Special Issue "Sustainable Human-Animal Relationships"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Pim Martens
Website
Guest Editor
Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Interests: Sustainable human-animal-nature relationships; sustainability science; integrated assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

If we look at the many sustainability indicators that have been developed over the years, it is striking to see that animal-wellbeing hardly plays a role. The reason that ‘animals’ and ‘sustainability’ are not often mentioned together in one sentence is likely to be found in the fact that the sustainability debate has been hijacked in recent years by industry and governments. Their view regarding sustainable development significantly has been subordinate to the dogma of economic growth with little regard for animal welfare. How shortsighted this is, has been illustrated by the various outbreaks of animal diseases in intensive farming, and the development of antibiotic resistance of many pathogens because our cattle are given too many antibiotics. These are just some examples, but it is increasingly clear that our own well-being is closely connected with the welfare of the animals with whom we live. Animal welfare should therefore be central in the sustainability debate: sustanimalism. With this in mind, this SI will present studies of sustainable human-animal relationships, coupled with promoting action to improve the well-being of animals.

Prof. Pim Martens
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • (un)sustainable human-animal relationships
  • anthrozoology

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Interspecies Sustainability to Ensure Animal Protection: Lessons from the Thoroughbred Racing Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5539; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195539 - 08 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
There is a disconnect between dominant conceptions of sustainability and the protection of animals arising from the anthropocentric orientation of most conceptualisations of sustainability, including sustainable development. Critiques of this disconnect are primarily based in the context of industrial animal agriculture and a [...] Read more.
There is a disconnect between dominant conceptions of sustainability and the protection of animals arising from the anthropocentric orientation of most conceptualisations of sustainability, including sustainable development. Critiques of this disconnect are primarily based in the context of industrial animal agriculture and a general model of a species-inclusive conception of sustainability has yet to emerge. The original contribution of this article is two-fold: First, it develops a theoretical framework for interspecies sustainability. Second, it applies this to a case study of the thoroughbred racing industry. Interviews were conducted with thoroughbred industry and animal advocacy informants in the US, Australia and Great Britain. While industry informants claim thoroughbred welfare is seminal for industry sustainability, they adopt a market-oriented anthropocentric conception of sustainability and do not consider animal welfare a sustainability domain in its own right. Animal advocacy informants demonstrate a deeper understanding of welfare but some express discomfort about linking sustainability, welfare and racing. Eight analytical layers have been identified in the discourse in the interface of sustainability and animal protection, of which two have transformational potential to advance interspecies sustainability. Interspecies sustainability urgently needs to be advanced to ensure animal protection in the sustainability transition, and to not leave the defining of animal welfare and sustainability to animal industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human-Animal Relationships)
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Open AccessArticle
Meat Consumption and Vegaphobia: An Exploration of the Characteristics of Meat Eaters, Vegaphobes, and Their Social Environment
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3936; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143936 - 19 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This article highlights the importance of the dietary pattern of significant others in one’s social network to explain both individual meat consumption and vegaphobia, the negative and stigmatizing attitude toward vegetarianism and non-meat-eaters. Using survey data (N = 996), this study first contrasted [...] Read more.
This article highlights the importance of the dietary pattern of significant others in one’s social network to explain both individual meat consumption and vegaphobia, the negative and stigmatizing attitude toward vegetarianism and non-meat-eaters. Using survey data (N = 996), this study first contrasted convinced meat-eaters with non-meat eaters, or people who actively reduce or limit their meat consumption, in terms of different socio-demographic characteristics. Results showed that convinced meat eaters are more often male. A negligible effect on meat consumption was found for education, and age differences were not significant. Next, attention was paid to the social context of meat consumption. Specifically, results of a logistic regression analysis showed that a person’s meat consumption is considerably lower when one of their household members is vegetarian. This was also the case, but to a lesser extent, if people’s social circle included a vegetarian friend or family member. Similar results were found when looking at the linear correlates of vegaphobia using ordinary least squares regression (OLS). Vegaphobes were more often male and lower-educated. In addition, vegaphobia was more common among older persons and convinced meat eaters. Moreover, vegaphobia was less common among people who had a vegetarian in their household or groups of friends. The article ends with a discussion on the importance of studying the social environment in meat consumption and attitudes toward vegetarianism. Policy implications and directions for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human-Animal Relationships)
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