Students: would you be interested in taking a minor like this if you were in college?
"The Animal Studies minor is for students interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of the diverse ways in which the lives of animals and humans intersect," says McEachern. "The interdisciplinary nature of the minor allows students to consider historical and contemporary interactions between humans and animals from a range of perspectives."
The foundational course for the minor is Animal Ethics. It is team-taught by instructors from the fields of biology, criminology, philosophy, psychology, religion and sociology. Besides Animal Ethics, the other five courses required for the 18 credit hour minor are: Animals in Literature, Animals and Society, Animal Law, Social Movements and an Undergraduate Internship Experience.
Humanity's relationship with animals forms a rich, fascinating, contentious and contradictory tapestry. An objective study of our interactions with animals throughout history would be interesting at the very least, with the potential to be an enlightening crash course in critical thinking. Count me in!
Ah, but there's more. What if this minor was funded by long time animal rights activist Bob Barker? A former game show host who, when not donating millions to the cause of animal rights, has spent much of his retirement protesting biomedical research, rodeos, even Sea World?
Still signing up?
Disappointing. Presented from an objective, at least semi-mainstream position, such a program could be brilliant, perhaps even a revelatory. But considering the players involved, it's impossible to view it without a great deal of skepticism. Will this animal studies minor will be anything other than animal rights studies? Would definitely have to see it to believe it.