Circle of Life: Non-anthropocentric evolutionary tree - by Brenda de Groot

For a world beyond speciesism

Brenda de Groot profile picture

Hi there, and welcome to my website! My name is Brenda.
I am an artist, researcher, primatologist (a.k.a. professional monkey obsessor), passionate and compassionate conservationist, and animal rights advocate on a mission to make the world a better place for all sentient beings who call this planet home.

If there is one thing you need to know about me, it is that I am all about animals. I study their lives and minds, and create art and stories to advocate for the acknowledgement of their intrinsic value, moral standing and rights. I believe that it is high time to shift humanity’s anthropocentric worldview into a sentiocentric one, and I use my art and research to advance this (r)evolution.

This website is a journal and portfolio of my animal-infused odyssey. Welcome aboard, and feel free to roam around!

Research_

Hypocriete veganist header chimpansee - Copyright: Brenda de Groot

Animal Ethnography

Upgrading ethology in the animal turn

I developed a new cross-disciplinary method for studying other animals (i.e. their behaviour, culture and subjective experiences), that takes them seriously as nonhuman persons, agents and subjects of a situated life. It carries the working title animal ethnography, as it applies ethnographic techniques including (but not limited to) participant observation, thick description and video. The approach embraces the collection and publication of qualitative data, to compliment, enrich and deepen existing quantitative studies, with the aim to promote a high level of scientific rigour while facilitating a holistic understanding of animal lives, societies, behaviours and minds.

Hypocriete veganist header chimpansee - Copyright: Brenda de Groot

The Moral Standing of Animals

The psychology of speciesism

How much moral concern do we have for different animals? And to what extend does their sentience, cognitive capacity and likability explain their respective places on the circle of moral concern? In this study explore people’s evaluations of moral standing of a large range of animal species, and the cognitive and affective determinants that contribute to this evaluation.

This study will be launched very soon; you’ll then be able to participate through the button below.

Teaching_

Academic Skills Tutorial

Mentor & tutor
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Animal Consciousness

Workgroups 
Theme within Consciousness

Psychology and Science

Workgroups
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History of Psychology

Workgroups
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Art_

It all started when my mother gave 3-year-old me a pencil and a piece of paper. I simply never let it go. I drew my way through childhood, fueled by the animals who I ‘studied’ through drawing. Later I added sculpture – which is essentially drawing in 3D – and writing to the mix.

While I love the practice for its own sake, I think art can also play a valuable role for science and animal ethics.

First, art can communicate scientific knowledge and ideas to a broad audience, as it can be viewed, understood and enjoyed by people of all ages, cultures, and corners of society. Thus, through art, academics can reach masses of people.  

Second, works of art have the ability to make people feel. Given that emotions are the leading drivers for our actions, it is art that has the potential to change people’s mindsets and behaviour.

And last but not least: art can show us an alternative of the world as it is. Through visual art and storytelling, we are able to share our visions of the world as it could be. If we know what our envisioned future looks like, then we can go build the path that leads there.

Now combine the ability of art to inform masses of people, make them feel intensely, and to deliver an image of a world we want to work towards, then I think art has great potential for changing the world for the better.

Vegan Monkey_

Fun fact: this website started as a vegan blog, to help inspire a wide audience to adopt a vegan lifestyle, a.k.a. become practicing sentientists.

My life has evolved, but you can still read the articles under the header Vegan Monkey. Note that only some articles are translated into English, since my audience was predominantly Dutch.

Digital nomad work Macbook and ice coffee - Copyright Brenda de Groot

Contact me_

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