ORIGINS OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS ANIMALS

Meng, Jia (2009). ORIGINS OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS ANIMALS PhD Thesis, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Meng, Jia
Thesis Title ORIGINS OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS ANIMALS
School, Centre or Institute School of Veterinary Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-03
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Clive Phillips
Janina Wojciechowska
Nicola Cross
Total pages 400
Total colour pages 33
Total black and white pages 367
Subjects 010401 Applied Statistics
220399 Philosophy not elsewhere classified
070207 Humane Animal Treatment
Abstract/Summary The present study is a unity of science and philosophy. Previous studies of the attitudes towards animals suggest they are far from universal. The majority of existing studies are largely based on animal welfare in the Western world, which represents approximately 12% of the world human population. Little attention has been given to people in other parts of the world. People sometimes assume that animal welfare is the equivalent of animal protection, or positive attitudes towards animals, though the difference between animal welfare and animal rights has gained some attention. The present study was placed in a global context; it not only investigated the attitudes of people from vastly different backgrounds, but also investigated the relationship between attitudes towards animal issues and world issues. Three distinct types of animal protection, Animal Welfare, Reverence for Animals, and New Welfarism were identified by scientific methods. The major research method was an international survey of university students distributed online during 2007 – 2008. The survey was presented in the official languages of participating nations, and over 90 variables were investigated. The participants were invited by local collaborators from different parts of the nation based on probability sampling. In total, 4,514 filled questionnaires were received from 12 nations by the middle of 2008. The 12 nations were: China (mainland), Czech Republic, Iran, Ireland, Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- J.Meng - ORIGINS OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS ANIMALS - 2009 Abstract 19 The results were weighted by the gender ratio, level of education and area of study obtained from other sources; the results were also adjusted by tertiary enrolment rate of the nation. Factor analysis, one self-developed program and other types of statistical techniques were applied to the raw results. In total nine Attitudes to Animal Indices were established for different types of attitudes. Two indices were created to calculate people’s attitudes to animal welfare and animal rights. The origin of positive attitude to animals was discussed from an evolutionary perspective; the relationship between holism and reverence for animals was explored. Important conclusions of the present study are shown below: · The definitions for animal protection and vegetarianism are different in different nations. · Prevalent stereotypes of the attitudes of some societies are incomplete and unrepresentative. · Animal Welfare and Reverence for Animals are two fundamentally different attitudes towards animals. · A holistic world view is tied to high Reverence for Animals. · Animal Rights is a product of animal welfare and Reverence for Animals. Societies can have low levels of animal welfare but high levels of animal rights when Animal Welfare is low but the Reverence for Animals is high. · ‘New Welfarism’, a term coined by Gary L. Francione, is identified scientifically. This type of animal protection does not challenge the property status of animals and is different from Animal Rights; Integrity of animals and zoo issues are important aspects of Animal Rights but have been given limited attention in New Welfarism. · In total the four types of animal protection explain 32.8% of the variation in the overall attitudes to animals. The degree of the different types of animal protection are: Animal Welfare – UK> Spain, Iran, Norway, Serbia>China, Czech, Ireland, South Korea, Macedonia, Sweden; New Welfarism – UK>Serbia>Macedonia>Spain>China, Czech, Ireland, Norway>Iran, Sweden>South Korea; Reverence for Animals – ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- J.Meng - ORIGINS OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS ANIMALS - 2009 Abstract 20 UK>Macedonia>China, Serbia>Spain>Czech, Ireland, South Korea, Norway, Sweden>Iran; Animal Rights – UK>Serbia>Macedonia, Spain>China, Czech, Ireland, Iran, South Korea,Norway, Sweden; Other types of attitudes analysed were: naturalness (Genetic changes) of animals, autonomy of animals, animal experimentation, wildlife protection, spiritual power of animals. · Respect for the autonomy of animals is identified as a positive attitude towards animals. This attitude is sometimes mistaken for the avoidance of animals. · The attitude to animal welfare is a more consistent predictor of the attitudes to world issues among different types of animal protection at the present time. · Females on average have more positive attitudes to animals than males. · Overall ranking of perceived sentience is: Human Infant> apes>other mammals> birds> cold-blooded animals. · Far East tradition, Greek tradition and many indigenous traditions have higher levels of reverence for animals than do Abrahamic religions. · There is some evidence to suggest that people in higher levels of the social hierarchy tend to have lower reverence for animals. · Students from nations sharing similar political ideologies, in particular those sharing communist influences, share similar overall attitudes to animals and world issues, but this association can also be explained by the similar human welfare levels in these nations. The present author concluded that though many factors are associated with the attitudes towards animals, memes (tradition, religion, political ideology, education, etc.) and genes (empathy, position in social hierarchy, genetic similarity to the animals, etc.) are two fundamental origins of attitudes towards animals, and the two can be further unified by the information they carry.
Additional Notes 79,80,81,82,83,84,88,95,98,102,107,108,109,110,111,147,182,183,184,185,288,300,325,326,327,328,331,332,373,374,375,399,400

 
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Created: Sun, 25 Oct 2009, 04:06:01 EST by Ms Jia Meng on behalf of Library - Information Access Service