Minding Animals International (MAI) provides an avenue for the transdisciplinary field of Animal Studies to be more responsive to the protection of animals. It is recognised that animal protection in this context encapsulates environmentalism, animal liberation, animal rights, wildlife protection, animal welfare and animal justice (in no particular order of importance). MAI aims to enable discourse between the various interests within this rapidly developing transdisciplinary field in ways that will improve the status of non-human animals and alleviate nonhuman animal exploitation. As such, MAI facilitates research in Animal Studies as a conduit of non-governmental politics and action. MAI acts as a bridge between academia and advocacy and is a network of academics, artists, activists and advocates, dedicated to the study and protection of all planetary life through the advancement of Animal Studies.
MAI was founded in early 2010 by Rod Bennison to advance this objective as originally adopted by the Organising Committee for the Inaugural Minding Animals Conference (MAC) in Newcastle, Australia, and affirmed by the Minding Animals Committee (initially established at the close of that conference to examine holding a second conference). The Newcastle conference also represented the third biennial conference of the Australian Animal Studies Group. The Minding Animals International Committee has now been replaced by a more formal structure.