguing that a radical position is not tenable and justification of some animal use in research can be given based on the importance of science for human civilization. Such use must be justified case by case. Therefore, the harm-benefit analysis will be introduced, as an example of a case-by-case scenario. We will describe the challenge encountered by the evaluators of project proposals, and possible ways of considering harms and benefits in basic, translational and regulatory research, minimizing harms and possible future scenarios. Our approach can be regarded as a virtue consequentialist view of the ethics of human/animal relationships in scientific use, where the development of a morally appreciable character is a key topic for the education of scientists.