Kenneth Shapiro and William S. Lynn
This study uses qualitative data to explore how guardians cope with the death of animal companions. Respondents struggle with the expectations of a speciesist emotion culture that mediates bereavement following the death of a non-human animal. This struggle reveals four key aspects of emotion work: 1) justifying grief to themselves and others; 2) accepting that the companion animal has died at the “right time”; 3) using rituals, religion, or spirituality to cope; and 4) adopting a new animal companion.
Confronting the Factory Farm in the United States
Robert G. Darst and Jane I. Dawson
Despite opposition from social movements, the animal agriculture industry has largely succeeded in averting serious challenges to its basic business practices. This outcome reflects not only the industry’s political and economic clout, but also divisions among the industry’s opponents and the difficulties that their proposed solutions pose for consumers. Albert Hirschman argues that those dissatisfied with a product or organization have three options: exit, voice, and loyalty. We argue that “voice,” the public expression of protest, has been fractured by disagreement over ultimate goals and the proper form of “exit”: substitution or abstention. Both forms of exit are difficult for the consumer. The default response is therefore “loyalty”: continued consumption. This loyalty is based not on ignorance or acceptance of the industry’s shortcomings, but on socially organized denial of the evidence and its implications. Our methodology is a “qualitative metasynthesis” of previous scholarly analyses of the primary social movements involved.
Janine C. Muldoon, Joanne M. Williams, Alistair Lawrence and Candace Currie
Building on a study examining children’s knowledge and care of companion animals, this paper examines emotional attachment to dogs. It uses a large-scale dataset on children’s health and well-being (n = 6,700) to explore the connection between attachment to dogs, compared with other companion animals, and a range of well-being indicators. Findings reveal stronger attachments to dogs that are linked with well-being. Some associations are also evident for children reporting a strong bond with small mammals. A mixed pattern of results is evident for cats, and no associations were apparent for those with fish, reptiles, or amphibians. Relationships with dogs appear distinctive; children’s sense of emotional reciprocity and shared enjoyment of play act as possible mechanisms by which attachment translates into benefits. Emotional connections to all types of animals investigated in this study weaken with age. This may be due to the changing nature of attachment as children move through adolescence.
Beatrice Emma Thompson, Melanie Elyse Grace, Bridget Clare Foster, Claire Louise Harrison and Sonia Graham
Growing numbers of researchers and animal rights advocates are concerned about the welfare of invasive nonhuman animals, and new government policies echo these concerns. Past survey research, however, shows that the general public defines invasive animal welfare differently than scientists and animal rights advocates. There is little social research that investigates how differing views on the acceptability of invasive animal controls are reconciled in public fora. This article examines how invasive animal control is represented in two newspapers—The Sydney Morning Herald and The Land—in New South Wales, Australia, focusing on the management of invasive foxes and pigs. The findings revealed that efficacy is emphasized more than humaneness, especially among farmers and peri-urban residents, suggesting a disjuncture between new policies and landholders’ values. Views of indigenous land managers and amenity migrants are rarely represented yet they need to be actively engaged to ensure effective policy change.
William J. Fielding, Travis W. Cronin and Christina Risley-Curtiss
This study compares and contrasts experiences of harm to nonhuman animals in the lives of 830 college students in The Bahamas and the United States. Overall, students in The Bahamas were more likely to have been exposed to seeing animals harmed (65%) than those in the United States (16%), and they were more likely to have seen an animal killed (22% in The Bahamas and 12% in the United States). Bahamian students reported a higher rate of participation in harming animals than United States students. Stray animals were at greater risk of harm than animals designated as companion animals. The occurrence of coerced harm to animals including zoophilia was low. Participants were indirect victims of animal harm at older ages than the ages at which they had first witnessed or participated in harming animals. Cross-societal implications of harming animals are discussed in the context of teaching animal welfare.
Maria Teresa Muñoz Sastre, Paul Clay Sorum and Etienne Mullet
French positions regarding nonhuman animal experimentation were examined. A total of 163 participants were presented with 72 vignettes depicting an experimental protocol. They were composed according to a five-factor design: (a) the fate of the animal (e.g., was sacrificed for the purpose of further analyses), (b) environment in which the animal was raised, (c) main objective of the experiment (purely theoretical vs. therapeutic), (d) degree of pain inflicted, and (e) species involved (rabbit, coyote, or chimpanzee). Through cluster analysis of participants’ acceptability judgments, six qualitatively different positions were found. Four had already been described by observation of the functioning of animal ethics committees: Animals have Rights, Ethics in the name of Animals, Ethics in the name of Patients, and Ethics in the name of Science. Female participants held the Animals-have-Rights position three times more often than males. Male participants held an Ethics-in-the-name-of-Science position four times more often than females.
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,000-mile-long wilderness trail shared by hikers and numerous nonhuman animal species, including the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus). In many areas of the trail, bears have become habituated to humans, occasionally leading to conflict between them. Some hikers choose to blog about their experiences on the trail, including their experience of living among bears. Their narratives center around space-oriented themes of proximity, dwelling, and segregation. The concept of dwelling is useful in understanding how hikers and bears come to share a lifeworld in which each species is usually given enough room to dwell in their own way. A hiker’s immersion in the spaces belonging to bears can lead them to a more nuanced appreciation of bears as autonomous beings. Dwelling also points towards a way of being with nonhuman animals that avoids doing harm to them or to their homes.
Wildlife species are threatened for a variety of reasons; research on captive individuals of the same species can, in some circumstances, prevent wild population decline. Such decisions pit conservationists and animal rights advocates against one another—the former are interested in survival of the species and the latter in individual rights. I argue that invasive research on captive animals for the sake of wild animals is justifiable in cases of emergency only if it is the lesser of two evils. This requires that the individual chimpanzee be compensated for harms incurred. I then argue this logic generally does not apply to human beneficiaries of invasive research conducted on chimpanzees. This is not because species membership is morally significant, but because asymmetrical power relations characterized by dependency and vulnerability will always exist between the groups if human interests are at stake. The argument focuses on federal chimpanzee conservation policy.