On Nov. 9, 2021 the Department of Anthropology is hosting a virtual illustrated talk on “Enacting Compassion for Animals”. In this illustrated talk, biological anthropologist and science writer Barbara J. King discusses the opportunities and obstacles of working towards compassion for other-than-human animals in a world still largely steeped in human exceptionalism.
Using as a springboard her previous work on animal grief and her newest book Animals’ Best Friends: How to Put Compassion to Work in Captivity and in the Wild, Barbara considers animals in the wild, in our homes, in science laboratories, and on our plates. How might an understanding of animal cognition and emotion enhance scholarship on, and activism for, animals in these various spaces? In what ways do scholarship on animals and activism for animals align, in what ways might they pull against each other, and how does our use of language about animals enhance or constrain our efforts in each? This talk will take up, whenever possible, the life experiences of individual animals.