Animal Welfare: Zootopia - Exploring the Interspecies Relationship (Oregon)
This DeCal will focus on analyzing the cultural and institutional systems that determine the way humans view and treat animals. We will examine how corporate and governmental players, self-interest, and a general lack of awareness have fueled anthropocentrism in our society. While we will focus on the many concrete injustices faced by animals today such as the systematic abuse of animals in factory farms, we will also discuss themes such as the relationship between animals and other marginalized groups. Class discussion topics will include the domestic and exotic pet trade, circuses, zoos, aquariums,factory farming, intersectionality, inclusivity, animals in low-income communities, hunting tourism and fisheries. The DeCal will be highlighted by a Spring Break in Oregon volunteering with various community partners including farm sanctuaries, wildlife rehabilitation and rescue centers, and animal shelters. We hope that exploring the relationship between different species and intersects with other social justice issues, will inspire students to work toward a safer and more peaceful world for all.
Break Leader BiosHeliya Izadpanah
Hello! My name is Heliya and I am one of the Break Leaders for this year’s Animal Welfare trip! Growing up, I had pet chickens, a cat, a guinea pig, a rabbit, and fish. Although I befriended all my pets, interacting with chickens was a particularly unique opportunity that inspired me to question why we tend to deny certain species respect. After participating in animal rights rallies and the animal welfare DeCal last year, I knew I wanted to continue actively discussing the relationship between humans and other animals. Outside of the Alternative Breaks program, you can find me studying Society and Environment in the College of Natural Resources, working on waste reduction on the Cal Dining Sustainability Team, and leading the United Nations Refugee Agency at Cal (UNRAC). I am incredibly excited to get to know this year’s DeCal members, learn from participants, and see the wonderful animals in Oregon again this Spring!Giselle Serafin
Hello! My name is Giselle Serafin, and I am a 3rd year Environmental Science major with a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. I am a first generation chicanx college student, who loves trees and dogs. I participated in this trip as a participant last year and learned a lot more about the issues plaguing animals welfare that changed my perspective about how I could get involved. Also, I was with a group of inspiring individuals and community members, so I want to share that experience again co-leading this trip. (I also get to spend another spring break surrounded by pigs, which is a plus.) I am especially passionate about the overlap between animal welfare, environmental health, and environmental justice and how that disproportionately affects low-income people of color. Outside of Alternative Breaks, I have been apart of various environmental health committees, do agriculture research, and work with a free vaccine clinic for dogs and cats for owners, who can't afford high veterinary costs. I am extremely excited for the journey together and all that participants will at to the program!