Learning Animals education programs are based upon the studies and development within the fields of cognitive ethology and critical animal studies, and the specific knowledge of Dr. Francesco De Giorgio regarding the socio- cognitive needsand subjective pleasures of animals as individuals. The studies belong to the critical animal studies dimension, embracing anti-speciesism.
The content of the study-programs is developed to translate academic insight into practical application. Learning Animals strives to improve human and nonhuman quality of life by creating:
Learning Animals is part of a global change in awareness, part of the Animal Studies that put the current, anthropocentric vision when it comes to the interaction between human and non- human animals into question. In our society it is still generally accepted that animals are at the ‘service’ of human. As a result, people in general appreciate a dog or a horse when he or she expresses obedience – and in this case many people think of being in front of a good relationship. Or when an animals does something ‘good’ for human.
However, animals are subjects, with their own world of perception, of subjectivity, their own way of learning and relating – their own experiences. These insights put the anthropocentric vision in discussion, but it requires a profound cultural change, in which many beliefs and assumptions must be put in discussion, a process of deconstruction, to be able to apply these understandings in our daily relationship with other animals, avoiding they become mere conceptual projections.
Taking this knowledge and awareness into account in our relationship with (nonhuman) animals brings a paradigm shift, asking understanding for someone else’s world and learning to look at interactions from the nonhuman animal’s point of view, learn to recognise their own cognitive lives – starting from a different (cruelty free) knowledge.
The studies are therefor profound and revolutionary, but they also bring a concrete and significant change for the quality of life of animals. Learning Animals offers students the possibility to acquire the skills necessary to understand and also contribute to this new culture, helping to familiarize themselves with concepts, practices, and acquiring at the same time an awareness and practical understanding how to create interactions based on a dialogic and reciprocal relationship with animals. The Learning Animals studies are therefor both a journey of knowledge as of personal growth.
Learning Animals creates a study environment in which subjectivity is central, also for the participants. This means that everyone is facilitated within their own journey towards new horizons, allowing an individual growth and integration of the study content. Participants will learn to look beyond, recognize individual learning in nonhuman animals, and will have the awareness that nonhuman animals are involved in their own individual and subjective experience of the world. Ethics and practical application is central in the Learning Animals education programs. Participants will learn how to recognize and preserve a socio-cognitive interaction in their own relationships with other animals.
The anthropocentric worldview is so deeply rooted in our society that a reciprocal relationship between humans and other animals, based on equality,of experiences, is still something unimaginable for most people. At the same time people are more and more attracted towards the interspecies relationship, a motivation often leading to projections and new anthropocentric initiatives. Evolving requires knowledge and skills together with ethical congruence (to think and act with the same ethical values). Learning Animals stands for evolved Animal ethics within the Human- Nonhuman Animal relationship, sharing knowledge for a growing understanding of Animal ethics, facilitate quality of life of individual animals, from the nonhuman perspective.
Care to go beyond ! With Learning Animals