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Animal Suffering: The Science Of Animal Welfare

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I wrote this book because I believe that the welfare of animals is a very important subject but one about which there is a of confusion and muddled thinking. I wanted to great deal write a book which straightened out some of the confusion by looking in detail at one particular problem: how to recognize animal suffering. The book is written for anyone interested in animals I wrote this book because I believe that the welfare of animals is a very important subject but one about which there is a of confusion and muddled thinking. I wanted to great deal write a book which straightened out some of the confusion by looking in detail at one particular problem: how to recognize animal suffering. The book is written for anyone interested in animals and the controversies over how human beings should treat them. I have tried to convince people who might otherwise feel that science had only a rather sinister connection with animal welfare that the scientific study of animal suffering has, in fact, a major and positive contribution to make. It can give us an insight into what animals experience and this, in tum, may help us to alleviate their suffering. At the same time, I have tried to write a book that will be of at least some use to scientists. The chapters which follow pro vide an outline of the biological approach to animal welfare. I have also attempted to show sceptics that it is possible to study animal suffering without sacrificing standards of scien tific procedure. Perhaps some may even come to share my belief that the study of the subjective experiences of animals is one of the most fascinating areas in the whole of biology, as well as being of great practical and ethical importance."


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I wrote this book because I believe that the welfare of animals is a very important subject but one about which there is a of confusion and muddled thinking. I wanted to great deal write a book which straightened out some of the confusion by looking in detail at one particular problem: how to recognize animal suffering. The book is written for anyone interested in animals I wrote this book because I believe that the welfare of animals is a very important subject but one about which there is a of confusion and muddled thinking. I wanted to great deal write a book which straightened out some of the confusion by looking in detail at one particular problem: how to recognize animal suffering. The book is written for anyone interested in animals and the controversies over how human beings should treat them. I have tried to convince people who might otherwise feel that science had only a rather sinister connection with animal welfare that the scientific study of animal suffering has, in fact, a major and positive contribution to make. It can give us an insight into what animals experience and this, in tum, may help us to alleviate their suffering. At the same time, I have tried to write a book that will be of at least some use to scientists. The chapters which follow pro vide an outline of the biological approach to animal welfare. I have also attempted to show sceptics that it is possible to study animal suffering without sacrificing standards of scien tific procedure. Perhaps some may even come to share my belief that the study of the subjective experiences of animals is one of the most fascinating areas in the whole of biology, as well as being of great practical and ethical importance."

32 review for Animal Suffering: The Science Of Animal Welfare

  1. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Rizzo

    I’m a big fan of Richard Dawkins, & as this is the first of his wife’s books I’ve read, I was very excited. I expected a certain standard of scientific approach, and held high hopes for animal welfare given the topics of most of her books. However, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped, and found her reasoning problematic at times, and sometimes even specious. There are some good studies looking at animal behaviour in response to conflict, but she doesn’t seem to address mental anguish I’m a big fan of Richard Dawkins, & as this is the first of his wife’s books I’ve read, I was very excited. I expected a certain standard of scientific approach, and held high hopes for animal welfare given the topics of most of her books. However, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped, and found her reasoning problematic at times, and sometimes even specious. There are some good studies looking at animal behaviour in response to conflict, but she doesn’t seem to address mental anguish and lack of stimulation with enough emphasis. She evaluated but oversimplifies the social and psychological implications of animal welfare. Absence of evidence for “suffering” as she has narrowly defined it, is not evidence of absence. She compares a hen’s choice between a battery cage & a free run to a personal choice between caviar and smoked salmon. Are you kidding me? That’s a non sequitur if I ever saw one. She characterized their suffering as if they only suffered if they would do anything in their power to remove themselves from the situation, which seems to ignore degrees of suffering. Infers we shouldn’t mitigate controllable suffering, nor should we discern between constant and sporadic suffering. Almost suggests that since animals suffer in the wild then it’s okay if they suffer here because suffering is everywhere? Better to err on the side of caution in my opinion and work to lessen possible suffering than sit here and split hairs over the definition of suffering. I feel like she’s trying too hard to be bipartisan, and really is sitting on the fence of an issue that there should be little question of. Perhaps this is speaking in hindsight as we have learned more since the work was published. Although I do like the idea of using choice test experiments to determine what animals prefer (amount of light, temperature, quality of bedding, etc). In the end she does advocate for using the information we learn about and from animals to evaluate their suffering and wellbeing based on the human model, which is important - at the end of the day we are quite smart and we know what is and isn’t going to be best for these animals based on what they require, prefer, their physiology, behaviour and evolutionary significance of mental experiences. Important to note that the author isn’t arguing whether suffering is justified but how we can determine if suffering is present. At the end she does bring up some important ethical issues and seems to suggest a formula for evaluating suffering that is fairly thorough. Gives a good starter formula at the end of the usefulness to ask when trying to determine if an animal suffers.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather Browning

    A great overview of some of the issues in animal welfare science. Rather than deal with issues of why we should treat animals in a particular way, Dawkins looks at the empirical issues as to how we decide when animals are suffering from their treatment. She evaluates a range of options, such as assessing physical health, checking physiological indicators of stress and making comparisons to wild behaviour. Her analyses of these methods are concise but thorough, identifying the key strengths and w A great overview of some of the issues in animal welfare science. Rather than deal with issues of why we should treat animals in a particular way, Dawkins looks at the empirical issues as to how we decide when animals are suffering from their treatment. She evaluates a range of options, such as assessing physical health, checking physiological indicators of stress and making comparisons to wild behaviour. Her analyses of these methods are concise but thorough, identifying the key strengths and weaknesses of each. I'm now interested to find what more has been done in this area in the past 30 years.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Deidre

  4. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hoss

  6. 4 out of 5

    Allie Van Nostran

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heather Hofmaster

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matej

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kim Stallwood

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rodney Ulyate

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pjer OO

  12. 4 out of 5

    Parham

  13. 4 out of 5

    c h r i s

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten Hochberg

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ben Yanofsky

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

  17. 4 out of 5

    Krysta

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anabela

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alex Sonne

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy Ellison

  22. 4 out of 5

    Selenia

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cali

  24. 4 out of 5

    Delanie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sara Garstecka

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dimitar

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maya

  28. 5 out of 5

    Frank Vargas

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aminka

  31. 5 out of 5

    nostalgebraist

  32. 4 out of 5

    Travis

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