Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Life Sciences Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Animal Studies Repository

Discipline
Keyword
Publication Year
Publication
Publication Type

Articles 1 - 30 of 1117

Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

A Global Reassessment Of Solitary-Sociable Dolphins, Laetitia Nunny, Mark P. Simmonds Jan 2019

A Global Reassessment Of Solitary-Sociable Dolphins, Laetitia Nunny, Mark P. Simmonds

Personality

Dolphins are typically regarded as highly social animals. However, some individuals live apart from their own species and may come to socialize with people through a recognized series of stages which are presented and expanded on in this paper. The term “solitary-sociable dolphins” has been used to describe these animals and such individuals have been identified from several different species and reported in many parts of the world. In many instances, the interactions with people that may follow their original isolation, and which typically become more intense over time, have created situations where the welfare of the animal has been ...


Sentience Is The Foundation Of Animal Rights, Michael L. Woodruff Jan 2019

Sentience Is The Foundation Of Animal Rights, Michael L. Woodruff

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman argue that the cognitive differences between humans and nonhuman animals do not make humans superior to animals. I suggest that humans have domain-general cognitive abilities that make them superior in causing uniquely complex changes in the world not caused by any other species. The ability to conceive of and articulate a claim of rights is an example. However, possession of superior cognitive ability does not entitle humans to superior moral status. It is sentience, not cognitive complexity, that is the basis for the assignment of rights and the protections under the law that accompany them.


More Evidence Of Complex Cognition In Nonhuman Species, Lesley J. Rogers Jan 2019

More Evidence Of Complex Cognition In Nonhuman Species, Lesley J. Rogers

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman have highlighted observations of animals performing, in nature, complex behaviour once thought to be unique to humans. Just as relevant to their argument are examples of cognition shown by domesticated species tested in controlled conditions. These strengthen the case for human/nonhuman similarities in behaviour and cognition. Recent research has brought to our attention the ability of nonhuman species to perform many tasks previously considered to be the hallmark of humans. Even though different species may use different ways of solving these tasks, the very fact that they can do it undermines the notion of human superiority.


Unique In Degree Not Kindness, Jennifer Vonk Jan 2019

Unique In Degree Not Kindness, Jennifer Vonk

Animal Sentience

Humans are certainly unique among living species. This is evident in the transformation of human environments and its resulting impact on other animals. However, many of the traits unique to humans are costly as well as adaptive and should certainly not be used to elevate their status above that of other species.


Developmental Aspects Of Capacities, Karen Bartsch Jan 2019

Developmental Aspects Of Capacities, Karen Bartsch

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman suggest that judgments of human superiority underlie our cruelty to animals. It might be useful to examine how such judgments operate within the human community. Children arguably have a potential for developing “superior” capacities but are outperformed on many tasks by animals. There is a continuum of development in children’s capacities. Perhaps there are interspecies evolutionary continua too. This highlights the complexity of reasoning about humans, animals, and moral inclusion.


Animal Sentience Is Not Enough To Motivate Conservation, Irene M. Pepperberg Jan 2019

Animal Sentience Is Not Enough To Motivate Conservation, Irene M. Pepperberg

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman suggest that humans’ views of their own superiority are a source of their callousness toward the environment. I do not disagree but point to a number of other issues that must be addressed for conservation efforts to succeed.


Non-Human Animals Providing Rescue In Medical Emergencies, Rainer Spiegel Jan 2019

Non-Human Animals Providing Rescue In Medical Emergencies, Rainer Spiegel

Animal Sentience

In their target article, Chapman & Huffman challenge the quotation of Sir William Osler that the desire to take medication distinguishes humans from non-human animals. They provide examples of self-medication in non-human animals. Based on these examples, it can be inferred that non-human animals practice at least some form of medicine for symptom control. I would like to extend this view by showing that non-human animals not only provide self-medication, but also rescue others facing emergencies.


Mirror Neurons And Humanity’S Dark Side, Gisela Kaplan Jan 2019

Mirror Neurons And Humanity’S Dark Side, Gisela Kaplan

Animal Sentience

The last two decades have revealed brain mechanisms in birds and primates showing that, contrary to earlier prejudices, some birds can do things (cognitive and affective) on par with or even better than great apes and humans. The old dichotomies are breaking down; but the dark side is that these insights come at a time in the Anthropocene when humans have caused and continue to cause mass extinctions.


