- Discusses some of the most pertinent questions surrounding animal welfare - should we project human emotions on to animals? How can science help us understand more about their quality of life? How does that affect us?
- Explains how animal welfare is important in relation to human issues such as food security and climate change
- Explores the latest scientific evidence about animal consciousness and animal emotions
- Outlines how animal welfare can be studied scientifically and what work still needs to be done
- Asserts a radical rethink about animal welfare and its future
In a world increasingly concerned with climate change, food security, and other human issues, the welfare of non-human animals is in danger of being overlooked and side-lined. Using the latest scientific research on animal consciousness and emotions, Marian Stamp Dawkins argues that if animal welfare is to be taken seriously by world opinion, it needs a complete rethink.
She asks important questions such as: are we justified in projecting human emotions on to animals? What can science tell us about their quality of life? She concludes that we need to place less emphasis on the conscious experience of suffering in animals, and more emphasis on the practical importance of animal welfare to human health and human well-being. This requires a long, hard look at some of the cherished ideas we hold about animal emotions, and what we can and cannot know about the conscious experiences of other animals.
Table of contents
1: Animal welfare, food security and climate change
2: Seduced by words
3: The trouble with anthropomorphism
4: Why consciousness is harder than you think
5: Consciousness unexplained
6: Emotional turmoil
7: Animal welfare without consciousness
8: The two pillars of animal welfare
9: What animals want
10: Animal welfare for a small planet
Notes and references