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Animal welfare cannot adequately protect nonhuman animals: The need for a science of animal well-being
Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling
  • Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Jessica Pierce, Center for Bioethics and Humanities, University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus
Publication Date
Commentary Type
Open Commentary
A focus on animal welfare in the use of nonhuman animals in the service of human economic and scientific interests does not and cannot adequately protect (nonhuman) animals. It presupposes that using other animals for human ends is acceptable as long as we try our best to improve the welfare of the animals we use. We argue instead for a “science of animal well-being” in which the protection of animal needs is not subordinated to human economic or scientific interests.
Author Biography

Marc Bekoff is former Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He has won many awards for his scientific research including the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Marc has published more than 1,000 essays (popular, scientific, and book chapters), 30 books, and has edited three encyclopedias. His latest book is Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence: and

Jessica Pierce, bioethicist, is the author of The Last Walk: Reflections on Our Pets at the Ends of Their Lives. Other books include Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals; Contemporary Bioethics: A Reader with Cases; The Ethics of Environmentally Responsible Health Care; and Morality Play: Case Studies in Ethics. Her forthcoming book is Run, Spot, Run: The Ethics of Keeping Pets.

Citation Information
Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce. "Animal welfare cannot adequately protect nonhuman animals: The need for a science of animal well-being" (2016)
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