Why Is It So Hard To Think Straight About Animals? A Dive Into Speciesism
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM Gabriel Borden, Faunalytics.org
January 2020

This study seeks to demonstrate the multitude of ways that humans develop speciesist behaviors, and the ways in which they justify those behaviors or come to challenge them.

Cowboy and Cattle
Photo by Juliana Amorim on Unsplash

Our relationship with animals in the developed world is drastically different than it was a century ago. Today, there are a multitude of reasons as to why we view each animal species differently, and it’s important to understand these reasons in order to not only understand how our morality can evolve, but also to understand how to effectively communicate and address the root causes. Recently, a study published in the journal Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, summarized the strongest indicators associated with our attitudes, beliefs, and actions towards other animals in detail.

Today, we’re seeing momentum in terms of a rise in interest and adoption of vegetarianism and veganism, a flood of controversy surrounding factory farming, and the beginning of a recognition of how animal agriculture is related to today’s environmental woes. According to this study, one reason to be optimistic or hopeful for the future is that changes in our beliefs and attitudes in animal rights are part of the formula necessary to see advancement across all groups. Of course, there is reason to be cautious; just because society reachers consensus on the importance of one animal, that does not mean that consensus is achieved across all animal groups.

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The last point to highlight, and potentially the most interesting, is the cognitive dissonance that exists in today’s society. Companies try to distance animal products from their industrial raising and slaughter processes, until we see the final clean and processed product in our stores. This study found that when consumers are shown the animal they are eating, it increases their disgust with the meal and increases their empathy with animals. This is something advocates have known for some time, and there is now more evidence that this is the case.

Please read more at: Why Is It So Hard To Think Straight About Animals? A Dive Into Speciesism


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