Community: Forum: Animal Rights & Animal Welfare

Animal Rights Forum

Hi all!

I have been wanting to know -- why do some animals get more respect than others? So let's just say a domesticated household dog or cat, many people love them and would simply adore to pet them. For other animals like giant pandas, many people also classify those as "icons of cuteness" and definitely love them too, so much to the point that the pandas are now "Vulnerable" and not "Endangered".

However, what I want to know is that why do some people treat such animals, like I mentioned above, with more respect than other animals, say animals like the Giant Salmon Carp which is critically endangered?

I am not trying to cause distress, or unhappiness or am I trolling, but I am generally curious what is your take on this? Do people simply respect some animals (like tigers, dogs, cats, polar bears) more than others, like many species of insects, fish and amphibians?

Responses (4)

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    Posted by Mountainmystic at 10/07/17 14:10:07

    I respect and honor all animals, insects, and all life. Honestly, not always equally when a mosquito is biting me. Is the mosquito respecting me? No, but you get the idea.

    I think many people tend to respect domesticated animals and pets more than wild insects, fish, birds, mammals, etc. I think that for many people, a bond is formed with domesticated animals, say cats, dogs, or any other pet. So we protect and take care of them. It's like the people in our lives. We care for and respect them generally more than strangers or people in other countries. If we knew more strangers--just friends or people we haven't met yet, we would respect them more. Same with animals. Thanks for asking this question. Its a good question, and my answer explains in part why I have been a vegan and vegetarian for many years.

    Respect all life or try to do your best. Look into the eyes of the Giant Salmon Carp. It is living. Every life is a wonderful miracle of life on Earth. Good day!

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    Posted by ricerica at 10/09/17 19:48:00

    I might think of that humans in general like more those animals that they can bond with for any reason, so household animals are part of that group. Also mammals I think are closer to human than instincts for example. Maybe people are looking for similarity also. But I think it depends on culture, since chinese eat dogs, so they do not respect them more just because they are household animals too

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    Posted by ForestNymph at 10/29/17 06:40:51

    I have to think about this a lot because I'm studying environmental science, and it's because dogs are ancient protectors and companions of people, attacking enemies who came onto your property, or scaring off larger beasts in the forest who might maul your family. My grandparents used to tell me to take my corgi in the woods with me when I was a child, because she would scare away the snakes. People love dogs because dogs and people have a symbiotic relationship.

    Same with cats. Attack cats actually used to exist in ancient Egypt, the siamese was actually bred to attack enemies of royalty/aristocracy. Later, during the black plague, cats helped to assuage the disease by killing off the rats who carried the illness. Cats also protect grain stores from rodents on traditional farms, and make very cuddly companions generally to one particular person, making them excellent emotional support as well. A cat's purr has amazing effects on humans psychologically and even physically.

    By the same turn, people tend to donate to environmental organizations who choose a "cute" or "majestic" animal to spearhead their campaigns...such as pandas for WWF, and mountain lions, Chinese tigers, and polar bears fall more in that "majestic" sort of category where people still admire and ooh and ahh over those species.

    I think that's probably because "cute" wildlife reminds people of their cat or dog or bunny, and "majestic" wildlife embody traits like power, freedom, independence, strength, and intelligence, and it makes people feel sad or uncomfortable when such glorious traits seem to be at risk of being beaten down - a sort of personification or maybe just a universal abstract identification of concepts in nature that we connect with.

    The only way around this is education. In California public schools at least children are being introduced to evolution, adaptation, food webs, ecosystems, etc. by the 3rd grade. Bringing children (and adults) back out into nature, building empathy, and teaching a strong foundation of scientific knowledge is likely the only way to overcome the tendency to ignore "boring" or "ugly" animals who are threatened or endangered.




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    Posted by ForestNymph at 10/29/17 07:00:16

    Re: "Chinese eat dogs" person...NO, Chinese people in general do not eat dogs. There is a very small subculture, a region or province of China where dogs are considered a delicacy. Chinese people do not eat dogs as a general rule, and even in the subcultures they are eaten, it's not a "daily" thing like Americans are with cows or chicken.

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