John Wiley & Sons Animal Welfare Cover Animal Welfare An Accessible Overview of the Concept of Sentience Throughout the Animal Kingdom and.. Product #: 978-1-119-85706-8 Regular price: $114.02 $114.02 In Stock

Animal Welfare

Understanding Sentient Minds and Why It Matters

Webster, John

UFAW Animal Welfare


1. Edition May 2022
176 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-85706-8
John Wiley & Sons

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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.

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
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

J. Webster, University of Bristol