Animals in Our Lives: An Interactive Well-being Perspective

Nancy V. Wünderlich, Jill Mosteller, Michael Beverland*, Hilary Downey, Karen Kraus, Meng-Hsien (Jenny) Lin, Henna Syrjälä

*Corresponding author for this work

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Humans have long interacted with animals. Recently, market-based responses to societal challenges, including loneliness and mental well-being include the use of animals. Considerable research concerning consumer–animal relationships has also examined the benefits (micro, meso, and macro) of human-animal interaction and companionship. However, much of this research is fragmented and lacks a broader organizing framework. It also suffers from an anthropomorphic bias, whereby the interests of animals are excluded. To address this, we provide a macromarketing perspective on consumer–animal relations and explore the interdependencies of consumer–animal relationships on consumer, animal, and community well-being. We introduce and apply the Interactive Well-Being framework to four contexts –ranging from private to public consumption spaces– that highlight the interdependencies and systems involved in consumer–animal relationships: (1) co-habitation with animals, (2) emotional support animals, (3) working with animals, and (4) animals in commercial service contexts. We discuss the implications of our framework for the resilience of marketing systems and how the framework aligns with alternative economy development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)646-662
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Animals
  • Animal welfare
  • Quality of life
  • Resilience
  • Well-being

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