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May 6, 2015
New Research Citation, Entered on 5/5/2015; Original Item from 2015
[Full Text]In animal experimentation, the replacement of animals wherever possible, reduction of the number of animals tested on, and refinement of experiments to use fewer animals is known as the "3 Rs." This guideline is supposed to govern a great deal of animal experimentation around the world, yet many millions of animals are still used in laboratories every year. In the U.K., a research council has presented 2015 guidelines instructing that "funding applicants must now show that their work will provide statistically robust results or risk having their grant application rejected." This may mean that researchers have to use more animals in experiments or they risk having their funding cut.
by Daniel Cressey (Nature)
New Research Citation, Entered on 5/4/2015; Original Item from 2015
[Abstract Only]As more evidence emerges that eating meat damages the environment, affects personal health, and causes suffering to animals, some people are finding it increasingly difficult to justify consuming it. This study looks at the psychological mechanisms that people employ to solve the "meat paradox" - continuing to eat meat despite a growing body of evidence that action should be taken to the contrary. The researchers find that, among the various techniques used, people most often employ a strategy that frames meat eating as natural, normal, necessary, and nice.
by Jared Piazza, Matthew B. Ruby, Steve Loughnan, Mischel Luong, Juliana Kulik, Hanne M. Watkins, Mirra Seigerman (Department of Psychology, Lancaster University)
New Research Citation, Entered on 5/1/2015; Original Item from 2015
[Full Text]Despite years of advocate opposition and growing concern from the general public, animal experimentation remains an entrenched part of most of the scientific establishment. This publication from the U.K., prepared by Oxford University's Centre for Animal Ethics, looks to challenge the practice of animal experimentation from every angle: scientific, financial, institutional, and ethical. The paper brings together a plethora of sources into one comprehensive document that argues that animal experiments are ethically unsupportable and create bad science.
by Andrew Linzey, Claire Linzey (Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics)
New Blog Entry, HRC Independent Study, HRC-Authored, Entered on 4/30/2015
HRC's Animal Tracker study has wrapped up its 8th year, and we're excited to share some preliminary highlights. The 2015 results show that the animal protection cause has strong and steady support, that the credibility of animal groups is solid, and that most people perceive animal welfare to be important for all animals. However, the public discussion of animal issues still tends to be moderate at best, and people generally feel that the protection of most animals under current laws is already "adequate."
New Research Citation, Entered on 4/28/2015; Original Item from 2015
[Full Text]Fashion trends shift as quickly as the seasons change, but longer-term, larger trends can be mapped through research. A study of 3,600 consumers, conducted by ISPO for the Italian Fur Free Alliance, looked at the trend in buying and wearing animal-free clothing, across a number of countries in the European Union. The research finds that the options for animal-free clothing products are growing in popularity by almost all measures. In addition, they are also increasingly seen as "trendy," and preferable to animal-based alternatives.
by Italian Fur Free Alliance (No Sponsor)
New Research Citation, Entered on 4/27/2015; Original Item from 2013
[Full Text]Despite the massive popularity of animal-derived foods as part of a typical North American diet, many of these food and drink consumables are heavily subsidized and reliant on marketing campaigns to sustain their prominence. This study looks at the political forces that promote and subsidize milk products, specifically the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and how its dual role as a nutrition advisor and milk promoter puts it in a deep conflict of interest. The research also examines how USDA policies and milk marketing have disproportionately and negatively affected people of color in the U.S.
by Andrea Freeman (University of Hawai'i William S. Richardson School of Law)
New Research Citation, Entered on 4/24/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Abstract Only]Every year, millions of fish are "farmed" for human consumption. Fish farming carries with it a whole host of ethical problems, and is potentially dangerous environmentally. This study looks specifically at a "massive escape event" that occurred near the Canary Islands, and examines how fish farm escapes can hugely and irreversibly impact nearby marine areas. The research finds that, at the very least, risk assessment of fish farming needs to be clearer.
