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Man’s best friend: dogsled racing in Alaska

Anthrozoology (also known as human–non-human-animal studies, or HAS) is the subset of ethnobiology that deals with interactions between humans and other animals. It is an interdisciplinary field that overlaps with other disciplines including anthropology, ethnology, medicine, psychology, veterinary medicine and zoology. A major focus of anthrozoologic research is the quantifying of the positive effects of human-animal relationships on either party and the study of their interactions. [1] It includes scholars from fields such as anthropology, sociology, biology, history and philosophy. [2] [3] [4]

Ethnobiology the scientific study of the way living things are treated or used by different human cultures

Ethnobiology is the scientific study of the way living things are treated or used by different human cultures. It studies the dynamic relationships between people, biota, and environments, from the distant past to the immediate present.

Anthropology is the scientific study of humans and human behavior and societies in the past and present. Social anthropology and cultural anthropology study the norms and values of societies. Linguistic anthropology studies how language affects social life. Biological or physical anthropology studies the biological development of humans.

Ethnology social science that deals with ethnies (Peoples)

Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the characteristics of different peoples and the relationships between them.


Anthrozoology scholars, such as Pauleen Bennett recognize the lack of scholarly attention given to non-human animals in the past, and to the relationships between human and non-human animals, especially in the light of the magnitude of animal representations, symbols, stories and their actual physical presence in human societies. Rather than a unified approach, the field currently consists of several methods adapted from the several participating disciplines to encompass human-nonhuman animal relationships and occasional efforts to develop sui generis methods.

Pauleen Bennett Australian scientist

Pauleen Charmayne Bennett is an Australian scientist researching anthrozoology at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia.

Sui generis is a Latin phrase that means "of its own kind; in a class by itself; unique."

Areas of study

Interaction kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another

Interaction is a kind of action that occur as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way causal effect. A closely related term is interconnectivity, which deals with the interactions of interactions within systems: combinations of many simple interactions can lead to surprising emergent phenomena. Interaction has different tailored meanings in various sciences. Changes can also involve interaction.


Affect is a concept used in psychology to describe the experience of feeling or emotion. The term "affect" takes on a different meaning in other fields. In psychology, affect mediates an organism's interaction with stimuli. The word also refers sometimes to affect display, which is "a facial, vocal, or gestural behavior that serves as an indicator of affect".

Growth of the field

There are currently 23 college programs in HAS or a related field in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Israel and the Netherlands, as well as an additional eight veterinary school programs in North America, and over thirty HAS organizations in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Israel, Sweden, and Switzerland.

In the UK, the University of Exeter runs an MA in Anthrozoology which explores human-animal interactions from anthropological (cross-cultural) perspectives. Human animal interactions (HAI) involving companion animals are also studied by the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, which partners with the US National Institutes of Health to research HAI in relation to child development and aging. [7]

Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition organization

The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition is a research organisation owned by Mars, Incorporated located at Waltham on the Wolds, Leicestershire, United Kingdom. Waltham conducts scientific research into pet care and nutrition, and works with a number of animal breeds including dogs, cats, birds, fish and horses.

National Institutes of Health Medical research organization in the United States

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and public health research. It was founded in the late 1870s and is now part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The majority of NIH facilities are located in Bethesda, Maryland. The NIH conducts its own scientific research through its Intramural Research Program (IRP) and provides major biomedical research funding to non-NIH research facilities through its Extramural Research Program.

There are now three primary lists for HAS scholars and students—H-Animal, the Human-Animal Studies listserv, and NILAS, as well as the Critical Animal Studies list.

There are now over a dozen journals covering HAS issues, many of them founded in the last decade, and hundreds of HAS books, most of them published in the last decade (see for example, Humanimalia). Brill, Berg, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Columbia, Reaktion, Palgrave-Macmillan, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois, and Oxford all offer either a HAS series or a large number of HAS books.

In addition, in 2006, Animals and Society Institute (ASI) began hosting the Human-Animal Studies Fellowship, a six-week program in which pre- and post-doctoral scholars work on a HAS research project at a university under the guidance of host scholars and distance peer scholars. Beginning in 2011, ASI has partnered with Wesleyan Animal Studies, who will be hosting the fellowship in conjunction with ASI. There are also a handful of HAS conferences per year, including those organized by ISAZ and NILAS, and the Minding Animals conference, held in 2009 in Australia. Finally, there are more HAS courses being taught now than ever before. The ASI website lists over 300 courses (primarily in North America, but also including Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and Poland) in twenty-nine disciplines at over 200 colleges and universities, not including over 100 law school courses.

