Peaceable Kingdom: Transforming our relationship with Animals
Though stewardship of the animal kingdom is one of the primary responsibilities accorded to human beings in the Christian creation narrative, the question of how best to respect the creatures under our care is one that Christians too often neglect to ask. This omission is unfortunate, given the mounting evidence of fallenness in the social and commercial practices that presently govern our relationships to animals. While large-scale animal farming has increased consumer convenience, this convenience comes at a cost, and not just to animals. Our current food system is proving to have negative, if unintended, consequences for the environment, local and global commerce and agriculture in both rural and urban communities, and public health. In view of these considerations, the purpose of this course is two-fold: first, to gain insight into the problem through a survey of the theological, moral, environmental, and socio-economic issues surrounding the treatment of animals and the allocation of natural and human resources by our current food system and other industries that use animals; and second, to take the initial steps toward becoming agents of renewal by discerning an array of concrete approaches to addressing these problems (e.g., legislating for less intensive, more sustainable food systems; community supported agriculture; cooking and eating lower on the food chain; exploring “locavorism,” vegetarianism, and veganism; animal welfare and rights advocacy, etc.).
Grand Valley State University
Animals in Art
This class explores the varied facets of human-animal relationships by examining representations of non-human animals in the visual arts. Using a thematic approach, the course considers works from prehistory to the present, incorporating imagery from cultural traditions throughout the world. Themes include: animals and the numinous, human uses of animals, animals aestheticized as sublime, beautiful, and picturesque, narrative and scientific animal illustration, attitudes toward animals in ethical and religious systems, human animality, and animals as creators of art and architecture.
The multidisciplinary undergraduate program in Animal Studies equips students with both fundamental knowledge of zoology and animal behavior as well as in-depth understanding of individual and societal issues regarding human-animal interactions viewed from the lenses of such diverse academic fields as ethics, law and public policy, and religious studies. Through internships at local zoos, humane societies, and wildlife conservation agencies, among others, students gain practical skills needed for a broad range of professional employment opportunities in animal-related non-profit and governmental institutions. Students’ marketability is further enhanced by a requirement of completing a minor complementary with their desired career path.
Madonna University now offers undergraduate and graduate certificates of Completion in Animal Cruelty Investigation, as well as a Masters in humane studies. Madonna University’s Animal Cruelty certificate program familiarizes students with the ethical treatment of animals while providing them with the basic skills necessary for investigating and reporting the mistreatment of animals. Courses include:
- Criminal Investigations
- Do Animals Matter
- Interviewing and Investigative Report Writing
The Master of Science in Humane Leadership prepares candidates for leadership positions in business and human services with an emphasis on humane practices (the interconnectedness of social justice, sustainability and animal welfare). The degree can be customized to prepare candidates to assume the role of a community leader, consultant or educator in a variety of professional settings (non-profit organizations, businesses, governmental agencies, churches, and educational institutions).The program includes community-based service-learning projects that allow students to gain practical skills and earn professional credentials in the field of their passion.
Michigan State University
Animal Studies at MSU is an umbrella program focused on the interdisciplinary study of the relationship between humans and other animals. The program includes a doctoral and master’s graduate specialization, cutting-edge research, a monthly seminar series on the MSU campus, and a registered student organization that connects academic initiatives with the local community. The Graduate Specialization in Animal Studies: Social Science and Humanities Perspectives, which is administered by the Department of Sociology, provides graduate students with basic knowledge of relationships between humans and other animals and how they are linked together in a fragile biosphere. The graduate specialization is available as an elective for students who are enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs at Michigan State University. With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the specialization may also be used to satisfy the requirements for a master’s or doctoral degree.
- Linda Kalof
- David Favre
- Jennifer Carrera
- Courtney Cuthbertson
- Thomas Dietz
- Stephen P. Gasteyer
- Meredith Gore
- Scott Michaelsen
- Georgina Montgomery
- Laura A. Reese
- Carl S. Taylor
- Paul Thompson
- Laurie Thorp
- Kyle Whyte
- Research Practicum in Animal Studies
- Animals and Social Transformations
- Animal Welfare
- Contemporary Issues in Animal-Human Relationships
- Animal Law
- Global Risks, Conservation and Criminology
- Environmental Ethics
Other courses include:
Global Risks, Conservation and Criminology
Theories, actors, characteristics and legal instruments associated with risk, conservation, and criminology related to globalization. Current case studies in criminological conservation. Fall of every year.
