Animal Welfare in Western and non-Western societies: towards intercultural dialogues

In december 2017 Dr. Wiebke Wellbrock invited me to provide a guest lecture  in her course ‘Farm animal welfare in different societies’ at the Department of Rural Sociology at the Institute for Social Sciences in Agriculture at Hohenheim University. 

My lecture was entitled ‘Animal Welfare in Western and non-Western societies: towards intercultural dialogues’ and was based on my PhD research, my post doc research and my recent work on intercultural dialogues. The group consisted of international and German students, and several colleagues of the Department of Rural Sociology joined the lecture.

Instead of providing a ‘traditional’ lecture, I developed an interactive lecture based on storytelling. I told three stories:

  1. An internal dialogue between animal science and sociology
  2. The multi-functionality of goats in rural Mozambique
  3. Learning through intercultural dialogues

For each story we collectively looked at the question: How is this story relevant for animal welfare in western and non-western societies? What can we learn from it? The group was strongly engaged and identified interesting and relevant topics and issues in the stories.

In the second part of the lecture, I invited students to engage in intercultural dialogues with a fellow-student (who had a different cultural background than their own). They actively listened to each others stories and learned from each other.

The lecture was very well received by the students, colleagues, and Wiebke. Moreover, it was lot’s of fun to provide this afternoon.