Subjective well-being and its relationship to personality in animals

Alexander Weiss, Lauren M Robinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In many societies, and for some time, the lives of most people are no longer characterized by an existential struggle to feed, house, and clothe oneself and one’s family, but by a pursuit of happiness (Inglehart, 2018). More recently, in fact in some people’s living memory, there has been a growing concern for the happiness and well-being of others, including unrelated individuals living in different countries, and animals (Pinker, 2011, Inglehart, 2018). The question of how best to ensure the happiness, whether we define it as welfare, subjective well-being, or some other term (see Chapter 2 in this volume for a discussion), of animals under our care is a pressing and relatively recent concern. This development is remarkable considering that the desire to ensure animal happiness extends not just to animals with whom we share a recent common ancestor, such as chimpanzees and the other great apes, or a home, as with pets. The human desire for animals to be happy extends to distantly related species, animals in the wild, animals in the entertainment industry, animals that we use to learn more about ourselves and our world, animals that help us cure diseases, and even to farmed animals that many of us eat.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMental health and well-being of animals
EditorsFranklin McMillan
Place of PublicationWallingford
PublisherCABI International
Pages111-122
ISBN (Print)9781786393401
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020

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