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Antennae: Independent interpretative research, consultancy, and dialogical seminars for universities, government, NGOs and other organizations, with a focus on the relation between humans, animals and nature.

Now bookable: "Eating meat or not? The keys to understanding your own and others' reasoning" (interactive seminar)

Services & Possibilities

Are you looking for a qualitative researcher or do you need creative input on setting up your own research? My services as an independent researcher consist primarily of designing, guiding and/or performing research projects on the topics of human-animal and human-nature relations - with the aim of uncovering meaningful patterns and shedding light on the ambiguity and ambivalence that often accompany these relationships. In addition, I write articles and give lectures/workshops on my core topics, and am available for consults on topics related to animal issues and sustainability. I like thinking along with you about your projects and help you design better research, better campaigns and better communication.

I am especially interested in work that will allow me to connect my theoretical work on framing and decision making to practice, such as communication/perception research or campaigning projects, on topics regarding individual and societal aspects of human-animal relations, human-nature interactions and sustainability. My strengths lie in setting up, guiding and performing interpretive research projects, as well as translating the results of research into scientific and popular communication forms.

Key-words: Human-animal and human-nature relations, interpretive research, perception studies, framing patterns, decision making processes, ambivalence, ethics, communication, coordination, integral approach, dialogue, ethics, animal welfare, animal agency, domesticated/captive animals, farming and slaughter, Netherlands & Turkey.

You can invest in my services both on project-basis or on an hourly basis. I donate part of my profit to an animal/nature related charity, and for ideological projects I have reduced rates. Please feel free to contact me for more information and we can schedule a brain-storm about your project idea.


"Eating meat or not? The keys to understanding your own and others' reasoning"

In this seminar filled with interactive choice and thought experiments, attention will be paid to the consumer-citizen issue, to animal welfare, environmental impact and health, helping you to understand why some people turn vegetarian and others remain meat-eaters - no matter what your own choice in the matter is. The second half of the interactive seminar is designed to make you aware of the different forces present within all of us that urge us to do one thing in one situation and another thing in a different situation, and helps shed light on cognitive dissonance and the various strategic ways people have of dealing with the icky feeling associated with it. In short, if you feel lost in the plurality of arguments regarding animal husbandry and its consequences and want to get a clear overview of the logic of different ways of reasoning and behaviour, this workshop is for you.

Reviews of the seminar:

Noelle Aarts, Professor Socio-Ecological Interactions, Institute for Science in Society, Radboud University, Nijmegen:

"Hanneke Nijland organizes workshops to discuss why some people turn vegetarian and others prefer to remain meat-eaters. Through interactive choice and thought experiments attention is paid to perceptions of animal welfare, environmental impact and health in different socio-cultural contexts. Hanneke’s workshops provide with a safe environment in which participants are invited to reflect their own consumption behaviour. The workshops are of great relevance to consider relevant aspects of our consumption behaviour, and, also important, they are great fun!"

Maite van Gerwen, Centre for Sustainable Animal Stewardship (CenSAS):

"Ik volgde de workshop ‘understanding animal farming and related consumption behaviour’ van Hanneke op een wetenschappelijk congres over dierenwelzijn in de veehouderij. Middels een gedachtenexperiment, uitgevoerd in een leuk interactief rollenspel, maakten we als deelnemers kennis met de verschillende interne drijvers die invloed hebben op het gedrag van mensen. In het bijzonder wanneer het gaat over het wel of niet consumeren van vlees.

Hanneke is een prettig en open persoon waarbij ik me als deelnemer van de workshop snel op mijn gemak voelde. Haar aanpak is vernieuwend en zorgt ervoor dat je als deelnemer nieuwe inzichten krijgt. Door te ervaren welke verschillende interne drijvers bijdragen aan het gedrag en keuzes van mensen, ga je beter begrijpen waarom verschillende mensen zo verschillende denken over het wel of niet eten van vlees. Deze verkregen inzichten helpen om het gesprek over dierlijke productie op een constructievere manier te voeren. Voor professionals die zich bezighouden met vraagstukken en maatschappelijke discussies over dierlijke productie en het doden van dieren voor consumptie is deze workshop zeker de moeite waard om te volgen."


The content of the seminar depends on how much time is available.

- A concise version involves learning to understand and work with our own and others’ ways of reasoning about the (non) acceptance of keeping and killing animals for consumption purposes, and the different behavioural consequences associated with it (veg/bio/local/regular/etc.). This is done through an interactive choice experiment and discussion thereof, followed by introducing a framework for understanding the logic and consistency of the various arguments.

- A broader version also takes into account the goals and considerations that are at play in the inner decision-making process leading up to these lines of argument and behaviours, giving insight into, for example, the consumer-citizen issue. Through an interactive theatre experiment, the various inner goals that interact are brought into awareness. In addition, this expansion of the workshop not only provides deepened insight into how cognitive dissonance arises, but also provides insight-through-experience in how people communicate strategically to deal with this dissonance.

Interested? Contact me for more details.


