Kids with pets likely to hate meat

2014-07-29 15:04

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2014-07-11 12:14

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Cape Town – Children who have pets when they are younger are less likely to eat meat according to a new research study.

According to a Live Science report, psychologists from Bellarmine University say that children who have formed attachments to a pet are more likely to reject meat.

The main reason is empathy, the researchers argued that children who have pets can develop or show more empathy toward other animals as they grow up.

Hank Rothgerber, the lead professor in the study, said that individuals who show more compassion toward animals found it more difficult to eat animals.

Individuals who grow up being attached to their pets find it difficult not to see at least some aspect of their childhood pets in the meat they eat, said Rothgerber.

The study looked at 273 people and investigated whether the participants ate meat. The study looked at how much meat the participants ate and if they owned a pet as a child. Moreover, the participants had to describe how close they were to their pet.

The psychologists in the study also asked the participants how they felt about statements like: "Seeing animals in pain upsets me", or "People often make too much of the feelings and sensitivities of animals".

The study found that of the participants who had pets as a child, they were less likely to eat meat and were more prone to become vegetarian.

Rothgerber noted something particularly interesting: People who ate meat and were attached to their pets justified their consumption of meat by essentially “looking the other way”.

The assumption by the researchers is that people who love their pets and still eat meat preferred not to dwell too much on where their meat came from.

People who had pets, but showed a lesser degree of attachment to their pets, justified eating meat in an unapologetic way, according to Rothgerber. The participants argued that humans are meant to eat meat.

The study will be in the August issue of the journal Appetite.

Hero dog

In June, a pet dog was hailed a hero after saving a 5-year-old boy from a mauling by a wild bear in northern Japan.

The dog, a 6-year-old shiba inu, took on the metre-high bear after it attacked the young boy during a riverside walk with his great-grandfather.

The dog barked "unusually loud" and chased off the animal a local police spokesperson said.

"The boy suffered slight bruises and was taken to hospital but he was released on the same day."

Read more on:    us  |  animals

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