Scientific Assessment

Our understanding of an animal's state of being depends on generally accepted observations, scientific laws and theories, and unique individual experiences. In 1983, Marian Stamp Dawkins and Ian J. H. Duncan believed that the terms ''well-being'' and ''suffering'' would be very difficult to define.[3] That remains the case two decades later. Until more is known, it is unlikely that kept animals will enjoy more of the objectively defined well-being for which we all should hope. Following are some questions to be asked in assessing animal state of being.[4] Is the animal

• Having its actual needs met, achieving internal integrity and psychic stability, coping, adapting?

• Showing frank signs of sickness, injury, trauma, emotional disturbance?

• As free of suffering as possible, experiencing mostly neutral and positive emotional states?

• To some extent able to control its environment, predict it, live harmoniously in it?

• Performing growing, reproducing, lactating, competing, working at a high level?

• Showing signs of imminent illness or being in a vulnerable state?

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