Encountering Animals

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Human-Animal Interactions, Animal Behaviour and Emotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2021) | Viewed by 63966

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder, CO 80309, USA
Interests: animal welfare
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I invite researchers from all disciplines to submit contributions for this Special Issue entitled “Encountering Animals.”. The scope of “encountering” encompasses situations, relationships, communications, observations, examinations, and all of the ways that the paths of humans and animals cross. “Animals” include animal companions, animals used as food, wildlife, animals kept in zoos or laboratories, and animals in literature and film. Moreover, the category of “animals” goes beyond mammals to include insects and invertebrates.

Papers might examine such topics as:

  • human-horse interactions (including but not limited to riding);
  • veterinarian–patient-client relationships;
  • relationships with pets of all kinds;
  • human-animal communication;
  • experiences at zoos or sanctuaries;
  • bird-watching experiences, from the common sparrow to the elusive raptor;
  • whale watching, either through intentional tourism or happenstance;
  • urban wildlife encounters, whether involving conflict or coexistence;
  • meeting animals while scuba diving;
  • influential animal characters in movies, television, and books;
  • representations of animals in the media;
  • animal rescue and rehabilitation efforts;
  • raising animals for food;
  • consuming animals;
  • beekeeping experiences and practices.

All methodological and theoretical approaches are welcome, including multi-species ethnography. In short, any perspective that provides insight into our shared existence with animals will be considered.

Prof. Leslie Irvine
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • animals
  • communication
  • encounters
  • interactions
  • relationships
  • representation

