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Kristin Andrews: The Question of Animal Emotions and Morality

Kristin Andrews: The Question of Animal Emotions and Morality

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York Research Chair in Animal Minds and Professor of Philosophy, Kristin Andrews’ research focuses on the evolution of morality, methodology in animal cognition research, and animal policy. Her media contributions inform critical public conversations about the place of animals in our society.

In her recent article the hidden world of octopus cities and culture shows why it’s wrong to farm them for the Conversation Canada, Prof. Andrews discusses how commercial interests in intensive octopus farming would create new octopus communities threatening to transform an animal that scientific evidence identifies as capable of pain, complex emotions, and culture. According to Andrews, “(..)research indicates that a wide range of animals have interests in avoiding felt pain, and that they would not consent to painful procedures if given the opportunity. This makes pain a harm to them, and thus places a moral obligation on humans to recognize that harm and to avoid causing it if possible.” Her research strengthens the case for establishing welfare regulations for octopuses in Canada.

Prof. Andrews also presents useful frameworks and findings from her recent book How to Study Animal Minds in an episode of the Many Minds podcast. Her book is a critical consideration of how scientists are trained to study animals and pushes the community to rethink some starting assumptions that shape current research practices.

Connect with Kristin Andrews to know more about her research and collaborations.