Rebecca J. Huss
Taryn M. Graham, Kelsey Lucyk, Lucy Diep and Melanie J. Rock
This study examines alleged discrimination towards people partnered with assistance dogs, as represented by Canadian newspapers. Doing so expands understanding of attitudes held toward assistance dogs and highlights everyday challenges faced by the people with whom they are partnered. Articles included for analysis were tabulated according to where instances of alleged discrimination happened, the type of assistance dog that was involved, and the reported reasons that were given as grounds for denying accommodation. Reported reasons were grouped further into five themes (health risks; ignorance; nuisance; cultural beliefs and/or religious convictions; and assault). Education programs, intersectoral collaboration, and policy changes are all recommended to tackle the challenges identified.
Situational Underreporting of Meat Consumption by Women
As arguments become more pronounced that meat consumption harms the environment, public health, and nonhuman animals, meat-eaters should experience increased pressure to justify their behavior. The present research further tested the notion that women employ indirect meat-eating justification strategies relative to men, specifically the claim that as a form of self-justification, women would underreport meat consumption when the context called in to question their dietary behavior. Men and women were randomly assigned to a treatment condition in which they were informed that they would watch a PETA documentary about meat production or to a control condition, and then they completed a questionnaire assessing the amount of various meats they consumed. Women reported eating less meat when threatened by watching the documentary, while male estimates were unchanged across conditions. Furthermore, this effect was sensitive to how much participants believed nonhuman animals shared similar emotions to humans.
Logan Natalie O’Laughlin
Kim Lambert, Jason Coe, Lee Niel, Cate Dewey and Jan M. Sargeant
There is a need to further understand companion-animal relinquishment in order to prevent it. This study explored published reviews and commentaries, written by primary stakeholders, on companion-animal relinquishment, including 77 reviews and commentaries published between 1973 and 2011. The analysis-method framework is conducive to analyzing reviews and commentaries on a complex social phenomenon such as companion-animal relinquishment. Four themes emerged: identified reasons caretakers relinquish, solutions to relinquishment, euthanasia as an outcome of relinquishment, and the role of research in addressing relinquishment. Research-based views about reasons for relinquishment were most commonly discussed. Only a few research articles were cited, highlighting the impact of these few studies on stakeholders’ perceptions. The predominant solution discussed was education, while future research suggestions focused on investigating interventions. Findings provide insight into the influences on stakeholders’ views, including their use and interpretation of existing research.
Estela M. Díaz
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.
Michael J. Lynch
Harms against nonhuman animals have become a significant concern in different disciplines (e.g., green criminology). This paper presents a multi-disciplinary discussion of one form of animal harm—wildlife harm—created by state agencies charged with protecting animals. Specifically, this issue is examined by reviewing the complex problems faced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which is charged with competing objectives: between protecting economic and public health interests, and protecting wildlife. In managing the human–wildlife conflicts brought to its attention, the USFWS must often make tradeoffs between protecting economic and public health interests, and protecting wildlife. As the data reviewed here indicate, this leads the USFWS to kill a large number of animals each year to protect economic and public health interests—more than 40 million animals since 1996. The political and economic factors that influence these killings, and how the state balances conflicting interests, are also examined.
Emily Blair Pfoutz
This piece is part of a larger ethnographic and auto-ethnographic project exploring the intersubjective nature of human-horse entanglements. After elucidating how relationships between horses and humans are often reflective of broader oppressive power structures in human societies, I explore alternative ways of being with horses that create space for reciprocity and have the potential to upend hierarchical logics of domination. I focus on rhythmic attunement and co-created “movement languages,” emphasizing the importance of shared vulnerability, a recognition of individuality, and an attitude of openness rather than control. Ultimately, my experiences with horses function as a starting point for reconceiving our relationships with our other human and nonhuman earthly cohabitants.