by Kilian Toledo-Guedes, Pablo Sanchez-Jerez, María E. Benjumea, Alberto Brito (BIOECOMAC, Universidad de La Laguna)
April 22, 2015
New Research Citation, Entered on 4/20/2015; Original Item from 2015
[Abstract Only]Understanding why people eat meat - and if they may be willing to change their diets - is of great interest to many animal advocates. This study from the U.S. looks at the phenomenon of eating meat, and tries to explain how larger groups of consumers may change their habits after being exposed to "information about the impact of meat." The study provides useful information to both scholars and advocates interested in behavior, psychology, and understanding how people construct their ethics around eating meat.
by João Graça, Abílio Oliveira, Maria Manuela Calheiros (Supported by a grant from the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation)
New Research Citation, Entered on 4/17/2015; Original Item from 2015
[Abstract Only]Testing on animals for biomedical research is viewed as unethical by many animal advocates. The use of animals within the field is generally governed by a patchwork of state-level and national regulations, as well as a loose set of principles called the "3 Rs" (which stand for replacement, reduction, and refinement). This paper looks at the role of the 3 Rs in the promotion of ethical practices in animal experimentation, taking the view that the consistent application of the 3 Rs can result in animal research that is ethically sound.
by Melanie L. Graham, Mark J. Prescott (University of Minnesota, Department of Surgery)
New Blog Entry, Entered on 4/16/2015
Comprehensive studies have shown that many animals can feel negative and positive emotions, such as pain, suffering, joy or pleasure. Even complex feelings that were often thought (by some people) to be unique to humans, such as grief, empathy and jealousy, have been proven in some species. With this in mind, it is clear that science has a key role to play to inform and support the construction of laws protecting the welfare of animals.
New Research Citation, Entered on 4/13/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Abstract Only]If we want to change the culture around meat-eating, we need to recognize that there are many ingrained traditions in play at once. Various aspects of different cultures reinforce the practice of eating meat and, as many studies show, advocating for reduced meat consumption doesn't have a "one-size fits all" solution. This study looks at the multi-cultural context of the Netherlands, and explores how different cultures in the country perceive meat-eating and masculinity. The research finds a range of diverse factors that affect how much meat a given group eats, from their own cultural traditions, to the influence of more "Western" values.
by Hanna Schösler, Joop de Boer, Jan J. Boersema, Harry Aiking (University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany)
New Research Citation, Entered on 4/10/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Full Text]This study looks at the administration of anaesthetics for laboratory animals, and the way that scientists and lab vets perceive its use and effectiveness. Using an in-depth approach where subjects were interviewed for 1-2hrs at a time, they explore various issues surrounding pain management, looking at when, how, and why analgesics are administered, and how lab staff make those decisions. Though the paper takes animal use as a given (the use of animals in experiments is not questioned), the paper offers important insight into how lab scientists and vets carry out their work.
by Nicole Fenwick, Shannon E. G. Duffus and Gilly Griffin (Funding for this study was provided by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) Fellowship Program. The authors are current (NF, GG) and past (SG) employees of CCAC)
New Research Citation, Entered on 4/9/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Full Text]The chorus of voices against industrial animal production grows larger by the day, and this report from Food Tank is further evidence that factory farming is seen as both environmentally destructive and an ethically horrific practice. The report takes a snapshot of the scale of factory farming in 2014, and offers a number of suggestions as to how individuals and advocacy groups can respond to it. Though the overall picture may not be surprising to many animal advocates, some of the recommendations are novel and thought provoking.
by Danielle Nierenberg and Maia Reed (Food Tank)
April 8, 2015
New Research Citation, Entered on 4/6/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Abstract Only]The intersection of meat, morality, and diet is a place where a lot of animal advocates spend their time. This study of Flemish meat-eaters, flexitarians, and vegetarians looks at how the level of meat that someone eats can be correlated to their morality. It poses the question of whether or not our morality is the cause of our dietary choices, or vice versa. In particular, the study looks at how different dietary choices may be indicative of how much an individual cares about human-centred issues in addition to matters relating to animals.
