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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.

Anne-Kristin Römpke

Abstract

The growing body of research on human-animal bonds highlights the need of common methods and research designs to facilitate comparisons. A well-evaluated and widely used instrument for measuring subjective attitude towards house pets (companion animals) is the Pet Attitude Scale (PAS). The objective of the present study was to develop and validate a cross-cultural version of the PAS for use in German-speaking countries. The scale was translated and back-translated, pre-tested, and tested for reliability and factor structure. Results indicated the German adaptation showed reliability measures comparable to the original version. The factor structure resembled the results of a reevaluation of the PAS. Prediction of companion animal ownership showed good results. The German adaptation of the PAS appears to be reliable and valid for the assessment of the attitude towards companion animals in German-speaking countries.

Karyn Pilgrim

Abstract

This paper examines Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006) and Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (2007), and argues that pastoral and narrative elements of these texts obscure an uncomfortable dissonance between their locavore claims to environmental sustainability and “sustainable meat” production. Much recent literature from within the frameworks of ecocriticism and ethics has been critical of the ethical/ sustainable meat movement for using simplistic and inaccurate models of sustainability, and for failing to reposition nonhuman animals outside the framework of capitalist commodification. Inadequately considered by these self-fulfilling stories are empirical data that indicate a global lack of resources to deploy “sustainable meat” production, as well as the implications of continuing the ideology of dominion over nonhumans. This paper calls for a new sustainable food story that encourages radical ways of thinking about farming and nonhumans, and that incorporates a landscape both urban and rural.

Capturing Cruelty

A Content Analysis of Companion Animal Cruelty in the News Media

Shannon T. Grugan

Abstract

The news media has long been identified as one of the primary sources for factual crime information for the general public, but not much is known about media coverage of cruelty against nonhuman animals, specifically. This study is a content analysis of media-presented themes in 240 print news articles that reported incidents of cruelty against companion animals in the United States in 2013. Seven thematic presentations of cruelty are identified and include: neutrality, condemnation, sympathy for the animal, drama, advocacy, humor, and sympathy for the offender. These themes are not mutually exclusive, with many articles including aspects of more than one theme. Themes are discussed in detail in regard to expanding the understanding of how specific forms of crime are presented by the news media based in news-making criminology.

Eva Voslarova, Jiri Zak, Vladimir Vecerek and Iveta Bedanova

Abstract

Coat color influenced the likelihood of a dog being reclaimed from a shelter as well as the length of stay (LOS) of abandoned dogs at the shelter. The shortest LOS was found in brindle and multicolor dogs (median time until adoption: 17 and 18 days, respectively) followed by white, fawn, red, brown, black and tan, and grey dogs. Black dogs had the greatest LOS (median 32 days). In lost dogs, coat color had no significant effect on the time spent at a shelter, the median time until a dog was reclaimed by his/her caretaker being one day, irrespective of the coat color. However, the results of our study suggest that black, brown, and brindle dogs are more likely to be abandoned by their caretakers, and that fawn, black and tan, grey, and red dogs, if lost, have a better chance of being reclaimed by their caretakers.

Karyn McKinney

Abstract

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.

Exit, Voice, and Denial

Confronting the Factory Farm in the United States

Robert G. Darst and Jane I. Dawson

Abstract

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.