Ristau, Carolyn A. (2022) Revisiting Donald Griffin, founder of cognitive ethology. Animal Sentience 31(11)
Andrew N. Rowan, Joyce M. D'Silva, Ian J.H. Duncan, and Nicholas Palmer, Animal sentience: history, science, and politics
Donald Griffin’s writings, beginning with The Question of Animal Awareness (1976), strove to persuade scientists to study the possibility of animal sentience, the basis of Rowan et al.’s efforts to promote animal well-being. Facing great hostility (but also some acceptance) for his ideas, Griffin initially avoided animal welfare advocacy, fearing it would further undermine his efforts to gain recognition of animal sentience. In later years, however, he began to ponder the ethical implications of animal sentience, intending to study wild elephants’ communication and social behavior to better understand their experienced life and apply it to improving conservation methods. As he recognized, ethical considerations require strategic prioritizing.
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