Animal Protection Group Announces Call for Grant Proposals on Research of Farm Animal Emotion and Cognition

Animal Protection Group Announces Call for Grant Proposals on Research of Farm Animal Emotion and Cognition

LOS ANGELES – June 27, 2013 – The animal protection organization Farm Sanctuary announces a call for grant proposals on observational research on farm animal emotions, behavior, and cognitive abilities. Grants will be awarded for amounts ranging from $1,000 to $20,000, and proposals will be considered during two time periods: late July and late October.

With an initial budget of $175,000, the non-invasive scientific research is part of a new science-based initiative, called “The Someone Project,” to transform the way society views and understands farm animals by filling some of the gaps in our knowledge about farm animal capacities.

Dr. Lori Marino, Emory University neuroscientist and executive director of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, has been retained to review all of the existing behavior, emotion, and cognition research conducted with farm animals — for example, studies demonstrating that pigs can play video games more effectively than primates, chickens are skilled at navigating mazes, and sheep remember one another for years — and to submit species-by-species meta-reviews for publication.

The grant selection committee is comprised of Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder; Hope Fredowsian, M.D., M.P.H., George Washington University; Joyce D’Silva, Ambassador, Compassion in World Farming; and key experts in the areas under review, who will be approved by Farm Sanctuary.

Summing up the state of research to date, Dr. Jane Goodall writes: “Farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear, and pain. They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined… they are individuals in their own right.” And Dr. Temple Grandin explains, “We don’t know what animals can and can’t do. The fact that we’re constantly being dumbfounded by brand-new abilities no one had a clue animals possessed ought to be a lesson to us about how much we don’t know.”

Proposals must be submitted by either July 15, 2013, or October 15, 2013.

For more information on how to submit a proposal, click here.

Farm Sanctuary operates three shelters in New York and California that provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals, works to change laws to decrease abuse of farm animals, and promotes compassionate vegan living.