See also

Ethology Scientific study of animal behaviour

Ethology is the scientific and objective study of animal behaviour, usually with a focus on behaviour under natural conditions, and viewing behaviour as an evolutionarily adaptive trait. Behaviourism is a term that also describes the scientific and objective study of animal behaviour, usually referring to measured responses to stimuli or trained behavioural responses in a laboratory context, without a particular emphasis on evolutionary adaptivity. Many naturalists have studied aspects of animal behaviour throughout history. Ethology has its scientific roots in the work of Charles Darwin and of American and German ornithologists of the late 19th and early 20th century, including Charles O. Whitman, Oskar Heinroth, and Wallace Craig. The modern discipline of ethology is generally considered to have begun during the 1930s with the work of Dutch biologist Nikolaas Tinbergen and by Austrian biologists Konrad Lorenz and Karl von Frisch, joint awardees of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Ethology is a combination of laboratory and field science, with a strong relation to some other disciplines such as neuroanatomy, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Ethologists are typically interested in a behavioural process rather than in a particular animal group, and often study one type of behaviour, such as aggression, in a number of unrelated animals.

ABMAP, also known as the Animal Bone Metrical Archive Project, consists of a collection of metric data on the main domestic animals recorded at the University of Southampton, together with the data from some other sources, in particular the Museum of London Archaeology Service (MoLAS). Whilst the data is primarily from England, it is applicable to a wider geographical area. Stored in a neutral archival format, it is freely available for teaching, learning and research.

Animal rights idea in which some, or all, non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own lives and that their most basic interests—such as the need to avoid suffering—should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings

Animal rights is the idea in which some, or all, non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own existence and that their most basic interests—such as the need to avoid suffering—should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings.

Related Research Articles


Sociobiology is a field of biology that aims to examine and explain social behavior in terms of evolution. It draws from disciplines including ethology, anthropology, evolution, zoology, archaeology, and population genetics. Within the study of human societies, sociobiology is closely allied to Darwinian anthropology, human behavioral ecology and evolutionary psychology.

Zoology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. The term is derived from Ancient Greek ζῷον, zōion, i.e. "animal" and λόγος, logos, i.e. "knowledge, study".

Zooarchaeology Archaeological sub-discipline

Zooarchaeology is the branch of archaeology that studies faunal remains related to ancient people. Faunal remains are the items left behind when an animal dies. It includes: bones, shells, hair, chitin, scales, hides, proteins and DNA. Of these items, bones and shells are the ones that occur most frequently at archaeological sites where faunal remains can be found. Most of the time, most of the faunal remains do not survive. They often decompose or break because of various circumstances. This can cause difficulties in identifying the remains and interpreting their significance.

Domestication selective breeding of plants and animals to serve humans

Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable supply of resources from that second group.

Material culture Physical aspect of culture in the objects and architecture that surround people

Material culture is the aspect of social reality grounded in the objects and architecture that surround people. It includes the usage, consumption, creation, and trade of objects as well as the behaviors, norms, and rituals that the objects create or take part in. Some scholars also include other intangible phenomena that include sound, smell and events, while some even consider language and media as part of it. The term is most commonly used in archaeological and anthropological studies, to define material or artifacts as they are understood in relation to specific cultural and historic contexts, communities, and belief systems. Material cultural can be described as any object that humans use to survive, define social relationships, represent facets of identity, or benefit peoples' state of mind, social, or economic standing.

Ethnoecology is the scientific study of how different groups of people living in different locations understand the ecosystems around them, and their relationships with surrounding environments.

Animal geography is a subfield of the nature-society/human-environment branch of geography as well as a part of the larger, interdisciplinary umbrella of Human-Animal Studies (HAS). Animal geography is defined as the study of “the complex entanglings of human-animal relations with space, place, location, environment and landscape” or “the study of where, when, why and how nonhuman animals intersect with human societies.” Recent work advances these perspectives to argue about an ecology of relations in which humans and animals are enmeshed, taking seriously the lived spaces of animals themselves and their sentient interactions with not just human but other nonhuman bodies as well. The Animal Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers was founded in 2009 by Monica Ogra and Julie Urbanik. The Animal Geography Research Network was founded in 2011 by Daniel Allen.

