Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Author Website



Welfare biology is the study of the welfare of living things. Welfare is net happiness (enjoyment minus suffering). Since this necessarily involves feelings, Dawkins (2014) has suggested that animal welfare science may face a paradox, because feelings are very difficult to study. The following paper provides an explanation for how welfare biology could help to reduce this paradox by answering some difficult questions regarding animal welfare. Simple means based on commonsense could reduce animal suffering enormously at low or even negative costs to humans. Ways to increase the influence of animal welfare advocates are also discussed, focusing initially on farmed animals and restrictions that are not likely to impede scientific advances on which the future large improvements in animal welfare greatly depend.

Author Biography

Yew-Kwang Ng ykng@ntu.edu.sg is Winsemius professor in economics at Nanyang Technological University. He is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Society of Australia. Yew-Kwang’s recent books include: Common Mistakes in Economics by the Public, Students, Economists and Nobel Laureates (open access); and Happinessism.

Address: HSS-04-72, 14 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637332 http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home/ykng/

Article Thread

Ng, Yew-Kwang (2016) How welfare biology and commonsense may help to reduce animal suffering Animal Sentience 2016.007

Bekoff, Marc and Pierce, Jessica (2016) Animal welfare cannot adequately protect nonhuman animals: The need for a science of animal well-being Animal Sentience 2016.067

Leadbeater, Simon R. B. (2016) Animal suffering calls for more than a bigger cage Animal Sentience 2016.071

Marino, Lori (2016) Why animal welfarism continues to fail Animal Sentience 2016.074

Marks, Joel (2016) End-state welfarism Animal Sentience 2016.075

Rollin, Bernard E. (2016) Science and sensibility Animal Sentience 2016.077

Li, Peter J. (2016) Animal suffering in China Animal Sentience 2016.078

Bruers, Stijn (2016) Animal suffering and human bias Animal Sentience 2016.084

Johannsen, Kyle (2016) Animal welfare at home and in the wild Animal Sentience 2016.085

Paez, Eze (2016) Wild animal suffering and vegan outreach Animal Sentience 2016.087

Smith, Allison M. and Reese, Jacy (2016) An empirical perspective on animal advocacy Animal Sentience 2016.088

Clark, Stephen R. (2016) Slavery, welfare and the sixth extinction Animal Sentience 2016.089

Faria, Catia (2016) Why we should not postpone awareness of wild animal suffering Animal Sentience 2016.091

Horta, Oscar (2016) Changing attitudes towards animals in the wild and speciesism Animal Sentience 2016.092

Sözmen, Beril (2016) Inalienable rights and pluralism in animal advocacy Animal Sentience 2016.094

Dorado, Daniel (2016) Sentience as moral consideration and disvalue in nature Animal Sentience 2016.096

Harnad, Stevan (2016) My orgasms cannot be traded off against others’ agony Animal Sentience 2016.097

Ng, Yew-Kwang (2016) Utilitarianism generalized to include animals Animal Sentience 2016.099