Summer school for animals 2022. Interview with Yolaine de la Bigne

We mentioned the summer university of the beast, which will be held in the year 2022 on the side of the Bourbansais (Pleugueuneuc, in Ille et Vilaine). We interviewed its founder and main facilitator, Yolaine de la Bigne. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Authored press and radio journalist, I specialized in defending the environment at the time on a theme about Living: animal intelligence by creating two events, the animal’s summer university at the end of August in Brittany and the world day’s animal intelligence at. city ​​of science and industry in La Villette in early February. On the site, the beast and the man are grouped my interviews of specialists and the books that result from it What is the Animal Summer School? What work has been done in recent years?

Summer University of Animals is a meeting and exchange venue that brings together specialists in animal intelligence. The goal is to convey their work to a wide audience. It deals with various animals, mythical or unloved, from the pigeon to the chimpanzee through the killer whale or the cat. The conferences are followed by discussions with the public and workshops to approach the animals in a more concrete way. Can you tell us about the central theme this year and the speakers?

There is no particular theme like all the other years because the goal is precisely to show the diversity and richness of animal intelligence without focusing on a particular species. After all, we have two conferences dealing with animal mediation, that is, how animals through their emotional intelligence can help humans. Laurence Paoli will tell us about the animals that do us good, that help the homeless, children, autistics and many others, from a medical or psychological point of view. And Catherine Mercier, a prison psychologist and breeder of purebred Arabs, will explain to us her work in prisons with her horses to re-establish relationships with certain violent or traumatized people and teach them respect for others. During a workshop with her horses, she will make us think about our sense of group, our autonomy or our self-confidence. The ethologist Michel Kreutzer will give an update on his work on the madness of animals, those who mix too much with humans or wild animals. And because the animal is a model that especially inspires us from an economic point of view, Emmanuelle Joseph-Dailly will talk to us about biomimetics and all the objects or concepts that we have created thanks to the animal model. But for that, one must know how to look at and understand the nature that surrounds us. This is the theme of the conference by naturalist Samuel Rebulard, who will also take us on a tour of La Bourbansai’s estate to explain to us how to observe what surrounds us. Finally, veterinarian and ethologist Farah Kesri will talk to us about sexuality and reproduction and all these strategies that animals have developed during evolution to start a family. How is the animal fundamental to man, and this through the ages?

We have always tried to erase our animal personality, yet man is an animal like everyone else. Its intelligence is more abstract and its evolution very different, but understanding our animal roots is the key to better understanding our world. In addition, animals are fundamental to nourishing us because they pollinate plants and it is thanks to them that we can find food. They also helped us develop and become what we are, I think especially of the horses without whom our world would be very different. Today, we discover the diverse talents of certain animals, which help us deal with certain weaknesses or certain diseases thanks to animal mediation. The pet also changes our daily lives and all cat or dog owners know the happiness that their companions give them. And while the 6th extinction puts nature in great danger, we understand how much animals through their talents and strategies can inspire us. Besides, would it be a world without animals? Their grace and beauty give its poetry to the world. It seems that your UDT avoids certain pitfalls, especially radical animal groups that seek to oppose humans and animals. How do you do it?

Although I respect everyone’s work in defending animals, I have not contacted radical associations to avoid conflicts, especially since the animal summer school takes place in a zoo, a very controversial concept. If there are places and times where the debate or even the struggle is necessary, it is not the goal of this university that brings together an audience of animal lovers. If the cause of the animal remains the common thread in all the interventions, the thought is to marvel at the genius of nature. To better understand and respect it How to register and participate in your UDT?

You must register on the website.

Image credit: DR
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