Dr Marc Bekoff discusses compassionate conservation

Dr Marc Bekoff is a world renowned animal behaviour expert and author, and is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado. Watch this video of his speech “Rewilding our hearts, compassionate conservation, and peaceful coexistence” at the State of the Wild Symposium (2014), hosted by the University of Denver, where he discusses compassionate conservation and animal emotions.

Compassionate conservation is a growing global movement, concerned with the humane treatment and welfare of individual animals within the framework of traditional conservation biology. It requires that we must protect animals as individuals; they are not merely objects who can be traded off for the good of populations, species or ecosystems. Dr Bekoff explains “it is all too easy to trump individual animal welfare for the widely shared goal of preserving biodiversity”.

In this video Dr Bekoff describes the fundamental principles of compassionate conservation; to first do no harm, remember that individuals matter and that this field is a great meeting place for people with different interests. Compassionate conservation is very broad and very inclusive across many disciplines and topics, everyone who can do something, should do something!

He also discusses what we know about animal emotions, why animals’ feelings matter, the ethical use of animals in zoos, and gives some examples of how to practice compassionate conservation in our day to day lives.

Mark Bekoff: Rewilding our hearts, compassionate conservation, and peaceful coexistence

Video (41min).