We invite you to take part in the fifth edition of the Anthrozoology Symposium, Non-human Animals in Open Societies, organized by „Gh. Zane” Institute of Economic and Social Research (Romanian Academy – Iași Branch) in association with the Faculty of Biology (“Al. I. Cuza” University of Iași), the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (“Babeș – Bolyai” University of Cluj), Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Biotechnology (University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca), the Faculty of Veterinarian Medicine (“Ion Ionescu de la Brad” University for Agricultural Studies and Veterinarian Medicine of Iași), Rural Development Research Platform and Moldavia’s History Museum (“Moldova” National Museum Complex).
We share our world with other-than-human beings, and we cannot stop marveling at the fascinating complexity of life. It seems that the closer we look, the more other beings reveal their secrets to us. Due to farsighted scientists and carefully drawn research, we commence learning more about non-human animal societies, cultures, and languages. Ethology and all sciences that study animal behavior and mind(s) show us clearly that the other animals (we share our planet with) are autonomous beings who, if we were able to listen to, could tell us a whole lot more about themselves. The other animals, just like ourselves, have rich inner worlds, different personalities, complex minds, and a broad range of emotions as well.
Thus, we become aware that other beings have subjective experiences that match our own. We understand that exploring how other animals see the world can enrich our own perspectives and experiences and help us see that humans alone are not a special species. These new perspectives make obvious the vulnerabilities of the conventional views, that devalue and depersonalize the other animals in order to instrumentalize, commodify and turn them into quasi-things.
Furthermore, the pandemic experience has made us realize that we are not alone, that our lives are intertwined, and our wellbeing and health are intricately dependent on the other animals and our entire planet’s environment. Now, as we clearly see the limitations and dangers of the overwhelmingly anthropocentric ways, we should and need to begin re-shaping and re-building our societies. It is of utmost importance to define our relationship with the other animals afresh. In a multispecies world, we should consider cross-species equality and therefore reconsider our own stand. If we are to thrive in this immense community and achieve peaceful co-existence, we need to become citizens that live along with our fellow animals, respect the differences, and embrace multispecies justice.
This year’s edition of the Symposium is addressing the following topic: how should we live together in open societies, how can we make our societies more inclusive, how and under what circumstances will we be able to build a more just world for all of us, human and non-human included, where everybody is treated with compassion, respect, and fairness.
Within the Anthrozoology Symposium, we would like to invite you to take part in a debate forum focused on the following topics concerning the human-animal interactions:
- Ideas, Concepts, and Beliefs about Animals
- Theories about the Differences and Distances between Humans and Animals
- Animal Rights and Human Responsibilities
- Species Extinction and Human Responsibility
- Animals in Literature, Mythology, Arts, and Folklore
- Animal Psychology
- Cognitive Ethology
- Mental Models and Economic Value in Human-Animal Interactions from a Historical Perspective
- Animal Protection Movement and Supporting Laws.
The Anthrozoology Symposium will take place at the Institute of Economic and Social Research (hybrid format / both online and onsite), on the 4th and 5th of November 2022. The registration is open until May the 15th.
On behalf of the organizing committee,
Dr. Irina Frasin