edX: Introduction to Animal Ethics

 with  Dr. Tetsuji Iseda

Why do many of us who eat pigs condemn those who eat dogs? Is there any difference between lab mice and companion hamsters that justify the use of the former for drug tests? Our attitude toward animals is full of seeming inconsistencies and unexplained conventions. Animal ethics is the field that tries to make sense of human-animal relationships using insights from philosophical ethics, and this course is an introduction to the field.

This course has several distinctive characteristics from other animal ethics education materials. First, this course uses situations of animals in Japan as illustrative cases, which makes this course as a means to learn something about Japanese culture. Second, it also uses Manga to think about actual situations.

By listening to the lectures and thinking through the issues presented, you will acquire the ability to think more clearly and systematically about human-animal relationships.

Topics include:

  • Training of companion animals;
  • Neutering of companion animals;
  • Animal experimentation for cosmetics;
  • Eating farm animals;
  • Environmental enrichment in zoos.


Week 1: Training of Companion Animals What is Animal Ethics? Companion Animals Problem Behaviors of Companion Animals Is it Egotistical to Make Animals Obey? Week 2: Neutering of Companion Animals Background of Slaughtering System of Companion Animals in Japan The Current State of the Slaughtering System Neutering Companion Animals Pros and Cons of Neutering Animals Week 3: Animal Experimentation for Cosmetics Current Status of Animal Testing in Japan The 3R movement Ban of Animal Testing for Cosmetics in Europe Are Animal Test Regulations Necessary? Week 4: Eating farm animals Intensive Livestock Industry in Japan “Five Freedoms” of livestock animals Vegetarianism Farm animals and lab animals: are they different? Does Being Thankful Mean We can Do Whatever We Want? Week 5: Environmental Enrichment in Zoos Zoos in Japan Display Animals and Environmental Enrichment Animal Rights and Confinement of Animals Are Great Apes Different? Being Consistent about Treatment of Various Animals
0 Student
Cost Free Online Course
Subject Philosophy
Institution Kyoto University
Provider edX
Language English
Certificates $49 Certificate Available
Hours 2-3 hours a week
Calendar 5 weeks long

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