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 272 KiB  
Article
Artistic Freedom or Animal Cruelty? Contemporary Visual Art Practice That Involves Live and Deceased Animals
by Ellie Coleman, Rebecca Scollen, Beata Batorowicz and David Akenson
Animals 2021, 11(3), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030812 - 14 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 7468
Abstract
This paper examines a selection of 21st-century international examples of exhibited visual artworks involving live or deceased animals. It seeks to reveal the risks and benefits of unique encounters with animals through art and to consider the ethical implications of artwork deploying animals. [...] Read more.
This paper examines a selection of 21st-century international examples of exhibited visual artworks involving live or deceased animals. It seeks to reveal the risks and benefits of unique encounters with animals through art and to consider the ethical implications of artwork deploying animals. Australian and international animal protection laws are not explicit when it comes to the sourcing of animals for art nor for the direct inclusion of animals in artworks. This lack leads to a variety of artistic practices, some considered ethical while others are viewed as controversial, bordering on animal cruelty. Artwork selection is determined by a focus on high-profile artists who intentionally use animals in their practice and whose reputation has been fostered by this intention. The study provides insight into how the intentional use of ethically sourced animals within art practice can be a method of addressing hierarchal human–animal imbalances. Further, this study identifies unethical practices that may be best avoided regardless of the pro-animal political statements the artists put forward. Recommendations of how to better determine what is an acceptable use of animals in art with a view to informing legal guidelines and artistic best practice are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Encountering Animals)
19 pages, 6919 KiB  
Article
Koi (Cyprinus rubrofuscus) Seek Out Tactile Interaction with Humans: General Patterns and Individual Differences
by Isabel Fife-Cook and Becca Franks
Animals 2021, 11(3), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030706 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5158
Abstract
The study of human–animal interactions has provided insights into the welfare of many species. To date, however, research has largely focused on human relationships with captive mammals, with relatively little exploration of interactions between humans and other vertebrates, despite non-mammals constituting the vast [...] Read more.
The study of human–animal interactions has provided insights into the welfare of many species. To date, however, research has largely focused on human relationships with captive mammals, with relatively little exploration of interactions between humans and other vertebrates, despite non-mammals constituting the vast majority of animals currently living under human management. With this study, we aimed to address this gap in knowledge by investigating human–fish interactions at a community garden/aquaponics learning-center that is home to approximately 150 goldfish (Carassius auratus) and seven adult and two juvenile koi (Cyprinus rubrofuscus). After a habituation period (July–September 2019) during which time the fish were regularly provided with the opportunity to engage with the researcher’s submerged hand, but were not forced to interact with the researcher, we collected video data on 10 non-consecutive study days during the month of October. This procedure produced 18~20-min interaction sessions, 10 during T1 (when the experimenter first arrived and the fish had not been fed) and eight during T2 (20–30 min after the fish had been fed to satiation; two sessions of which were lost due equipment malfunction). Interactions between the researcher and the seven adult koi were coded from video based on location (within reach, on the periphery, or out of reach from the researcher) and instances of physical, tactile interaction. Analyses revealed that overall, koi spent more time than expected within reach of the researcher during both T1 (p < 0.02) and T2 (p < 0.03). There were also substantial differences between individuals’ overall propensity for being within-reach and engaging in physical interaction. These results show that koi will voluntarily interact with humans and that individual koi display unique and consistent patterns of interaction. By providing quantitative data to support anecdotal claims that such relationships exist around the world, this research contributes to the ongoing discoveries highlighting the profound dissonance between how humans think about and treat fish and who fish actually are, thereby emphasizing the necessity of stronger moral and legal protections for fishes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Encountering Animals)
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25 pages, 3136 KiB  
Article
Of Great Apes and Magpies: Initiations into Animal Behaviour
by Gisela Kaplan
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2369; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122369 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3268
Abstract
This paper presents three case studies of exceptional human encounters with animals. These particular examples were selected because they enabled analysis of the underlying reasons that led the human participants to respond in new ways to their animal counterparts. The question asked here [...] Read more.
This paper presents three case studies of exceptional human encounters with animals. These particular examples were selected because they enabled analysis of the underlying reasons that led the human participants to respond in new ways to their animal counterparts. The question asked here is whether sudden insights into the needs and abilities of an animal arises purely from an anthropocentric position as empathy because of genetic closeness (e.g., chimpanzees) or is something else and whether new insights can be applied to other phylogenetic orders not close to us, e.g., birds, and change research questions and implicit prejudices and stereotypes. Particularly in avian species, phylogenetically distant from humans, the prejudices (anthroprocentric position) and the belief in human uniqueness (human exceptionalism) might be greater than in the reactions to primates. Interestingly, in studies of great apes, contradictory opinions and controversies about cognitive abilities, especially when compared with humans, tend to be pronounced. Species appropriateness in test designs are desirable present and future goals but here it is suggested how different experiences can also lead to different questions that explode the myth of human uniqueness and then arrive at entirely different and new results in cognitive and affective abilities of the species under investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Encountering Animals)
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14 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
“None of Them Could Say They Ever Had Seen Them, but Only Had It from Others”: Encounters with Animals in Eighteenth-Century Natural Histories of Greenland
by Helen Parish
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2024; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112024 - 03 Nov 2020
Viewed by 1850
Abstract
The pages of early modern natural histories expose the plasticity of the natural world, and the variegated nature of the encounter between human and animal in this period. Descriptions of the flora and fauna reflect this kind of negotiated encounter between the world [...] Read more.
The pages of early modern natural histories expose the plasticity of the natural world, and the variegated nature of the encounter between human and animal in this period. Descriptions of the flora and fauna reflect this kind of negotiated encounter between the world that is seen, that which is heard about, and that which is constructed from the language of the sacred text of scripture. The natural histories of Greenland that form the basis of this analysis exemplify the complexity of human–animal encounters in this period, and the intersections that existed between natural and unnatural, written authority and personal testimony, and culture, belief, and ethnography in natural histories. They invite a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which animals and people interact in the making of culture, and demonstrate the contribution made by such texts to the study of animal encounters, cultures, and concepts. This article explores the intersection between natural history and the work of Christian mission in the eighteenth century, and the connections between personal encounter, ethnography, history, and oral and written tradition. The analysis demonstrates that European natural histories continued to be anthropocentric in content and tone, the product of what was believed, as much as what was seen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Encountering Animals)
18 pages, 335 KiB  
Article
A Multilevel Intervention Framework for Supporting People Experiencing Homelessness with Pets
by Nick Kerman, Michelle Lem, Mike Witte, Christine Kim and Harmony Rhoades
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1869; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101869 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 6523