by Charlotte J.S. De Backer, Liselot Hudders (Department of Communication Studies, University of Antwerp)
New Research Citation, Entered on 4/3/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Abstract Only]In a country that holds close to 1/6th of the entire global human population, interactions between wildlife and people in India - and the potential for spreading disease through this contact - is an important concern. This study gathers together a large collection of published literature on the spread of diseases in India that are carried by animals and given to humans ("zoonotic diseases"). The paper identifies various species that spread diseases, and underscores the importance of monitoring zoonotic diseases across the country.
by B.B. Singh, A.A. Gajadhar (School of Public Health and Zoonosis, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, Punjab, India)
New Research Citation, Entered on 4/2/2015
It seems like common sense that when we learn that previously-believed information is false - when we receive new facts that contradict what we previously thought — then we’ll change our beliefs to fit with the new information. Right? After all, we’re thinking, logical beings. But numerous studies show that’s not the case, at least when it comes to our deeply help beliefs.
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/30/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Abstract Only]In an effort to influence omnivores to go veg or reduce their meat consumption, many animal advocates strive to communicate messages related to animal suffering, ethics, or health. This study from New Zealand looks instead at how taste might influence consumer behavior. The research was carried out using focus groups to assess how consumers feel about different ways of reducing overall meat consumption, from entomophagy (eating insects) to in-vitro meat, to more holistic "nose to tail" eating.
by Corrina A. Tucker (School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/27/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Abstract Only]Campaigning to end the use of animals in laboratories is made more difficult by the fact that most of the animals used in labs - namely rodents, such as rats and mice - are not afforded any legal protection or even counted in animal testing statistics. This study demonstrates the kind of improved minimal welfare measures that have been suggested in the European Union. In an effort to give laboratory rodents a better life, researchers suggest adding UV lights to rat and mouse enclosures, as rats use their UV vision to interact with their environment and other animals.
by DB Sřrensen (University of Copenhagen, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology)
March 25, 2015
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/24/2015; Original Item from 2013
[Full Text]It is a strange paradox of some types of animal testing: in the search to "discover" whether certain animals feel pain, scientists subject them to painful, damaging experiments and then observe the results. In this study, scientists took shore crabs from the wild and subjected them to a series of painful scenarios involving electric shocks, in order to measure their "nociception" (their ability to learn lessons from painful experiences.) More than teaching us something about shore crabs - the study finds that crabs do indeed react to pain stimuli beyond just reflex, and demonstrate learning - the study speaks to an entrenched disconnect in scientific inquiry into the non-human animal world.
by Barry Magee, Robert W. Elwood (Department of Education and Learning (Northern Ireland))
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/23/2015; Original Item from 2013
[Full Text]Entrenching animal welfare standards into policy is often the result of a long legislative process. And evaluating the impact of these changes can take just as much effort. This study looks at the implementation of different animal welfare policies in the EU, and asks various stakeholders, from farmers to consumers, their opinions on how effective, efficient, and useful the different welfare measures are. The findings show that there is a delicate balance between what NGOs and consumers want, and that sometimes there is a disconnect between NGOs' priorities and what consumers see as important issues.
by Xavier Averós, Miguel A. Aparicio, Paolo Ferrari, Jonathan H. Guy, Carmen Hubbard, Otto Schmid, Vlatko Ilieski and Hans A. M. Spoolder (European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement No. KBBE-1-213095)
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/19/2015; Original Item from 2015
[Abstract Only]Reduction of animal use is one of the cornerstones of ethical research policy. Institutions in the U.S that conduct animal research claim to be testing on less animals each year. This study aims to dig deep behind their rhetoric to better understand how many animals are actually being used in research, and compares the results to the institutions' claims. The findings reveal that, despite many public claims that animal use is decreasing, the use of animals is, in fact, sharply increasing. This is due to institutions using more species such as mice in their research that are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act.
