Fr. 138.00

Animal Welfare - Understanding Sentient Minds and Why It Matters

English · Paperback / Softback

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Animal Welfare
An Accessible Overview of the Concept of Sentience Throughout the Animal Kingdom and Why It Matters to Humans
Animal Welfare explores the concept of sentience and the development of sentient minds throughout the animal kingdom. The work provides improved definitions and analysis of the ideas of sentience, cognition, and consciousness, along with evidence of advanced mental formulation in birds, fish, and invertebrates. Considerations between humans and animals are also discussed, such as outcome-based ethics in relation to humans' duties of care and the rights and wrongs of domestication. The work is divided into three parts and covers key topics such as:
* Specifics of animal sentience, from pain and suffering, to fear and dread, all the way to animals' social life and the comfort/joy/hope/despair they experience
* What we know about the sentience of different classes of animals in the waters, air, savannah/plains, and forests
* Considerations on human interactions based on animal sentience, including death (killing), animal farms, animals in laboratories, wild animals in captivity, and animals in sports and entertainment
* Analysis on what humans can learn from animals based on what we know about their varying levels of sentience
Animal Welfare serves as an invaluable analysis of animal sentience for students, teachers, and professionals directly involved in the study, teaching, and applications of animal behavior, motivation, and welfare. Thanks to the wide-ranging implications of animal sentience, the work will also appeal to everyone with a broader interest in animal behavior and human/animal interactions.

List of contents

About the Author xi
Preface xiii
Acknowledgements and Apologies xv
Part 1 The Sentient Mind: Skills and Strategies 1
1 Setting the Scene 3
Human Attitudes to Animals 5
Animal Behaviour Science 7
Rules of Engagement 9
2 Sentience and the Sentient Mind 13
Sentience, Consciousness and the Mind 14
The Five Skandhas of Sentience 14
Understanding the Sentient Mind 17
Pain and Suffering 21
Fear and Dread 23
Coping with Challenge: Stress and Boredom 24
Social Life 26
Comfort and Joy 28
Hope and Despair 29
Sex and Love 29
Summary 30
3 Special Senses and Their Interpretation 32
Vision 33
Hearing 35
Smell and Taste 36
Cutaneous Sensation, Touch 37
Magnetoreception 38
Interpreting the Special Senses 38
Theory of Mind, or Metarepresentation 40
Summary 41
4 Survival Strategies 42
Foraging 43
Hunting Behaviour: The Predator and the Prey 48
Spatial Awareness and Navigation 50
Breeding Behaviour and Parental Care 52
5 Social Strategies 55
Sentient Social Life 57
Social Hierarchies: The Pecking Order 58
Communication 59
Cooperation and Empathy 60
Social Learning, Education and Culture 61
Territorial Behaviour and Tribalism 62
Part 2 Shaping Sentient Minds: Adaptation to the Environment 65
6 Animals of the Waters 67
Pain and Fear 69
Survival Skills: Hunting, Hiding and Problem Solving 71
Migration 72
Communication and Social Behaviour 74
7 Animals of the Air 77
Feeding Strategies 78
Migration 80
Sentience and Breeding Behaviour 82
Social Behaviour, Culture and Education 83
Bats 84
8 Animals of the Savannah and Plains 86
Environmental Challenges 87
Animals of the Open Plains 88
Sheep 88
Goats 90
Cattle 91
Wild Bovidae 92
Feral Horses 93
Elephants 93
Predators 96
9 Animals of the Forest 97
The Boreal Forest 97
Cervidae 98
Beavers 100
Bears 101
The Tropical Rain Forests 102
Snakes 103
Primates 104
10 Close Neighbours 106
History of Domestication 107
Artificial Selection and Unnatural Breeding 108
Domestication, Sentience and Wellbeing 109
Pigs 110
Dogs 113
Cats 114
Dairy Cows 115
Horses and Donkeys 118
Chickens 121
Opportunist Neighbours: Rats and Urban Foxes 123
Coda 124
Part 3 Why it matters: Nature's Social Union 125
11 Our Duty of Care 127
Sentience Revisited 128
Ethics 131
Death and Killing 133
Farms, Farmed Animals and Food 135
Animals in Laboratories 136
Wild Animals in Captivity 138
Animals in Sport and Entertainment 140
Pets 143
What can We Learn from the Animals? 144
Further Reading 147
General Reading 151
Index 152

About the author

John Webster, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DVM (Hon), is a retired Professor of Animal Husbandry at the University of Bristol, Bristol, UK. He established the Bristol Unit for Study of Animal Welfare and Behavior and is a founding member of the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC).
Published as a part of the prestigious Wiley Blackwell - UFAW Animal Welfare series. UFAW, founded in 1926, is an internationally recognized, independent, scientific, and educational animal welfare charity.
For full details of all titles available in the series, please visit our website at

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