Workshop session 2 (15.30-17.00)

T‎his is the second of two workshop sessions on Wednesday 7 September. Information about the earlier session (13.30-15.00) can be found here

Workshop 4: Transforming Empathy?

Organised by Rhona J. Flynn, MA, Dr. Carlo Salzani, Dr. Martin Huth, Messerli Research Institute, Vienna

The title of this workshop has a double meaning, which expresses the basic aims of the presentations and envisioned discussions:

First, we want to tackle the question whether and to what extent empathy with more-than-human life has the potential to be transformative with regard to current food systems but also wider contexts of human-animal interactions. Social, political, and economical structures seem to be determinants for particular images of animals (including classifications as companions, livestock/production units, vermin, feral animals, liminal animals etc.). In turn, these images contribute to the sustenance of these structures. Yet, how is change possible? In order to be able to deal with this issue, we will outline an approach to empathy, which is suitable for human-animal interactions. Here, we will be drawing from various sources on empathy such as analytic philosophy, pertinent texts in animal ethics (such as Lori Gruen’s broadly received Entangled Empathy), phenomenology, literature and literary theory. Further, we will elaborate the specific strength of empathy to form a basis for the critical assessment of pertinent structures and practices.

Second, we will ask how patterns of empathy can be transformed. If, for instance, Melanie Joy is right in indicating that hidden ideologies and beliefs (carnism) block empathy with livestock animals, then ethicists (and epistemologists) have to investigate in the possibilities of critique and of the changeability of empathy itself. Here, we will also analyse the limits of empathy since the question emerges whether, how and to what extent empathy with animals is, generally, thwarted by anthropomorphism and normalism.

The workshop will consist of inputs by Rhona Flynn, Carlo Salzani and Martin Huth followed by discussions with the participants.


Workshop 5: Test session for a tool for Just food system transformations

Organised by Teea Kortetmäki, University of Jyvaskyla

Participants: the workshop is limited to a maximum of 15 people

Mitigating the climate impacts from food systems is a crucial task but making the needed, systemic low-carbon transition in a just way raises numerous ethical challenges and complexities. Our transdisciplinary research project JUST-FOOD ( has created the preliminary prototype of a tool that is meant for food system professionals, private and public sector actors, to help them realise and make sense of just transition in their own work.

Workshop participants will be able to apply/test and give feedback about the tool and give their own reflections about the challenges of realising justice in the low-carbon transition of food systems. While we welcome all interested participants, we encourage food professionals working outside the academia to participate in testing the tool and giving feedback. This is because the tool is designed to support their work in promoting just transition in food systems governance and praxis.

Participants will be asked for a permission to record the discussion and use it for research purposes and for recapitulating workshop discussions to support tool development.


Workshop 6: Food Ethics Teaching: Sharing Tools, Cases and Approaches

Organised by Kate Millar, University of Nottingham

Building on previous EurSafe teaching sessions, this brings together individuals who are involved in Food Ethics teaching to share approaches and tools that can help individuals who are teaching food ethics to science students at levels from bachelor to PhD degrees.
The workshop is supporting the development of materials for a book that is hoped will be published in 2022. The session will allow proposes of chapters to test out some ideas that will be useful for them as they write up their work but also of value to the Conference participants who will get to hear about and experience new approaches to teaching. The workshop will be split into eight short presentations with each contributor sharing either:

  1. A theoretical or methodological approach (how to teach food ethics);
  2. A proposals for the study of ethics issues or dilemmas that arises in the fields of food research and production ethics; or
  3. A proposal for the exploration of topics related to food ethics.

As discussed in previous workshop, food ethics lecturers often have to deal with difficult side-constraints, such as having too little time allocated for their subject teaching, having to teach students too early in their study programme, teaching students who do not initially see the relevance of ethics. Food ethics teachers can also be asked by faculty to apply a narrow definition of what ethics means, and in some situation find themselves working with non-supportive colleagues. So this session is design to help us share as a community and importantly to use this opportunity to also take insights from the session to help us write up this work that can then be shared more widely with colleagues through an open access publication. The session will be structure as a form of ‘Show & Tell’ presentation in order to stimulate discussion and will also aim to support an active community within EurSafe.

The session will comprise of eight five-minute presentation and one person facilitating the discussion with 45 minutes for further input and reflection from the audience.