Of Course, Humans Are Not Unique!, Bernard Wallner Jan 2019

Of Course, Humans Are Not Unique!, Bernard Wallner

Animal Sentience

This commentary focuses on the question of the uniqueness of humans in comparison to other species and on the false assumption that single arguments support logical conclusions. Comparative analysis of genetic data in humans and nonhuman primates regarding the dopaminergic system of the subcortical mesolimbic reward system highlights homologous traits shared and modified by the process of evolution. Such an analytical approach is more relevant than claims of uniqueness.


Humans May Be Unique And Superior — And That Is Irrelevant, Eze Paez Jan 2019

Humans May Be Unique And Superior — And That Is Irrelevant, Eze Paez

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman argue that, because humans are neither unique nor superior to the other animals, cruelty to animals is not justified. Though I agree with their conclusion, I do not think their argument works. Many human beings do have some capacities that animals do not have and are greater in some respects, in the sense of having superior abilities. It is a better argument to deny that any of that is morally relevant. Sentience suffices for moral consideration, and for deriving a moral duty not to harm other animals and to assist them when they are in need.


Humans Have Always Been Unique!, William C. Mcgrew Jan 2019

Humans Have Always Been Unique!, William C. Mcgrew

Animal Sentience

Arguments about human uniqueness apply not only to extant species but also to extinct ones, that is, the hominin predecessors of anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Thus, unique and superior are doubly relative terms, in past and present. The scope for empirical comparison faces a spectrum of difficulty, from material (e.g., artefacts) to non-material (e.g., concepts) phenomena.


Phooey On Comparisons, Gwen J. Broude Jan 2019

Phooey On Comparisons, Gwen J. Broude

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman reject the notion that human beings are very different from other animals. The goal is to undermine the claim that human uniqueness and even superiority are reason enough to treat other animals badly. But evaluating human uniqueness for this purpose only plays into the hands of those who exploit invidious comparisons between us and other animals to justify mistreatment of the rest of the animal kingdom. What human uniqueness we may discover would still be no justification for how we behave toward other animals. We should also ask ourselves whether any human-centric criterion can be justification for determining ...


Anthropomorphism Is The First Step, Marthe Kiley-Worthington Jan 2019

Anthropomorphism Is The First Step, Marthe Kiley-Worthington

Animal Sentience

Individuals have intentions, beliefs and choices. This sense of “personhood” has been known and used for centuries by those who have dealt professionally with any nonhuman mammal. All mammals have a lot in common physically and mentally. The first step toward understand another species’ point of view is anthropomorphism.


Intelligence As Mental Manipulation In Humans And Nonhuman Animals, Moran Bar-Hen-Schweiger, Avishai Henik Jan 2019

Intelligence As Mental Manipulation In Humans And Nonhuman Animals, Moran Bar-Hen-Schweiger, Avishai Henik

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman review and evaluate various aspects of the notion of human superiority. In this commentary we focus on intelligence and suggest a biologically based view of intelligence applicable to humans and non-human species alike. “Mental manipulation” (e.g., mental transformations, rotations, perspective-taking), an extension of object manipulation, provides a continuous, biologically based concept for studying intelligent behavior in humans and other species and challenges the notion of human superiority.


Sharing Emotions Builds Bridges Between Individuals And Between Species, Elisabetta Palagi Jan 2019

Sharing Emotions Builds Bridges Between Individuals And Between Species, Elisabetta Palagi

Animal Sentience

Many animal species express, perceive and share emotions. These abilities have been favoured by natural selection because they allow subjects to respond to various situations in an appropriate way, thus facilitating survival and increasing fitness. The same-face/same-emotion phenomenon is at the basis of sharing feelings and emotions. Recent studies show that this capacity is not unique to humans and that it plays an important role in creating cohesive societies in many different species.


Taking Exception To Human Exceptionalism, Carrie P. Freeman Jan 2019

Taking Exception To Human Exceptionalism, Carrie P. Freeman

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman refute common claims used to justify human species distinctions, and they critique the animal cruelty that has resulted from this privileged status. I raise related questions for further study of the roots of human exceptionalism and about whether aspiring to be more like our fellow animals might be part of the solution.


Phenotypic Similarity And Moral Consideration, S. Brian Hood, Sophia Giddens Jan 2019

Phenotypic Similarity And Moral Consideration, S. Brian Hood, Sophia Giddens

Animal Sentience

Identifying specific traits to justify according differential moral status to humans and non-human animals may be more challenging than Chapman & Huffman suggest. The reasons for this also go against their recommendation that we ought to attend to how humans and non-humans are similar. The problem lies in identifying the moral relevance of biological characteristics. There are, however, other reasons for treating non-human animals as worthy of moral consideration, such as the Precautionary Principle.