Abstract
Approximately one in 10 people experiencing homelessness have pets. Despite the psychosocial benefits derived from pet ownership, systemic and structural barriers can prevent this group from meeting their basic needs and exiting homelessness. A multilevel framework is proposed for improving the health and [...] Read more.
Approximately one in 10 people experiencing homelessness have pets. Despite the psychosocial benefits derived from pet ownership, systemic and structural barriers can prevent this group from meeting their basic needs and exiting homelessness. A multilevel framework is proposed for improving the health and well-being of pet owners experiencing homelessness. Informed by a One Health approach, the framework identifies interventions at the policy, public, and direct service delivery levels. Policy interventions are proposed to increase the supply of pet-friendly emergency shelters, access to market rental housing and veterinary medicine, and the use of a Housing First approach. At the public level, educational interventions are needed to improve knowledge and reduce stigma about the relationship between homelessness and pet ownership. Direct service providers can support pet owners experiencing homelessness by recognizing their strengths, connecting them to community services, being aware of the risks associated with pet loss, providing harm reduction strategies, documenting animals as emotional support animals, and engaging in advocacy. By targeting policies and service approaches that exacerbate the hardships faced by pet owners experiencing homelessness, the framework is a set of deliberate actions to better support a group that is often overlooked or unaccommodated in efforts to end homelessness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Encountering Animals)
17 pages, 295 KiB  
Article
Instagranimal: Animal Welfare and Animal Ethics Challenges of Animal-Based Tourism
by Erica von Essen, Johan Lindsjö and Charlotte Berg
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101830 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 11177
Abstract
By animal-based tourism, a host of activities offering passive viewing or active interaction with wild, semi-wild or captive animals is included. The multibillion dollar industry is on the rise globally today, offering modes of engagement with animals that trade on increasingly embodied close [...] Read more.
By animal-based tourism, a host of activities offering passive viewing or active interaction with wild, semi-wild or captive animals is included. The multibillion dollar industry is on the rise globally today, offering modes of engagement with animals that trade on increasingly embodied close encounters with non-human animals. As new modes of animal-based tourism proliferate, such as sloth selfies, visiting cat cafes, swimming with sharks and agri-tourism petting zoos, animal welfare standards risk deteriorating. In the following paper, we collate concerns over animal welfare into a discussion on the challenges facing animal-based tourism. Our synthesis is the first to consider the full spectrum of such animal-based tourism: across agri-, hunting, zoo and safari tourism, to name a few, and crossing consumptive and non-consumptive boundaries. A literature review is first provided. Findings are then presented thematically following workshops at an international interdisciplinary symposium of leading tourism, animal welfare, ethics and leisure sciences scholars together with practitioners of the industry. It discusses macrolevel drivers to animal-based tourism as an industry, the problem of cultural relativism and the role of technology in enhancing or promoting the experience. We indicate ways forward toward implementing a compassionate animal-based tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Encountering Animals)
17 pages, 321 KiB  
Article
Strategies for the Improvement of Pet Health and Welfare in Portugal Based on a Pilot Survey on Husbandry, Opinion, and Information Needs
by Joana Correia Prata
Animals 2020, 10(5), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050848 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3741
Abstract
Pets are present in half of the homes across Portugal. However, little is known about the husbandry, opinion, and information needs of Portuguese pet owners. Thus, the objective of this work was to clarify this information providing the basis for suggesting potential improvements. [...] Read more.
Pets are present in half of the homes across Portugal. However, little is known about the husbandry, opinion, and information needs of Portuguese pet owners. Thus, the objective of this work was to clarify this information providing the basis for suggesting potential improvements. Responses were collected through an online survey, including inhabitants from different regions of Portugal (n = 111). Cats and dogs are the most popular pets and the majority are adopted, fed commercial diets, live indoors, are vaccinated, dewormed, and treated for external parasites, and occasionally visit the veterinary practice. Portuguese owners are interested in improving their pet’s health, and would like to learn more about welfare, health assessment, and diet from veterinarians. However, microchip and municipal registration are often overlooked. Lack of adoption from animal shelters as well as expectations over the cost of veterinary practice were other difficulties identified in this study. Strategies for the improvement of pet health and welfare in Portugal were proposed as improving the perception of the value and importance of veterinary care, reducing the number of lost and abandoned pets, and improving awareness and education. Thus, Portuguese stakeholders and authorities must take the required measures to improve these issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Encountering Animals)
8 pages, 228 KiB  
Article
Preventing Dog Bites: It Is Not Only about the Dog
by Laura A. Reese and Joshua J. Vertalka
Animals 2020, 10(4), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040666 - 11 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 6614
Abstract
Background: Dog bites can have an array of negative health impacts on victims. Research focusing on the correlates of bites focused on limited sets of variables and produced conflicting findings. Objective: To expand knowledge about the correlates of dog bites by exploring a [...] Read more.
Background: Dog bites can have an array of negative health impacts on victims. Research focusing on the correlates of bites focused on limited sets of variables and produced conflicting findings. Objective: To expand knowledge about the correlates of dog bites by exploring a comprehensive set of variables related to the nature of the dog and the circumstances surrounding the bite not commonly explored in extant research. Methods: Data were drawn from police department reports of dog bites in the city of Detroit between 2007–2015; 478 dog bites were reported. Multiple regression was used to determine the significant correlates of dog bites, focusing on the nature of the dog and the circumstances surrounding the bite. Results: Bites were caused by a neighborhood dog. Thirty-two percent of the reports involved dogs running loose; 25% dogs that had escaped from a fenced or unfenced yard; 9% escaped from their home; and 8% had broken off a chain, were being walked, or were in their own home. Based on multiple regression, the victim was most likely bitten in their own yard by a single neighborhood dog that escaped from its home or yard. Breed of dog was not correlated with bites in multiple regression. Conclusions: The greatest risk of bites does not come from wandering feral dogs. Based on multiple regression, the victim was most likely bitten in their own yard by a single neighborhood dog that escaped from its home or yard. Human error often contributes to bites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Encountering Animals)

Review

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12 pages, 270 KiB  
Review
Social Scientific Analysis of Human-Animal Sexual Interactions
by José María Valcuende del Río and Rafael Cáceres-Feria
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101780 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 17150
Abstract
An ontological shift has led to a revitalisation of the research area that, within the social sciences, deals with the interactions between humans and animals. However, there are topics which are still taboo: interspecies sexuality. Sexual practices between humans and animals have been [...] Read more.
An ontological shift has led to a revitalisation of the research area that, within the social sciences, deals with the interactions between humans and animals. However, there are topics which are still taboo: interspecies sexuality. Sexual practices between humans and animals have been fundamentally analysed from a medical perspective, failing to consider the influence of cultural context. Departing from a thorough bibliographical revision, here we revise the approaches that, both from sociology and anthropology, have been used to analyse this phenomenon from different perspectives, including bestiality, zoophilia, and zoosexuality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Encountering Animals)
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