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5 Animal Studies Courses at US Colleges (slideshow)

5 Animal Studies Courses at US Colleges (slideshow)
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A new semester starts soon at many college campuses and more schools are offering courses in the still-being-defined field of animal studies. Such courses explore the interactions between animals and humans, in recognition that we are not the only species that uses tools, has language and displays, as a recent New York Times articles notes, the “roots of morality.”

That is, animals are no longer being studied strictly within the “province of science,” but from the perspective that “we are a species among other species,” according to Kari Weil, a philosophy professor at Wesleyan University who has written a forthcoming book, “Thinking Animals: Why Animal Studies Now?

Courses in animal studies can be in the academic disciplines of art, literature, sociology, anthropology, film, theater, philosophy or religion.  Animals as food is a popular topic that raises ethical and moral issues, notes Lori Gruen, head of the philosophy department at Wesleyan. As she says, “Given that the way most people interact with animals is when they’re dead and eaten, that [animals as food] becomes a big question.”

The six-year-old Animals and Society Institute — whose webpage says that “there is a link between acts of cruelty to animals and violence toward humans” — lists more than 100 courses in American colleges and universities and around the world that would qualify as animal studies. In conjunction with Wesleyan, the Institute has started a summer fellowship programMichigan State University allows doctoral and master’s students in various academic fields to concentrate in animal studies and New York University started an animal studies initiative this fall, so that undergraduates can minor in animal studies. There is also an academic journal, The Journal for Critical Animal Studies.

Here are five courses in animal studies that are in the course catalogs of US colleges and universities, with descriptions from their respective institutions.

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107 comments

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1:37PM PDT on Mar 15, 2015

I think that children should be taught how to treat animals from their first steps. If parents did this, they should know about it from teachers at school, kindergartens will be better. Four-footed animals are our brothers, they cannot stand up for their selves without our help. Everyone should bare it in mind. I think that every student should prepare the essay or any paper work about it, written on his own but not with the help of professional essays writing company. Everyone can order it online, even the dumb one. But it should state your own opinion not anyone else's.

4:50AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

Many students adopt dogs and cats during a semester, only to abandon them once they go home for the holidays or the summer at many colleges.. From kindergarden children need to be taught at school to treat animals with love and kindness and not to harm or murder them..

9:38PM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Very Interesting

4:27PM PST on Jan 22, 2012

Cool, really interesting.

11:37PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

I would love to do a course about animals, that would be so cool!

9:57AM PST on Jan 18, 2012

thanks for sharing :) i live in the UK and we also have many University courses that are very similar i'm in my 1st year of Uni studying applied behavioural science and animal welfare :)

2:51PM PST on Jan 12, 2012

Amazing! Beautiful!

3:30PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

I took an animal rights class in my college, we learned some very eye opening information, i loved it and i hope more colleges start offering such classes

9:57AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

what a great list to make known to people, and I wish the courses could be done online ;-)

6:44AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Sounds great!!

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