Humanity in Animal Welfare

In this episode, Uva Coles, Our WellSpring’s host, speaks with Dr. Candace Croney, Associate Vice-Provost for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging and Director of Purdue University’s Center for Animal Welfare Science. A highly regarded and accomplished animal welfare professional and advocate, Dr. Croney delicately balances the hypervisible with the invisible. Sharing from her personal experiences, she taps into the importance of bridging across divides, being a truth teller, and connecting not only with the animals but with the humans who care deeply about them. Much of this work, Dr. Croney reminds us, requires a deeper, non-judgmental understanding of cultural norms and contexts. 


Dr. Candace Croney is the Associate Vice-Provost for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, Director of Purdue University’s Center for Animal Welfare Science, and professor of animal behavior and well-being in the departments of Comparative Pathobiology and Animal Sciences.  

Dr. Croney earned her PhD in animal sciences from Penn State University. Before joining Purdue University, she conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, was Assistant Director of Conservation Education at the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, and held faculty appointments in animal behavior and bioethics in the Animal Sciences Department at Oregon State University and in Preventive Medicine at The Ohio State University.

Her research focuses on: developing and applying non-invasive metrics of welfare in agricultural and companion animals; understanding effects of rearing environments and management on animal behavior, health, and welfare; public perceptions of animal agriculture and welfare; bioethics-science interfaces in animal care and welfare policy, practice, and public communications. She recently translated her collaborative research on canine welfare to create a unique voluntary national certification program, TM Canine Care Certified, that sets rigorous standards for the care and welfare of dogs in breeding kennels. Her work has been featured in national and international broadcast programs by outlets such as Animal Planet, National Geographic, and the British Broadcasting Corporation.  

She serves as scientific advisor on animal welfare to numerous groups, including the American Humane Association, Tyson Foods, Fairlife, and Bob Evans Farms.

Our WellSpring Host

Uva Coles, Chief Learning Officer
Uva Coles serves as Chief Learning Officer for Spring Point Partners. As theorganization’s external learning steward, Uva’s leadership ensures that equity,human-centered leadership, and narrative change are woven through every aspect of SPP’s partner-based learning deliveries. A writer, speaker, inclusive organizational strategist, and lifelong learner, Uva believes every room we step into is a classroom. Sometimes we are teachers; sometimes we are students. Our best learning happens, she believes, when we can be both.

Key Takeaways 

  • Try to suspend judgment and lean into learning cultural contexts in order to arrive at optimal, animal welfare work. 

  • We must be truth tellers. We can’t do good work in ethics without being honest. 

  • Biases are part of the human condition. Understanding them and working through them is part of our responsibility. 

  • In centering for animals, don’t view people as part of the problem but rather prospective partners in sustainable problem solving

Resource List 

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Humanity in Animal Welfare
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