Natasha Townley

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» Natasha Townley
University of Exeter

I am a master’s student, currently studying Anthrozoology at the University of Exeter. This course is designed to consider the ways humans and non-humans think about and relate to one another.

I have always had a great love of animals and grew up in a vegetarian household, becoming vegan four and a half years ago. I wrote my undergraduate dissertation about fox-hunting in the UK. For this, I interviewed participants from both sides of the debate to understand how views on fox-hunting reflected wider views of non-human animals in general.

I have since spent several years working in animal rescue shelters as a care assistant, looking after the day-to-day needs of the animals, before deciding to study my master’s degree with the hope I could find a way to improve the lives of animals more widely.

As part of my master’s course, I have covered varied topics such as compassionate conservation, nonhuman thanatology, nonhuman culture and animal criminology. Many of my essays have focussed on farming environments, including a literature-based review of suffering in pig-farms and first-hand research into how we might find alternatives to slaughter for ex-dairy cows.

It has been wonderful to get to meet many insightful and knowledgeable people during my studies and I am excited to see where Anthrozoology will take me next.

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