The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is located in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was founded in 1999, and moved into new buildings 2001. It is one of 80 institutes in the Max Planck Society.

Anthropology, or Anthropologie in some languages, refers primarily to a science and arts. An Anthropologist practices anthropology. Anthropological is "having to do with anthropology." This word set may refer to:

Ethnozoology is the study of the past and present interrelationships between human cultures and the animals in their environment. It includes classification and naming of zoological forms, cultural knowledge and use of wild and domestic animals. It is one of the main subdisciplines of ethnobiology and shares many methodologies and theoretical frameworks with ethnobotany.

Agustín Fuentes is an American primatologist and biological anthropologist whose work focuses largely on human and non-human primate interaction, pathogen transfer, communication, cooperation, and human social evolution.

Cyborg anthropology

Cyborg anthropology is a discipline that studies the interaction between humanity and technology from an anthropological perspective. The discipline is relatively new, but offers novel insights on new technological advances and their effect on culture and society.

Animal studies is the interdiscplianry study of animals including anthropology, biology, history, psychology, and philosophy.

Interspecies friendship bond that is formed between animals of different species

An interspecies friendship is a non-sexual bond that is formed between animals of different species. Numerous cases of interspecies friendships among wild and domesticated animals have been reported and documented with photography and video. Domestication of animals has led to very unusual interspecies friendships between two species that would naturally never exist together otherwise. In many cases of interspecies friendship, the pair of animals include those not known to get along, and sometimes, one is of a species that ordinarily preys upon the other in nature.

Vegetarian ecofeminism is an activist and academic movement which states that all types of oppression are linked and must be eradicated, with a focus on including the domination of humans over nonhuman animals. Through the feminist concept known as intersectionality, it is recognized that sexism, racism, classism, and other forms of inter human oppression are all connected. Vegetarian ecofeminism aims to include the domination of not only the environment but also of nonhuman animals to the list. Vegetarian ecofeminism is part of the academic and philosophical field of ecofeminism, which states that the ways in which the privileged dominates the oppressed should include the way humans dominate nature. A major theme within ecofeminism is the belief that there is a strong connection between the domination of women and the domination of nature, and that both must be eradicated in order to end oppression.

Kendra Coulter is a Canadian labour studies scholar with a background in anthropology who is currently an associate professor at the Centre for Labour Studies at Brock University. She is the author of Revolutionizing Retail: Workers, Political Action, and Social Change (2014) and Animals, Work, & the Promise of Interspecies Solidarity (2016). In the latter book, Coulter develops the concepts of interspecies solidarity and humane jobs.

Diane Gifford-Gonzalez

Diane Gifford-Gonzalez is an American archaeologist who specializes in the field of zooarchaeology. Her research has included fieldwork near Lake Turkana, northwestern Kenya, and her research often touches on the question of animal domestication and the origins and development of African pastoralism.

James A. Serpell is professor of Animal Ethics and Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania. He lectures in the School of Veterinary Medicine on veterinary ethics, applied animal behavior and welfare, and human-animal interactions. Serpell also directs the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society (CIAS). Serpell was a founder of The International Society for Anthrozoology(ISAZ) and remains on the board.


  1. Mills, Daniel S. "Anthrozoology", The Encyclopedia of Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare. CABI 2010, pp. 28–30.
  2. DeMello, Margo. Teaching the Animal: Human–Animal Studies Across the Disciplines. Lantern Books, 2010, p. xi. and Hurn, Samantha. Humans and Other Animals. Pluto Press, 2012.
  3. Animals & Society Institute. Archived June 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Accessed February 23, 2011.
  4. Note: the term should not be confused with "animal studies," which often refers to animal testing.
  5. College of Zoological Studies at London Hanover University - Paleoanthrozoology: Domestication of Species
  6. Adrian Franklin (20 September 1999). Animals and Modern Cultures: A Sociology of Human-Animal Relations in Modernity. SAGE Publications. ISBN   978-0-7619-5623-5.
  7. "Processes in Social & Affective Development: Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) Research". Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). December 30, 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2018.