Mission - Learning Animals
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Mission

Learning Animals

Our Mission

TThe Learning Animals Institute aims to create awareness for a paradigm-shift, in which animals (human included) are seen and understood as owners of their own experiences. Subjects each with their own diversity and ability to be a protagonist in their own life, emancipated minds.

The institute develops cutting edge study programs, based on the Learning Animals socio-cognitive model, bringing:

 

• a transformational understanding of day-to-day coexistence with other animals within an antispeciesism framework
• improvement of daily quality of life
• the knowledge and practical know-how to bring about a development on an academic level for students interested in facilitating Animal Studies towards an evolved level, beyond the speciesist viewpoint.

 

While in the last decennium animals as sentient beings have become a topic of broader attention, throughout the world basic general education and habits towards non-human animals are still deep-rooted in an old paradigm. One can talk about animals as subjects, as sentient beings, but taking into account that they should be owner of their own life is not so easy in practice, as it requires to let go of an anthropocentric worldview that is not easily recognized.

 

“In recent years, the Animal Question has come up, topical but complicated, as it concerns all of us, and it raises many questions related to animal ethics, subjectivity, and cognition. Within the field of animal studies, the consideration of animals, their individuality and their being creators of their own experiences, is becoming more and more crucial. There is an emerging need to re-assess the standing of non-human animals in the interaction with humans, to create better living conditions as well as to develop full recognition of their moral status. In animal ethics, to have a moral status means to be worthy of moral consideration. A re-assessment of the status of non-human animals calls for a stop to treating them as instruments and calls for us attributing weight to their needs, their intrinsic motivations, and their subjective pleasures. Not for a particular human benefit, but of importance for the non-human individuals themselves, bearer of their own intrinsic value.” [De Giorgio F. 2016. Animal Subjectivity: evolving ethics in animal studies. In IAS Olsson, SM Araújo & MF Vieira (eds). Food Futures: Ethics, Science & Culture. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, Netherlands. (pp. 169-174)
ISBN 978-90-8686-288-7]

 

Learning Animals brings a complete change in paradigm, in the way human look at, and understand, nonhuman animals.

The question is not: “are they sentient beings?”, “are they cognitive?” or “are they social agents?”

The question is, are human ready to coexist in such an interspecies dynamic, moving beyond the anthropocentric view on current interactions, in a way that horses, or dogs, or any other nonhuman-animal, can actually live a life worth of being a social agent, where humans are able to recognise the difference that makes and the difference it requires.

[Dr. Francesco De Giorgio]

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