Philosophy of Ecology
Conceptual issues in the science of ecology, including connections between ecology and environmental philosophy. Western and non-western perspectives. Spring of odd years.
Global Issues in Fisheries and Wildlife
Global issues and their impacts on implications for the management of fisheries and wildlife resources. Spring of even years.
Human Dimensions Research in Fisheries and Wildlife
Quantitative and qualitative methods of involving the public in fish and wildlife management. Human dimensions research and current case studies. Spring of even years. GEO 432 Environmental Ethics Description: Ethical dimensions of environmental and spatial issues and associated public policies. Fall of every year.
Course explores the legal systems’ impact on wildlife. Fall of every year.
Ethics and Animals
Moral standing for non-human animals, basis for human moral obligations to animals, animal’s cognitive abilities. Ethics of using animals in specific ways: medical research, for food, in zoos, in the wild and in biotechnology. Fall of odd years.
Seminar in Zoo and Aquarium Science
Scientific writing and oral presentations related to zoo and aquarium studies. Departmental approval required, contact the Department of Zoology. Fall of every year, Spring of every year.
Structure and function of natural ecosystems and their responses to global environmental change. Biogeochemical cycles, food webs, energy flow, nutrient cycling, and ecosystem management and restoration. Departmental approval required, contact the Department of Zoology. Spring of odd years.
The Oakland University Online Animal Assisted Therapy Certificate Program consists of five 8-week consecutive courses (that run September to June) to help professionals incorporate AAT into their work, make volunteers more credible or assist entrepreneurs in establishing a non-profit. Focusing on the differences between Animal Assisted Activities and Animal Assisted Therapy, students will learn how to set up a program to achieve desired outcomes within the population with which they work.This asynchronous online program allows students the flexibility to complete assignments at their convenience. A final capstone project includes the development of a practical proposal or business plan. The courses include an overview of AAT, psychology and research, working with special populations, working with animals and the capstone project.
University of Michigan
English and Literature
Reading the Animal in Literature and Culture
The anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss famously wrote, “animals are good to think with.” We instantly see the truth of that statement when considering the ubiquity of animals in culture – as symbols and metaphors, spirits and mascots, companions or competitors in the struggle to survive – but animals are not only to be thought with. They are to be lived with. This seminar will bridge the young, interdisciplinary field of animal studies with literary and cultural studies to produce a critical engagement with “lit critters” and the questions they raise regarding politics, ethics, knowledge, and issues of representation.
Animal, Human, Woman: Medieval, Early Modern, Postmodern
Sovereignty, Animality, and Intimacy in Medieval French Romance
Art and Design
Where the Wild Things Aren’t
The Sociology of Animal Rights
This course is designed to examine sociologically the relationships that exist between humans and other non-human animals. Since its birth in Europe in the 19th century, sociology has focused almost exclusively on human-to-human interactions largely ignoring the nature and significance of the human-animal relationship. However, in the last decades, this relationship has received much public attention. Scholars from all disciplines are focusing the nature, the significance, and the implications of the human-animal relationship. Animals are being placed back into the core of the sociological agenda. In an effort to fundamentally rethink the relationship between human beings and non-human animals, this course will explore some of the legal, ethical, cultural, political, ecological, and social issues that underlie the concerns for and against animal rights and protections. We will examine the use of animals for experimentation, food, entertainment, work, and their furs, and the consequences of such practices on the well-being of animals as well as its impact on society, its industries and institutions. Different perspective on animal rights and animal welfare will be presented and a comparative analysis of human and animal rights and abuses will be attempted so as to be able to trace whether the abuse and exploitation of animals may be inextricably related to the oppression of human groups. We will examine how the use and abuse of animals in American society may perpetuate unequal and oppressive relationships.
Animals and Society
This course is designed to examine sociologically the relationships that exist between humans and other non-human animals. Since its birth in Europe in the 19th century, sociology has focused almost exclusively on human-to-human interactions largely ignoring the nature and significance of the human-animal relationship. However, in the last decade, this relationship has received much public attention. Scholars from all disciplines are focusing on the nature, the significance, and the implications of the human-animal relationship. Animals are being placed back into the core of the sociological agenda. In an effort to fundamentally rethink the relationship between human beings and non-human animals, this course will explore some of the legal, ethical, cultural, political, ecological, and social issues that underlie the concerns for and against animal rights and protections. We will examine the use of animals for experimentation, food, entertainment, work, and their furs, and the consequences of such practices on the well-being of animals as well as its impact on society, its industries, and institutions.