Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for

  • Author or Editor: Richard Gorman x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All

Abstract

The last twenty years have seen increased interest in animal-assisted therapy (AAT) and animal-assisted activity (AAA). However, there has been little research exploring these interactions as experienced by the animals themselves. In this paper, we bring a “more-than-human” lens to concepts and practices within AAA/T, synthesizing ideas about animal sentience and subjectivity that have emerged within animal geography scholarship and animal welfare science. We draw from empirical work with practitioners involved in donkey-facilitated learning (DFL) to examine the knowledge base of equine facilitators, including their beliefs, opinions, and assumptions about donkeys, their understanding of animal welfare, and their role in DFL. We discuss how knowledge of donkeys is mobilized to ensure more-than-human welfare during DFL; how animals’ “choice” to participate is encouraged and centered; how ideas of nonhuman labor create opportunities for considering more-than-human welfare; and how practitioners advocate for animals and embed practices of care for humans and nonhumans.

Open Access
In: Society & Animals

Abstract

This study explored the ways in which nonhuman animals were perceived to provide social support for grievers. A content analysis was conducted and four key qualities of nonhuman companion animals were identified: 1) presence, 2) continuity and purpose, 3) mutuality and connection, and 4) nature of response. Results suggest that people perceive animals to play an important role in providing emotional support through their presence and tactile experiences, to enhance a sense of purpose after loss, and perceived nonjudgmental acceptance of the griever is highly valued. Additionally, some respondents may feel closer to their loved one through contact with animals associated with them. The type of support perceived from animals overlaps in some ways with human support yet is unique in many ways. Animal support may be especially important for grieving people during pandemic isolation and in the absence of strong social networks.

In: Society & Animals