In the last few decades, we have made great strides in recognizing ethics and providing care for animals, but the focus has been mainly on mammals. This stems from a bias of attention not only in research but predominantly in non-scientists’ attention (to ‘popular’ animals), resulting partly from discussion about and depiction of animals in publications addressed to the public. This is somewhat due to political pressure, and can result in uneven conservation efforts and biases in targets for welfare concerns. As a result, there has been a huge backlash again, with concerns about pain sensitivity and welfare in fish, and a less focused but more pervasive omission of consideration of all invertebrates. That means welfare efforts are focused on 0.2% of the animal species on the planet, and education about non-mammals, particularly addressed to children, is necessary to broaden this focus and care more fully for the inhabitants of the planet.
Mather, J.A. Ethics and Care: For Animals, Not Just Mammals. Animals 2019, 9, 1018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121018