Animal Happiness

Non-human animals, like humans, are sentient beings with interests and needs. Research has shown that other mammals1, fish2 and crustaceans3 can experience pain via molecular mechanisms similar to humans. Research also indicates that non-human animals can experience joy4. Therefore, GHO aims to reduce suffering and improve the wellbeing of individuals within these groups. 

Each year, over sixty billion land animals are raised in the global "livestock industry", only to end up as food on our plates5. From a happiness perspective, most of these non-human animals have probably lived a life not worth living6, chronically in discomfort and pain, and despair. Brutal cruelty exists not only in the food industry, but also throughout the cosmetics industry and the fur industry, both at a national and an international level. Exploitation of non-human animals permeates our entire society, not only in the three industries cited, but also in zoos, circuses and bullfighting arenas. 

Over the years, GHO has taken a number of initiatives against suffering in animal-exploiting industries. Our aim is to bring about a shift in attitudes. We also seek legislative changes that enhance non-human animal status in accordance with our philosophy that all suffering is abhorrent in proportion to its severity - not the race or species of the victim. **Animal Happiness** works for the abolition of industries whose existence entails animal suffering. As long as these industries last, however, the conditions of captive non-human animals should be improved. In addition, at GHO we seek to promote and accelerate the development of new technologies that can reduce animal suffering. One example of such technologies is the development of cultured meat for human consumption. Among other things, we have informed politicians about the prospects of cruelty-free cultured meat, and held exhibitions in museums and libraries spreading information about the benefits of cultivated meat - in contrast to meat from butchered factory-farmed animals.

Manager: Ludvig Lindstrom 

  • 1. Griffin DR, Speck GB (2004) "New evidence of animal consciousness" Anim. Cogn. volume 7
  • 2. Sneddon LU, Braithwaite VA and Gentle MJ (2003) "Do fish have nociceptors: Evidence for the evolution of a vertebrate sensory system" Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, 270 (1520)
  • 3. Robert W. Elwood, Mirjam Appel (2009). "Pain experience in hermit crabs?". Animal Behavior.
  • 4. Marc Bekoff, The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy and Why They Matter (2007)
  • 5. FAOSTAT, 2006. Animal production online database. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
  • 6. Oscar Horta, University of Santiago de Compostela. Questions of Priority and Interspecific Comparisons of Happiness.