Re-thinking Humanimal Relations
Edited by Nik Taylor and Tania Signal
Nicola Taylor and Tania Signal
The results of various studies have suggested a range of demographic and personality variables that may affect attitudes toward the treatment of nonhuman species; however, the literature has reached little consensus. Various limited populations have used The Attitude to Animals Scale (AAS), developed initially by Herzog, Betchart, and Pittman (1991), as a quantitative measure of attitudes toward the treatment of nonhuman species. The current study administered the AAS to a large community sample within Australia, resulting in approximately 600 respondents. The study found demographic variables such as age, educational level, presence of children in the current dwelling, current, and past companion animal ownership to have no statistically significant effect on AAS scores. The study found both occupation and income to have an effect on AAS scores. This paper examines and discusses all of these variables and their effects (or lack thereof).
Nicola Taylor and Tania Signal
Attitudes toward the treatment of nonhuman animals in the animal protection community remain largely under researched. In an attempt to begin to rectify this, this study conducted a survey of 407 members of the animal protection community using the Animal Attitude Scale (AAS). The survey also asked participants to indicate whether they identified more with (a) animal rights or animal welfare perspectives and (b) a direct or indirect action approach to securing animal protection. Results of the current study indicate that, regardless of philosophical or practical beliefs, those in the animal protection community were significantly more pro-animal welfare (as measured by the AAS) than members of the general community. This disparity was even greater between the current participants and those of a previous study who identified as being employed in the Primary Industry (PI) sector. This paper discusses implications of this as well as respondents' philosophical and practical views.
Emma Richards, Tania Signal and Nik Taylor
Previous research has examined a range of demographic variables that have been shown to influence an individual’s attitude toward, and in turn their treatment of, animals. Little is known, however, about the effect of certain occupations upon these attitudes. The current study examines attitudes toward animals and the propensity for aggression within a sample of farmers and meatworkers in Queensland, Australia. Recent findings and publicity around the effects of employment (and cases of deliberate animal cruelty) within these industries indicates that this is an area in need of investigation from both human and animal welfare perspectives. The implications of the current findings for the meat-working industry and for the field of human-animal studies are discussed.
A Survey of Methodologies in Australia
Angie Nelson, Tania Signal and Rachel Wilson
This study examines the practices of Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning in Australia. Among Equine Assisted Therapy (eat) and Equine Assisted Learning (eal) centers there is a large degree of variation in practice worldwide. The current study outlines a range of practices in two states in Australia where eat and eal have arisen and evolved from models developed elsewhere. The philosophical foundations, training and certification processes followed along with the types and training of horses involved are compared across facilities. The findings of the study illustrated the large variation in eat and eal in current practice in Australia. The results suggested that if the practices of eat and eal are to move out of the “fringe” of mental health and learning professional practice and into the mainstream, their theoretical underpinnings, certification and licensure procedures, and methodology of practice must become more clearly defined.