Human Superiority Is Obvious But Does Not Justify Cruelty, Yew-Kwang Ng Jan 2019

Human Superiority Is Obvious But Does Not Justify Cruelty, Yew-Kwang Ng

Animal Sentience

Humans are obviously superior, in general, to other animals. This is also supported by evolution and Jerison’s encephalization quotient. However, superiority does not justify cruelty towards other animals. Rather, it suggests higher responsibility. Just as adults are more capable than 2-year-olds, they also have a much higher responsibility in helping others in need, including other animals.


Humans: Uniquely Responsible For Causing Conservation Problems, Uniquely Capable Of Solving Them, Michael L. Wilson, Clarence L. Lehman Jan 2019

Humans: Uniquely Responsible For Causing Conservation Problems, Uniquely Capable Of Solving Them, Michael L. Wilson, Clarence L. Lehman

Animal Sentience

We share Chapman & Huffman’s views on the importance of promoting animal welfare and conservation. We disagree with their implication, however, that reverence for life and concern for the wellbeing of global ecosystems depend on a belief that other living things are similar to humans in any of their capacities. Humans exhibit special traits — language, cumulative culture, extraordinary capacity for cooperation when we are at our best, and ever-advancing technological developments — that enabled them to dominate the planet, resulting in the current conservation crisis. It is precisely the fact that humans have become unique that provides hope for finding conservation ...


Looking On The Bright Side Of Livestock Emotions—The Potential Of Their Transmission To Promote Positive Welfare, Luigi Baciadonna, Sandra Duepjan, Elodie Briefer, Monica Padilla De La Torre, Christian Nawroth Sep 2018

Looking On The Bright Side Of Livestock Emotions—The Potential Of Their Transmission To Promote Positive Welfare, Luigi Baciadonna, Sandra Duepjan, Elodie Briefer, Monica Padilla De La Torre, Christian Nawroth

Emotion

Emotions can be defined as an individual’s affective reaction to an external and/or internal event that, in turn, generates a simultaneous cascade of behavioral, physiological, and cognitive changes. Those changes that can be perceived by conspecifics have the potential to also affect other’s emotional states, a process labeled as “emotional contagion.” Especially in the case of gregarious species, such as livestock, emotional contagion can have an impact on the whole group by, for instance, improving group coordination and strengthening social bonds. We noticed that the current trend of research on emotions in livestock, i.e., investigating affective ...


Human-Directed Behaviour In Goats Is Not Affected By Short-Term Positive Handling, Jan Langbein, Annika Krause, Christian Nawroth Sep 2018

Human-Directed Behaviour In Goats Is Not Affected By Short-Term Positive Handling, Jan Langbein, Annika Krause, Christian Nawroth

Social Cognition

In addition to domestication, interactions with humans or task-specific training during ontogeny have been proposed to play a key role in explaining differences in human–animal communication across species. In livestock, even short-term positive interactions with caretakers or other reference persons can influence human–animal interaction at different levels and over different periods of time. In this study, we investigated human-directed behaviour in the ‘unsolvable task’ paradigm in two groups of domestic goats (Capra aegagrus hircus). One group was positively handled and habituated to a plastic box by the experimenter to retrieve a food reward, while the other group only ...


Goats Prefer Positive Human Emotional Facial Expressions, Christian Nawroth, Natalia Albuquerque, Carine Savalli, Marie-Sophie Single, Alan G. Mcelligott Jul 2018

Goats Prefer Positive Human Emotional Facial Expressions, Christian Nawroth, Natalia Albuquerque, Carine Savalli, Marie-Sophie Single, Alan G. Mcelligott

Social Cognition

Domestication has shaped the physiology and the behaviour of animals to better adapt to human environments. Therefore, human facial expressions may be highly informative for animals domesticated for working closely with people, such as dogs and horses. However, it is not known whether other animals, and particularly those domesticated primarily for production, such as goats, are capable of perceiving human emotional cues. In this study, we investigated whether goats can distinguish human facial expressions when simultaneously shown two images of an unfamiliar human with different emotional valences (positive/ happy or negative/angry). Both images were vertically attached to a wall ...


Human Demonstration Does Not Facilitate The Performance Of Horses (Equus Caballus) In A Spatial Problem-Solving Task, Joan-Bryce Burla, Janina Siegwart, Christian Nawroth Jun 2018

Human Demonstration Does Not Facilitate The Performance Of Horses (Equus Caballus) In A Spatial Problem-Solving Task, Joan-Bryce Burla, Janina Siegwart, Christian Nawroth

Spatial Cognition

Horses’ ability to adapt to new environments and to acquire new information plays an important role in handling and training. Social learning in particular would be very adaptive for horses as it enables them to flexibly adjust to new environments. In the context of horse handling, social learning from humans has been rarely investigated but could help to facilitate management practices. We assessed the impact of human demonstration on the spatial problem-solving abilities of horses during a detour task. In this task, a bucket with a food reward was placed behind a double-detour barrier and 16 horses were allocated to ...


