What is animal happiness?

Laura E. Webb*, Ruut Veenhoven, Jes Lynning Harfeld, Margit Bak Jensen

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Resumé

Today, we see a growing concern for the quality of life of nonhuman animals and an accompanying call for viable means of assessing how well animals thrive. Past research focused on minimizing negatives such as stress, while more recent endeavors strive to promote positives such as happiness. But what is animal happiness? Although often mentioned, the term lacks a clear definition. With recent advances in the study of animal emotion, current interest into positive rather than negative experiences, and the call for captive and domesticated animals to have good lives, the time is ripe to examine the concept of animal happiness. We draw from the human and animal literature to delineate a concept of animal happiness and propose how to assess it. We argue that animal happiness depends on how an individual feels generally—that is, a typical level of affect.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Vol/bind1438
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider15
ISSN0077-8923
DOI
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2019

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Happiness
Animals
Domestic Animals
Emotions
Quality of Life

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Webb, Laura E. ; Veenhoven, Ruut ; Harfeld, Jes Lynning ; Jensen, Margit Bak. / What is animal happiness?. I: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2019 ; Bind 1438, Nr. 1.
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What is animal happiness? / Webb, Laura E.; Veenhoven, Ruut; Harfeld, Jes Lynning; Jensen, Margit Bak.

I: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Bind 1438, Nr. 1, 02.2019.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - What is animal happiness?

AU - Webb, Laura E.

AU - Veenhoven, Ruut

AU - Harfeld, Jes Lynning

AU - Jensen, Margit Bak

PY - 2019/2

Y1 - 2019/2

N2 - Today, we see a growing concern for the quality of life of nonhuman animals and an accompanying call for viable means of assessing how well animals thrive. Past research focused on minimizing negatives such as stress, while more recent endeavors strive to promote positives such as happiness. But what is animal happiness? Although often mentioned, the term lacks a clear definition. With recent advances in the study of animal emotion, current interest into positive rather than negative experiences, and the call for captive and domesticated animals to have good lives, the time is ripe to examine the concept of animal happiness. We draw from the human and animal literature to delineate a concept of animal happiness and propose how to assess it. We argue that animal happiness depends on how an individual feels generally—that is, a typical level of affect.

AB - Today, we see a growing concern for the quality of life of nonhuman animals and an accompanying call for viable means of assessing how well animals thrive. Past research focused on minimizing negatives such as stress, while more recent endeavors strive to promote positives such as happiness. But what is animal happiness? Although often mentioned, the term lacks a clear definition. With recent advances in the study of animal emotion, current interest into positive rather than negative experiences, and the call for captive and domesticated animals to have good lives, the time is ripe to examine the concept of animal happiness. We draw from the human and animal literature to delineate a concept of animal happiness and propose how to assess it. We argue that animal happiness depends on how an individual feels generally—that is, a typical level of affect.

KW - affect balance

KW - animal welfare

KW - human happiness

KW - typical level of affect

U2 - 10.1111/nyas.13983

DO - 10.1111/nyas.13983

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JO - New York Academy of Sciences. Annals

JF - New York Academy of Sciences. Annals

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