HRC Care Lab Presents: “Compassionate Matters” with Peter Li

Compassion Matters
Humans and Nonhuman Individuals in Today’s World

The recording of the talk is now available:

Date/Time: Dec 15, 2022, 9am China time
Location: Zoom ID 975 3620 3156
Speaker: Peter Li, Associate Professor of E. Asian Politics, Animal Law and Policy at the University of Houston-Downtown

This presentation is about the need for humans to be sensitive and responsive to the dignity, feelings and well-being of nonhuman animals. I hope to shed light on the following points to stress the need for our compassion to extended to nonhuman individuals. First, human mistreatment of nonhuman animals is not culture specific or country specific. It happens wherever humans live. Animal cruelty is therefore a human problem. Second, it is important that we are wary of various forms of violence (physical, psychological, linguistic and others that are seemingly moralistic) against nonhuman animals. It is more important that the younger generation not participate in the perpetuation of the various forms of violence to nonhuman animals. Third, human violence to nonhuman animals has been sustained by our anthropocentric mindset and a speciesist ideology seeing nonhuman individuals as inferior in mental capacity and in feelings and emotions. This ideology has desensitized humans to animal suffering. This ideology and the resulting views and attitudes should be exposed and questioned. Finally, it is time for human, at a time of technological breakthroughs, to think what constitutes a “superior” human race. Would the human race be truly great and “superior” if it only cares about members of its own race?

I would love to have a Q&A session with the students and hear their take on what constitutes a successful student and a powerful society.


Peter Li

Peter J. Li is associate professor East Asian Politics, Animal Policy and Law, at the University of Houston-Downtown. Dr. Li’s research covers two major areas: international relations in Northeast Asia and China’s animal policy and law. For his op-ed pieces and a select number of his peer-reviewed publications, please visit ( and  (  Animal Welfare in China: Politics, Culture and Crisis (Sydney University Press, 2021) is Dr. Li’s latest publication on China’s animal welfare crisis, animal policymaking and animal protection movement at a time of great social and economic transformation (

As one of the few scholars who study China’s animal protection policy and laws, Dr. Li talks frequently to the media in the U.S. and around the world. He is also a consultant (China Policy Specialist) for Humane Society International (HSI).



休斯顿大学(城中)国际政治、东亚政治和中国动物法律和政策 副教授
美国国际人道对待动物协会, 中国事务负责人

北京外交学院毕业。1987年留学美国主修国际关系,获国际关系博士学位。李教授从事科研项目包括东北亚国际关系(朝鲜、中日和中美关系)、台海两岸关系和国际动物保护政策。李教授也是美国最大的动物保护组织 HSUS-HSI 的中国事务负责人,协调和管理该组织在中国内地、台港的动物保护与学术交流项目。李教授有关中国动物保护法律、政策的文章发表在欧美学术刊物(、媒体 。