Emerging Attitudes towards Nonhuman Animals among Spanish University Students

in Society & Animals
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Attitudes towards nonhuman animals remain an interesting area of study, especially in non-English-speaking countries in which little research has been conducted. The present paper examines the attitudes of Spanish university students (n = 481) towards 21 nonhuman animal uses and practices as well as attitudes towards human-animal similarities. To determine which variables might underlie those attitudes, this paper analyzes individual correlations and differences based on 11 psychosocial-demographic factors. Highlights from the results are as follows. First, not all animal uses and not all human-animal attributes are perceived equally. Second, there are minor but significant associations between attitudes towards animals and psychosocial- demographic factors. Lastly, the study identifies three clusters of tendencies of animal attitudes: “reckless-speciesist” (28.6%), “caress-speciesist” (45.8%), and “non-speciesist” (25.6%). The findings suggest a need to segment the target audience, to differentiate between goals, and to adapt messages accordingly when designing more effective strategies intended to foster a pro-animal ecosystem.

Emerging Attitudes towards Nonhuman Animals among Spanish University Students

in Society & Animals



  • BilewiczM.ImhoffR. & DrogoszM. (2011). The humanity of what we eat: conceptions of human uniqueness among vegetarians and omnivores. European Journal of Social Psychology41(2) 201-209.

  • BratanovaB.Loughnan S. & BastianB. (2011). The effect of categorization as food on the perceived moral standing of animals. Appetite57(1) 193-196.

  • BroidaJ.TingleyL.KimballR. & MieleJ. (1993). Personality differences between pro- and anti- vivisectionists. Society & Animals1(2) 129-144.

  • CIS. (2011). Estudio 2926: El sistema de los discursos sociales sobre los conceptos izquierda y derecha en España. Retrieved Mach 18 2014 from http://www.cis.es.

  • DíazE. (2012). Profile of the vegan activist in Spain. Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas139(1) 175-188.

  • DriscollJ. (1995). Attitudes toward animals: species ratings. Anthrozoös3(2) 139-150.

  • European Vegetarian & Animal News Alliance. (2013). Vegetarians around the world. Retrieved Mach 18 2014 from https://www.evana.org/.

  • FančovičováJ.ProkopP. & LeškováA. (2013). Perceived disgust and personal experiences are associated with acceptance of dissections in schools. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics Science & Technology Education9(3) 311-318.

  • HerzogH. (2007). Gender differences in human-animal interactions: A review. Anthrozoös7(1) 7-21.

  • HerzogH. & BurghardtG. M. (1988). Attitudes toward animals: origins and diversity. Anthrozoös1(1) 214-222.

  • HerzogH. & GalvinS. (1997). Common sense and the mental lives of animals: An empirical approach. In R. MitchellN. Thompson & H. Miles (Eds.) Anthropomorphism. Anecdotes and Animals (pp. 237-253). Albany: State University of New York Press.

  • IzmirliS. & PhillipsC. (2011). The relationship between student consumption of animal products and attitudes to animals in Europe and Asia. British Food Journal113(3) 436-450.

  • KellertS. (1980). American attitudes toward and knowledge of animals. International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems1(1) 87-119.

  • KellertS. (1985). Attitudes toward animals: age-related development among children. The Journal of Environmental Education16(3) 29-39.

  • KellertS. (1993). Values and perceptions of invertebrates. Conservation Biology7(4) 845-855.

  • KnightS.VrijA.CherrymanJ. & NunkoosingK. (2004). Attitudes towards animal use and belief in animal mindAnthrozoös17(1) 43-60.

  • KruseC. (1999). Gender, views of nature, and support for animal rights. Society & Animals7(3) 179-198.

  • Meng J. (2009). Origins of attitudes of animals. Unpublished dissertation University of Queensland Australia.

  • Ministry of Education Culture and Sports of Spain. (2012). Datos y Cifras del sistema universitario español. Retrieved March 25 2014 from http://www.mecd.gob.es.

  • NickellD. & HerzogH. (1997). Ethical ideology and moral persuasion: Personal moral philosophy, gender, and judgements of pro-and antianimal research propaganda. Society & Animals4(1) 53-64.

  • Okamoto C. (2001). High school students’ perceptions of animal mentation and their opinions on animal use in medical research and entertainment. Unpublished dissertation. University of Toronto Canada.

  • PaulE. & SerpellJ. (1993). Childhood pet keeping and humane attitudes in young adulthood. Animal Welfare2(4) 321-337.

  • PeekC.BellN. & DunhamC. (1996). Gender, gender ideology, and animal rights advocacy. Gender & Society10(4) 464-478.

  • PhillipsC. & McCullochS. (2005). Student attitudes on animal sentience and use of animals in society. Journal of Biological Education40(1) 1-8.

  • PlousS. (1996). Attitudes toward the use of animals in psychological research and education. American Psychology51(11) 1167-1180.

  • PoveyR.WellensB. & ConnerM. (2001). Attitudes towards following meat, vegetarian and vegan diets: an examination of the role of ambivalence. Appetite37(1) 15-26.

  • ProkopP. & FancovicováJ. (2010). Perceived body condition is associated with fear of a large carnivore predator in humans. Annales Zoologici Fennici47(6) 417-425.

  • ProkopP. & FančovičováJ. (2013). Does colour matter? The influence of animal coloration on human emotions and willingness to protect them. Animal Conservation16(4) 458-466.

  • RogersE. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.

  • RothgerberH. (2013). A meaty matter. Pet diet and the vegetarian’s dilemma. Appetite68(1) 76-82.

  • SerpellJ. (2004). Factors influencing human attitudes to animals and their welfare. Animal Welfare13(1) 145-151.

  • ShapiroK. (1994). The caring sleuth: Portrait of an animal rights activist. Society & Animals2(2) 145-165.

  • SignalT. & TaylorN. (2006). Attitudes to animals: Demographics within a community sample. Society & Animals14(2) 147-157.

  • TaylorN. & SignalN. (2005). Empathy and attitudes toward animals. Anthrozoös18(1) 18-27.

  • TemplerD.ConnelyH.BassmanL. & HartJ. (2006). Construction and validation of an animal-human continuity scale. Social Behavior and Personality34(7) 769-776.

  • VanhonackerF. & VerbekeW. (2007). Segmentation based on consumers’ perceived importance and attitude toward farm animal welfare. International Journal of Sociology of Food and Agriculture15(3) 88-100.


Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 56 56 56
Full Text Views 5 5 5
PDF Downloads 5 5 5
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0