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Alexander Simon and Steven C. Clark

Abstract

Activists often utilize ballot measures to protect wildlife. However, state executive branches may employ a variety of means to subvert direct democracy. We examine some of these tactics via a case study of two nearly identical ballot initiatives that were intended to outlaw the aerial killing of wolves in Alaska. In the first case, the language that appeared on the ballot was created by an executive branch sympathetic to the measure. In the second case, the ballot language was created by an executive branch opposed to the measure. In the first case, the ballot language accurately communicated the intent of the initiative and it passed. In the second case, it did not communicate the intent of the initiative or pass. Moreover, in the second case, the Palin administration utilized public funds to persuade voters not to support the initiative.

Mänette Monroe, James D. Whitworth, Tracy Wharton and Joanne Turner

Abstract

This study evaluated the use of an 8-week Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy (EAAT) program for trauma-impacted veterans. There were 48 participants. EAAT programs have emerged as one alternative intervention for veterans who may have declined or dropped out of more traditional research-supported approaches. The EAAT program examined here incorporates CPT techniques in conjunction with guided interactions with horses. Program completers reported decreased PTSD symptoms and reduced signs of depression. Participants’ assessment of their quality of life improved significantly after the EAAT program. They also described a significantly increased ability to depend on others when needing help that was accompanied with a significant sense of relationship anxiety. The results provide evidence that EAAT may be effective for veterans with trauma-related mood, anxiety, and functioning difficulties. They also show that trauma-impacted veterans are more willing to initiate and continue to participate in EAAT programs in contrast to traditional trauma interventions.

Mathias Elrød Madsen and Marie Leth-Espensen

Abstract

Scholars and activists opposing the killing of nonhuman animals have long shared the assumption that the invisibility of the animals killed for meat is one of the most significant factors when it comes to explaining how meat eating is perpetuated. However, a recent tendency towards a new visibility of these animals and their physical transformation into meat fundamentally challenges this assumption. The present paper addresses this discrepancy by examining an example of what has been described as “New Carnivorism” in the form of a Danish TV show called Kill Your Favorite Dish. The paper finds that in the show, visibility is in fact instrumental in justifying meat eating, as it is constitutive of a complex narrative about awareness, authenticity, pleasure, and respect. This points to a need for more nuanced understandings of how invisibility and visibility of nonhuman animals are at work in enabling the continuance of meat eating.

Stephen E. S. Crook

Abstract

Growth in the human population and the popularity of outdoor recreation have resulted in increasing interaction between humans and mountain lions (Puma concolor). A questionnaire was used to gauge attitudes, risk perception, and management preferences toward the species among residents near its habitat in Santa Cruz County, California. Attitudes were positive, risk perception moderate, knowledge low, and lethal control measures unpopular. More positive attitudes were found among men, respondents with more education, respondents who recreated often in natural areas, and nature organization members. Older respondents, women, those who recreated less in mountain lion habitat, and those who lived near (but not in) perceived mountain lion habitat demonstrated increased risk perception. Results could help align management actions with public preferences, and guide conservation organizations toward capitalizing on positive attitudes. Both management bodies and conservation organizations should target outreach toward addressing poor knowledge among groups with negative attitudes and higher risk perception.

Dianna Bell

Abstract

This essay offers an analysis of how the spread of Islam across southern Mali has impacted relationships between humans and cats. Historically, Malians have generally characterized cats as familiars for witches, setting them apart from other nonhuman animals as signs of misfortune. Such attitudes regularly culminate in people capturing and killing cats, some of whom are kept as companion animals, without repercussion. But cat-loving Muslims in southern Mali have increasingly started to call such attitudes and practices into question, using stories of the Prophet Muhammad to defend the honor of cats. This article offers a review of the changing nature of human-cat relations in contemporary southern Mali by considering the varied rationales offered for vilifying as well as honoring and tending to cats alike.

Kenneth Wagner, Stephen Owen and Tod W. Burke

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to explore the perceived harmfulness, wrongfulness, and seriousness of wildlife crimes, such as illegal or unlicensed hunting or fishing. Research questions included how offenses against wildlife are perceived, compared to offenses against persons and property, and how perceptions of harmfulness and wrongfulness impact perceptions of wildlife offense seriousness. A survey modeled after previous studies of crime seriousness was administered to a college student sample. The results showed that wildlife offenses were ranked as less serious, harmful, and wrong than those against persons and property, and also less than those against companion animals and animals on farms. Perceived wrongfulness and harmfulness were significant predictors of perceived seriousness of wildlife offenses, with wrongfulness being the stronger predictor. Results are contextualized within theoretical frameworks that offer insights as to why wildlife crime is not viewed as seriously as other offense types.

Siobhan O’Sullivan, Yvette Watt and Fiona Probyn-Rapsey

Abstract

Developing an academic career can be exciting, rewarding and stimulating. It can also be challenging, disheartening, and highly insecure. Results from a survey of Animal Studies (AS) scholars identifies reasons why pursuing a career in AS might generate additional challenges, over and above those experienced by academics generally. For example, 44 percent of respondents stated that in their view, undertaking research in AS “creates challenges for an academic career.” This is compared to just 16 percent who thought that it is an advantage. Yet despite the challenges, there is much that is positive about AS. Participants described being in “dialogue with clever colleagues,” viewed their work as “totally engaging,” and reported feeling “morally useful.” This in turn affords AS scholars an authenticity that may be of long-term benefit in the competitive and constantly transforming world of higher education.

Helen Clegg, Roz Collings and Elizabeth C. Roxburgh

Abstract

Therianthropy is the belief that one is at least part non-human animal. This study aimed to address the dichotomization surrounding therianthropy in relation to mental health and wellbeing. One hundred and twelve therians and 265 non-therians completed Ryff’s Scales of Psychological Wellbeing, the O-LIFE questionnaire, and the Autism Spectrum Quotient. The results showed that therians scored lower on variables that are associated with positive social relationships. Such findings may be explained by cognitive factors and/or social factors that are associated with the stigmatization of cross-species identities. However, being a therian moderated the relationship between both autism and introverted anhedonia in relation to autonomy. Thus, a therian identity may act as a protective factor for those experiencing higher levels of autism and schizotypy.

Fenella Eason

Abstract

Noting the human inclination to extend ability by “harvesting” nonhuman animal powers, there are calls for greater equality in the multispecies rendering of services. In this study, medical alert assistance dogs who coexist with chronically ill human individuals illustrate the possibilities of mutualism in symbiotic relationships. The dogs are trained to alert and are used in the scent detection of symptoms of hypo- or hyperglycemia in their human partners so that preventative treatment can be effected and unconsciousness or coma avoided. The canine-human collaborative partnership is based on the dogs’ keen sense of smell and cooperation to attain a reward. The article illustrates a cross-species embodiment of moral interdependence that extends the biomedical armamentarium.