UGent

Lezing door Prof. Marc Bekoff

November 2009

19/11/2009: Lezing door Prof. Marc Bekoff

ANIMAL PASSIONS AND WILD JUSTICE: THE EMOTIONAL AND MORAL LIVES OF ANIMALS AND WHY THEY MATTER
 
19 u 30, Lezing door Prof. em. Marc Bekoff, (University of Colorado, Boulder), gedragsbioloog, auteur van onder meer Wild Justice. The moral lives of animals
Universiteit Gent, Blandijnberg 2, Gent, auditorium A (gelijkvloers), iedereen welkom, toegang gratis.
Much research clearly shows that animals are emotional and empathic beings and that they display moral intelligence. What we observe when animals interact with one another tells us a lot about what's happening inside their heads and hearts. Animals' lives are very public, not hidden, private, or secret, and the privacy of mind argument that we can never know what animals are thinking or feeling is over-used and goes against solid arguments based on evolutionary continuity. In my talk I'll present numerous examples about the emotional lives of animals and to make my case about animal morality, what I call ‘wild justice’, I'll focus on social play behavior and the many ways in which animals play cooperatively and fairly. I'll consider some general principles that will be discussed in more detail in my other lecture. We owe it to all individual animals to make every attempt to come to a greater understanding and appreciation of who they are - emotional, empathic, and often moral beings. When we're not sure about what they're feeling, we should leave them alone. Quite often ‘good welfare’ isn't ‘good enough’. We can always do better. By minding animals we can expand our compassion footprint and make the world a better place for all beings.

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