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Miranda Goodman-Wilson and Lauren Highfill


Colleges are experiencing an increase in requests for Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) to live on campus. However, misconceptions about policies pertaining to ESAs are pervasive. No formal, published study has yet examined the opinions of those who are most impacted—faculty and students. In the present study, 45 faculty and 228 students (49 living with an ESA) were surveyed about their understanding of ESAs and ESA-related policies. Participants were asked about the perceived benefits and disadvantages of having an ESA at college. Results indicate that the majority of faculty and students are supportive of ESAs on campus generally. However, opinions about permitting ESAs into academic spaces are considerably more mixed. Among both faculty and students, there is much confusion about the rules which govern their presence on campus. The survey also revealed support for increased accountability measures for ESAs in the form of training qualifications and welfare considerations.

Alexander Simon and Steven C. Clark


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


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.

Nicole Pearce and Vickie Lake


Previous studies have shown teaching children empathy for nonhuman animals through lessons and story books can transfer to humans. Following the National Institutes of Health’s call for further research exploring the contributions of human-animal interactions to development, the purpose of the present qualitative research study was to explore first graders’ social and emotional development through situated learning experiences with a nonhuman animal in a classroom. The classroom companion animal became a catalyst for integrating humane education into academic content areas through situated learning experiences promoting social and emotional development. The findings indicate the first graders’ social and emotional skills practiced with the classroom companion animal became observable when children were interacting with each other.

Mathias Elrød Madsen and Marie Leth-Espensen


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


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


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


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


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.