About AnimalHuman Studies

Animals are all around us. Human animals. Animals with who we share our joys and sorrows. Animals that are part of our family. The animated animals on television. The wild animals we watch in fascination as David Attenborough reveals the details of their existence. The animals we eat. The crowded stables with cows, chickens and pigs. The animals whose skins we wear. The animals that our medicines are tested on. The animals that entertain us in zoos, circuses and petting zoos. The now extinct animals that we can still meet in cave drawings. For as long as is known, humans live among other animals and study each other.


AnimalHuman Studies is a fast growing interdisciplinary field in which the complex relationship between non-human animals and between humans and other animals is investigated. What place do other animals have in the cultural and social world of humans? In what ways do people try to communicate with non-human animals and vice versa? In AnimalHuman Studies many disciplines work together: social sciences (sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science, geography), humanities (history, linguistics, literature studies, media studies, philosophy), natural sciences (ethology, animal sciences, animal welfare studies, comparative psychology). AnimalHuman studies provides tools to fill the gap between the natural sciences and the social sciences and humanities.


Important definitions*

Animal rights: A philosophical position and a social movement that advocates for the moral status of non-human animals and the associated basic rights.


Animal Sciences: Generally used, at least in the natural sciences, to refer to the scientific field of, or the medical use of, non-human animals in medical research.


Anthrozoology: The scientific field that investigates human-animal interactions and relationships, especially from the social sciences and natural sciences such as veterinary medicine.


Critical Animal Studies (CAS): An academic research field explicitly devoted to the abolition of animal exploitation and oppression.


Ethology: The scientific research field that studies animal behavior.


(Human-) Animal Studies: The research field of interactions and the relationships between human animals and non-human animals.


*Definitions according to Animals & Society by Margo DeMello