Cultural influences on attitudes to animals

Phillips, Clive (2009). Cultural influences on attitudes to animals. In: Minding Animals 2009: Invited Speaker Abstracts. Newcastle 2009: The Inaugural Minding Animals Conference, Newcastle, NSW, Australia, (). 12-19 July 2009.

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Author Phillips, Clive
Title of paper Cultural influences on attitudes to animals
Conference name Newcastle 2009: The Inaugural Minding Animals Conference
Conference location Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Conference dates 12-19 July 2009
Convener Minding Animals International (MAI)
Proceedings title Minding Animals 2009: Invited Speaker Abstracts
Place of Publication Salamander Bay, NSW, Australia
Publisher Minding Animals International (MAI)
Publication Year 2009
Sub-type Published abstract
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The diversity of attitudes to animal welfare around the world is testament to the influences of culture. Key drivers are likely to include religion, economic situation, and uses of animals, as determined by the climatic and historical situation of a region. Cultural traditions are overtly speciesist and lead to empathy being demonstrated principally to those animals from which most benefit is obtained, although there is a universal focus on animals genetically similar to humans. Culture perpetuates the different societal positions that animals hold throughout the world. Religious values have had a major influence on societal attitudes to animals, even if individuals are not practising adherents to a faith.

The Abrahamic faiths, Christianity, Islamism and Judaism, all consider the principle value of animals to be in support of humankind, whereas the Eastern religions, and especially Buddhism, support a more egalitarian position. Many Western societies are changing from using animals from the physical benefits they can provide, food, clothing etc, to the psychological benefits of companionship and their role in nature conservation. At a microeconomic level, people’s support for the welfare, but not necessarily rights, of animals is largely dependent on having adequate disposable income. Finally cultural values towards animals have arisen partly in response to the necessity of using animals for people’s physical needs, which is greater in harsh climates than in more benign situations, where agricultural crops can be grown for these purposes. Such differences are perpetuated through regional cultures, even when international trade makes animal products available to all.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Authors' prepress title: "Cultural influences on attitudes to animal welfare". Presented as Paper IS012.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Veterinary Science Publications
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Created: Wed, 09 Mar 2011, 12:09:53 EST by Annette Winter on behalf of School of Veterinary Science