The Private And Free Roaming Street Dog Population In Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, Tamara Kartal, Amit Chaudhari Jun 2018

The Private And Free Roaming Street Dog Population In Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, Tamara Kartal, Amit Chaudhari

Stray and Feral Animal Populations

Humane Society International - India (HSI- India) together with Humane Animal Society (HAS) and a team of volunteers conducted two dog population surveys in 100 wards of Coimbatore, India (The 2011 census provides a human population of 10507211; An estimate from 2017 estimates a human population of 18900002). The first was a street dog survey and the other was a household survey of the private (pet) dog population and their owners.


Ethical Foundations For The Lethal Management Of Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalocrocorax Auritus) In The Eastern United States: An Argument Analysis, Chelsea Batavia, Michael Paul Nelson Jun 2018

Ethical Foundations For The Lethal Management Of Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalocrocorax Auritus) In The Eastern United States: An Argument Analysis, Chelsea Batavia, Michael Paul Nelson

Ethics and Conservation Biology

Lethal management of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalocrocorax auritus) has been implemented in many areas of the United States. In this paper, the philosophical method of argument analysis is used to assess ethical premises underlying the proposition that Double-crested Cormorant populations should be culled to reduce pressures on wild fisheries in the Great Lakes region of the eastern USA. This influential argument has been used to justify the destruction of more than half a million Double-crested Cormorants and hundreds of thousands of their nests and eggs. Three versions of the argument are formulated and assessed. It is shown that each of the ...


Political Populations Of Large Carnivores, Chris T. Darimont, Paul C. Paquet, Adrian Treves, Kyle A. Artelle Jun 2018

Political Populations Of Large Carnivores, Chris T. Darimont, Paul C. Paquet, Adrian Treves, Kyle A. Artelle

Wildlife Population Management

No abstract provided.


Animal Suicide: Evolutionary Continuity Or Anthropomorphism?, Antonio Preti Jan 2018

Animal Suicide: Evolutionary Continuity Or Anthropomorphism?, Antonio Preti

Animal Sentience

Evolutionary processes are characterized by both continuity and discontinuity. Evidence on suicide in nonhuman animals is faint and often rests on the metaphorical or anthropomorphic use of the term. Suicidal behavior might be an evolutionary jump relatively recent in our species: a byproduct of living in groups of people who are not as closely related genetically as in social groups of nonhuman mammals.


Lessons From Chimpanzee Sign Language Studies, Mary Lee Jensvold Jan 2018

Lessons From Chimpanzee Sign Language Studies, Mary Lee Jensvold

Animal Sentience

Claims are often made about behaviors being unique to humans; the evidence usually shows they are not. Sign language studies on chimpanzees may provide a useful model for comparative studies of suicide. A productive approach to comparative studies is to focus on observable behaviors rather than getting lost in the pitfalls of vague definitions and changing measures.


Animal Suicide: An Account Worth Giving?, Irina Mikhalevich Jan 2018

Animal Suicide: An Account Worth Giving?, Irina Mikhalevich

Animal Sentience

Peña-Guzmán (2017) argues that empirical evidence and evolutionary theory compel us to treat the phenomenon of suicide as continuous in the animal kingdom. He defends a “continuist” account in which suicide is a multiply-realizable phenomenon characterized by self-injurious and self-annihilative behaviors. This view is problematic for several reasons. First, it appears to mischaracterize the Darwinian view that mind is continuous in nature. Second, by focusing only on surface-level features of behavior, it groups causally and etiologically disparate phenomena under a single conceptual umbrella, thereby reducing the account’s explanatory power. Third, it obscures existing analyses of suicide in biomedical ethics ...


Post-Darwin Skepticism And Run-Of-The-Mill Suicide, John Hadley Jan 2018

Post-Darwin Skepticism And Run-Of-The-Mill Suicide, John Hadley

Animal Sentience

Peña-Guzmán’s depiction of the opponent of animal suicide as a conservative is a straw man. It is possible to accept that animals are self-conscious and reflexive yet still reject the view that they have the mental wherewithal to commit run-of-the-mill suicide. That animal behaviour can be positioned on a continuum of self-destructive behaviour does not establish that animals can intentionally kill themselves.