Open access to material from my research project 'Disentangling the domestic contract: understanding the everyday-life construction of acceptability -or non-acceptability- of keeping and killing animals for food'​ (right-click to save target on your device):

-The complete dissertation (pdf)

-The English summary, the Dutch summary, or the Turkish summary (pdf)

-Interpretive research design (methodology chapter, pdf)

-The depiction of the clusters of reasoning and behaviour (high resolution png)

-The Inner decision committee model (flowchart)

-The Inner decision committee model (impression)

-What is careful livestock farming? Substantiating the layered meaning of the term 'careful' and drawing implications for the stakeholder dialogue (journal article)

-Exploring the Framing of Animal Farming and Meat Consumption: On the Diversity of Topics Used and Qualitative Patterns in Selected Demographic Contexts (journal article)


Clusters of reasoning and behaviour

Recent projects include:

-Designing and conducting focus group interviews for a research project on coping strategies uttered by dog owners.

-Giving a seminar 'Denkpatronen Dierlijke Productie en Duurzaamheid Doorgrond' for the Sustainable Week Boxtel (Duurzame Week Boxtel) in cooperation withTransitie Boxtel, ZLTO Dommel en Aa and OVL

-Giving a leture on animal activism for the Otherwise Foundation

-Giving the interactive seminar "The acceptability of animal farming and related consumption behaviour: the keys to understanding your own and others' reasoning". At among others Wageningen University, Hohenheim University (Stuttgart), and the 7th International Conference on the Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm and Group Level.

-Research consultancy for a zoonosis research of the Dutch Ministry of EZ & Van Hall Larenstein, for Wageningen Livestock Research

-Organising a workshop 'An intercultural dialogue on social and cultural contexts of livestock production' with dr. Wiebke Wellbrock and dr. Birgit Boogaard for the Tropentag 2017 conference in Bonn.

-Designing and guiding an empirical (interpretive analysis) research on the perceptions of the effects of breeding measures on the welfare of dogs, for philosopher Bernice Bovenkerk's VENI program 'The Ethics of Domestication'. Click here to read our first article (open access).

-Mentoring groups of students in designing and performing their first empirical research for the course 'Communication and Organisations' (Wageningen University)

-Academic consultancy for Wageningen University academic masterclass

-Consultancy on writing research proposals.

-Various guest lectures, on research methodology as well as communication strategies regarding animal husbandry and meat eating, at Wageningen University and Radboud University Nijmegen

For an overview of my research & consultancy experience before I started working as an independent researcher and my teaching affiliation with Wageningen University, please have a look at my LinkedIn page.


My name is Hanneke Nijland. I have been studying and working in the field of human-animal and human-nature relations for over 20 years.

During my studies, a self-composed BSc/MSc program at Wageningen University that I dubbed 'Nature & Society', I chose to specialize in different aspects of human-nature and human-animal relations: I studied the ethical and practical argumentation regarding keeping and killing pigs for food; researched animal welfare labelling and wrote articles for Natuur & Techniek's special NWO issue on animal welfare; organised a philosophical debate on farm animal welfare with Peter Singer for Varkens in Nood and Philosophy Magazine; monitored sea-turtle nesting beaches for WWF-Turkey; researched the legal and practical welfare situation of broilers in Turkey; and performed an ethological study on the effects of group size and density on the vocalisation of laying hens. I graduated cum laude in 2005.

I have since gained professional experience working as a researcher, consultant and coordinator at WWF-Turkey in Istanbul, the Animal Sciences Group in Lelystad, Küre Mountains National Park in Kastamonu (Turkey), and the Animal and Law Foundation in Amsterdam. In 2008 I returned to my alma mater, Wageningen University, as a researcher at the Strategic Communication chair group, to research the perception of circus animal welfare by hands-on experts. After this (published) research, I acquired funding for a PhD via an Open Call of WASS Graduate School, leading to designing and conducting my own research project, entitled 'Disentangling the domestic contract: understanding the everyday-life construction of acceptability -or non-acceptability- of keeping and killing animals for food'​, based on case studies in the Netherlands and Turkey. In the presence of my mentors prof. dr Noelle Aarts and prof. dr Cees van Woerkum, I defended the PhD dissertation that was the result of this project on the 30th of August 2016 with the judgements very good (thesis) and excellent (defense).

After a postdoc position at the VIDI project 'Anthropocene Ethics: taking animal agency seriously' at Wageningen University's Communication, Philosophy and Technology (CPT): centre for integrative development, and a short but fruitful period at Wageningen DIalogues, did became a postdoctoral researcher at Radboud University's Institute for Science in Society (ISiS), where I did action research in three ‘Living Labs’ aiming for nature-inclusive agriculture and biodiversity restoration. This lead to a model distinguishing conditions for constructive (transdisciplinary) interaction.

Currently, I work as a independent researcher, research consultant and connector.


For more information about my way of working, to request a brain-storm session about your project-idea, or to schedule a consult, simply send me an e-mail and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Also feel free to contact me with questions regarding my research 'Disentangling the Domestic contract: understanding the everyday-life construction of acceptability -or non-acceptability- of keeping and killing animals for food', or to request a hardcopy of the dissertation.

Hanneke J. Nijland, MSc, PhD
Hanneke J. Nijland Research & Consultancy - "Antennae"
Wageningen, the Netherlands
Listed in the Dutch Commercial Register of the Chamber of Commerce under file number 66816726




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