Exploring the Relationship between Socio-Demographic Background and Empathy toward Nonhuman Animals in Working Horse Caretakers

in Society & Animals
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Abstract

Recognizing pain in nonhuman animals and empathy toward them is important for modulating human-animal relationships and animal welfare. Few studies have assessed pain recognition and empathic responses toward animals based on socio-demographic characteristics, and even fewer have examined them in socioeconomically marginalized individuals. To address this issue, four instruments were applied to 100 working horse caretakers. The socio-demographic and quality of life instruments were applied as interviews, and afterward two rating scales measuring empathy toward animals and the willingness to attribute pain to horses, in a diversity of painful conditions, were filled out. The results indicate that working horse caretakers have high levels of empathy and the willingness to attribute a high intensity of pain to equines in diverse situations that imply pain, but that neither socio-demographic status nor satisfaction with life quality were correlated with empathy toward animals or the willingness to attribute pain to horses.

Exploring the Relationship between Socio-Demographic Background and Empathy toward Nonhuman Animals in Working Horse Caretakers

in Society & Animals
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References
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Figures
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    Socio-demographic backgrounds of working horse caretakers (n = 100)
  • View in gallery
    Domains of the WHOQOL-BREF instrument and the items included and evaluated in each of them.
  • View in gallery
    Socio-demographic and quality of life characteristics of working horse caretakers (n = 100)
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    Descriptive statistics of scores for working horse Caretakers (n = 100) in perception of quality of life instrument (WHOQOL-BREF, 1996)
  • View in gallery
    Descriptive statistics for working horse caretakers (n = 100) in Animal Empathy Scale (AES) and Willingness to Attribute Pain Assessment Scale (WAPAS)
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