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Amelia R. Cornish, Brayden Ashton, David Raubenheimer and Paul D. McGreevy

Abstract

Consumers are increasingly concerned about nonhuman animal welfare in food production and, as their awareness continues to rise, demand for welfare-friendly products is growing. The current study explores the Australian market for welfare-friendly food of animal origin by outlining and clarifying how consumers’ welfare concerns affect their purchasing decisions. It reports the findings of an Australian face-to-face survey of consumers’ knowledge of and attitudes to farm animal welfare and their reported purchasing of welfare-friendly animal-derived products. A novel aspect of this survey was its effort to establish consumers’ understanding of welfare-friendly labels, their motivation to purchase welfare-friendly products, and the barriers to doing so. The survey was deployed in four shopping districts in New South Wales, Australia, in 2016. Data were collected from 135 respondents, and the results are discussed below.

Melanie Sartore-Baldwin and Brian McCullough

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship sport fans have with their mascots when represented by a nonhuman animal who is a member of an endangered species group. Adopting a shared responsibility perspective, this study examined the level of knowledge sport fans possess about their endangered species mascot and how sport fan identity might impact one’s desire to learn more. Findings supported the hypothesis that highly identified fans would want to learn more about the endangered species, thus suggesting that sport organizations may be in an advantageous position to create change through organizational initiatives and practices involving partner organizations and in-house conservation efforts.

Aviva Vincent

Abstract

This literature review seeks to advance the interdisciplinary conversation that dog parks are a resource for building social capital through interpersonal exchange, which is beneficial for both individuals’ health across the life span and for the communities. Dog parks have been linked to health promotion behaviors and improved long-term health of the companion animals and their guardians. Similarly, social capital and dog guardianship have been independently linked to positive health outcomes through a limited amount of literature. By analyzing the relevant literature on the triangulation of social capital, dog-human relationship, and dog parks within the United States through a robust literature review, the author seeks to advance the call for empirical research towards understanding dog parks as a mechanism to create and sustain social capital within urban neighborhoods.

Garrett Bunyak

Abstract

Fat feline and canine bodies are increasingly medicalized in stories from veterinary journals that describe a “rising tide of pet obesity.” The construction of “obesity epidemics” and “pandemics” drive the storylines of these journals that claim fat bodies are at risk of increased pain during life and early death. Despite the authoritarian tone of the stories, few certainties and agreements exist within the literature. Yet the stories weave together with a fatphobic culture, technoscience, humanism, and neoliberalism to shape the types of choices available for “responsible pet owners” and practicing veterinarians. Laced with fatphobia, veterinary knowledges have the potential power to literally reshape the bodies of companion animals. For more accurate descriptions of reality and more diverse futures, science needs new stories that recognize and construct heterogenous ways of being and relating within and between species.

Oliver Keane

Abstract

This paper suggests studies on genetically engineering nonhuman animal genes have globalized over the last 30 years. The results unveil maps that give a global overview of universities’ studies into engineering animal genes, by purpose and by species, at a state scale. A network map also shows how studies on engineering animal genes are co-constituted internationally, at a state scale. Some of the more notable map findings are developed using a novel ontological approach. This ontology relates the being of an animal, a constitutive lack, to power relations. The beings of animals are trapped into serving capital through the engineering of their genes. This reconfiguration allows the ensnaring of the body in agricultural, or other, power relations. The scale of this carceral archipelago is positioned as a global risk. Life energy, by nature, resists capture. Therefore, the paper concludes that the clock is ticking on genetic scientists’ Faustian bargain.

Outi Ratamäki

Abstract

The welfare and rights of nonhuman animals have become highly politicized issues, and political arguments concerning these topics are bound to collide with opposing views and face problems of legitimacy. This article seeks insights especially by drawing comparisons with environmental policy. This is implemented by showing how the animal question has been connected with different environmentally relevant policy questions in Finland. Analysis is backed up by earlier research literature about the differences between animal and environmental questions. This analysis shows that, in real-life situations, these two policy goals can be molded into various combinations, and the theoretical and sometimes highly polarized debates about the differences between the animal question and environmentalism do not always lead to conflict.

Komalsingh Rambaree and Stefan Sjöberg

Abstract

Despite a growing number of studies on human–animal interactions, empirical data focusing on companion animals within the context of health-promoting work-life are still limited. This article presents an analysis and discussion based on the perceptions of 22 students and staff from the University of Gävle in Sweden on the potential of companion animals for supportive functions in health-promoting work-life, as well as on the possible challenges of having companion animals on the premises of the University. Based on the findings, this article proposes that companion animals can indeed play vital supportive functions in health-promoting work-life, which are presented in the text as “forcing function,” “communication companion,” and “social skills.” However, this article also highlights the socio-economic, legal, and organizational challenges that need to be carefully considered and worked out for having companion animals in the workplace, such as in a university.

Fatemeh Salari, Masoud Yazdanpanah, Jafar Yaghoubi and Masoumeh Forouzani

Abstract

While there is a large body of literature on the behavior of stockpersons with regard to nonhuman animal welfare in developed countries, no such study has yet been carried out in the developing countries. This study uses an extended model of the Theory of Planned Behavior to predict stockpersons’ intentions and behavior regarding animal welfare. The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey. The population of interest consisted of stockpersons in the Sirjan district in the Kerman province, Iran. We found that attitude, moral norms, and perceived behavioral control are significant predictors of intention regarding animal welfare. These three variables predicted 36% of the variance in animal welfare intentions. Furthermore, regression revealed that intention, moral norms, and perceived behavioral control are significant predictors of behavior regarding animal welfare. These three variables predicted 39% of the variance in animal welfare behavior.

Muhammad A. Kavesh

Abstract

Dog fighting, along with other nonhuman-animal-fighting activities, is a popular pastime in rural South Punjab, Pakistan. This article explicates dog fighting and discusses its symbolic significance to those who control the game, organize it, and participate in the performance. In discussing the activity, the paper raises multiple questions: how do rural men develop an attachment to their fighting dogs? What motivates the men to engage in dog fighting? How is dog fighting a cultural practice? What type of social gains do dog fighters make when there is no gambling involved? Finally, what symbolic meanings can be drawn from this activity from an emic perspective? The article is based on year-long ethnographic fieldwork with dog fighters in South Punjab, Pakistan, and examines the activity within the Punjabi cultural context where it is taken as an enthusiastic predilection (shauq) for displaying masculinity (mardāngī) to achieve honor (izzat).

M. C. Marchetti-Mercer

Abstract

Companion animals contribute to family systems’ relational life and dynamics, providing emotional support and companionship. Little prior research discusses psychological processes informing decisions on companion animals when families emigrate, or the emotional ramifications of such decisions. The article considers decisions around companion animals’ fate during the emigration process as a dimension of the decision to leave. It has several psychological repercussions for family members. Data from a qualitative research project on South African experiences of emigration and its impact on family life show that decisions around companion animals’ fate are often experienced as highly emotional by those considering emigration. Despite onerous financial and practical considerations, some emigrating families decide to take their companion animals with them. They see them as creating a sense of “home” and helping with adjustment in the destination country, especially for young children, where companion animals can provide stability in the disruptive process of emigration.