From an Animal's Point of View
Dawkins (Marian Stamp)
Source: Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 13 (1990), pp. 1-61
Paper - Abstract

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  1. To study animal welfare empirically we need an objective basis for deciding when an animal is suffering. Suffering includes a wide range of unpleasant emotional states such as fear, boredom, pain, and hunger. Suffering has evolved as a mechanism for avoiding sources of danger and threats to fitness.
  2. Captive animals often suffer in situations in which they are prevented from doing something that they are highly motivated to do. The "price" an animal is prepared to pay to attain or to escape a situation is an index of how the animal "feels" about that situation.
  3. Withholding conditions or commodities for which an animal shows "inelastic demand" (i.e., for which it continues to work despite increasing costs) is very likely to cause suffering.
  4. In designing environments for animals in zoos, farms, and laboratories, priority should be given to features for which animals show inelastic demand. The care of animals can thereby be based on an objective, animal-centered assessment of their needs.

  1. Introduction
  2. “Suffering” and Natural Selection
  3. Perceived Costs and Motivation
  4. Motivation and Subjective Experience
  5. Indicators of High Motivation
  6. The Economics of Choice
  7. Demand Curves and Suffering
  8. Aversion
  9. Problems with the Aversion Learning Approach
  10. Conclusions

Author’s Response (Marian Stamp Dawkins – Other Minds and Other Species)
  1. Relative Weights Given to Measures of Welfare other than Demand Curves
  2. Attributing the Capacity to Suffer to Non-Human Species
  3. The Value of Demand Curves as Indicators of Suffering
  4. Measuring Demand Curves in Practice
  5. The Value of Food as a Cross-Species Yardstick
  6. Demand Curve Analysis as a Possible Cause of Suffering

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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2021
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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