by Justin Goodman, Alka Chandna, Katherine Roe (Laboratory Investigations Department, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/18/2015; Original Item from 2009
[Full Text]In the wake of the UN's publication of the groundbreaking report Livestock's Long Shadow in 2006, scientists have sought to better understand the role that factory farming plays in climate change. This study uses computer models to explore the potential impact of different dietary transitions, from simply reducing red meat consumption to becoming vegan, and analyzed how each might effect carbon cycles, land use, and more. The results provide concrete data to show how individual food choices can have a global impact on animals and the environment.
by Elke Stehfest. Lex Bouwman, Detlef P. van Vuuren, Michel G. J. den Elzen, Bas Eickhout, Pavel Kabat (No Sponsor)
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/16/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Full Text]Humane education presentations are an increasingly popular way for animal advocates to introduce young people to issues related to animals. Studies are being conducted into the efficacy of humane education presentations aimed at different age groups and within various contexts. This research looked at nearly 170 U.S. students exposed to a humane education presentation at their school, and explored the effects that the presentation might have had on their consumption of animal products. The study found that humane education programs aimed at students cannot affect change on their own, and that this age group, which still lives at home with their families, are likely to be strongly influenced by their living constraints.
by ACE Staff with Diana Fleischman (Animal Charity Evaluators)
March 11, 2015
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/9/2015; Original Item from 2013
[Full Text]Undertaken by independent researcher M. Butterflies Katz, this survey of over 7,000 people was conducted through vegan Facebook groups over a period of 2.5 months in 2013. It examines a broad range of aspects associated with veganism, exploring everything from whether or not respondents had epiphanies, to whether they feed their companion animals a vegan diet. The results of the study give an interesting snapshot of English-speaking vegans located around the world.
by M. Butterflies Katz (No Sponsor)
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/6/2015; Original Item from 2015
[Full Text]The Pew Research Center is taking a close look at the real and perceived role of science in the eyes of the American public and policy-makers. In a study of both the scientific community and a broad cross section of the public, Pew examined how Americans view science in relation to their own lives and public policy, in addition to investigating how scientists see themselves as agents of influence in American life. Of special interest to animal advocates is a considerably large difference in how both groups view animal research issues as well as certain matters related to food.
by Lee Rainie (Pew Research Center)
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/5/2015; Original Item from 2007
[Full Text]In a unique paper exploring the pressure of "repugnance" on economic markets, researcher Alvin E. Roth shows how people's distaste for certain transactions can have a serious constraint on different types of economic activity. Outlining a wide range of examples, including paying for organ transplants, the "game" of "dwarf tossing," and the sale and consumption of horse and dog meat, Roth shows how repugnance is culturally engrained and can sometimes change over time given certain circumstances, or become further entrenched. The paper offers interesting theoretical information for animal advocates who work on issues where "repugnance" may feature.
by Alvin E. Roth (National Science Foundation)
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/3/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Full Text]The Toronto Vegetarian Association (TVA) surveyed current and former vegetarians and vegans to better understand the challenges they face in their dietary choices, and see what kind of support would help them the most. This online survey of over 1000 people discovered that both current and former vegetarians and vegans found that "eating out" and "getting enough nutrients" were central challenges. In addition, the best supports that could be offered were cheaper vegetarian and vegan food and giving "suggestions for eating out". None of the support mechanisms identified addressed the issue of nutrients.
by Toronto Vegetarian Association (Toronto Vegetarian Association)
New Research Citation, Entered on 3/2/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Abstract Only]As the consumption of so-called "ethically produced meat" continues to rise, the differences between "Conscientious Omnivores" (COs) and vegetarians / vegans (known together here as veg*ns) becomes increasingly useful to animal advocates. This study surveyed a variety of COs and veg*ns, to find out how they view themselves, animals and meat. The results show that there are significant ethical differences between COs and veg*ns, especially when it comes to self-identity, and how they view animals in relation to themselves.
by Hank Rothgerber (Bellarmine University)
New Research Citation, Entered on 2/27/2015; Original Item from 1994
[Abstract Only]In this piece, originally published in 1994, Mary T. Phillips explores the importance of providing names and a narrative for animals used in research, as a way of forming ethical relationships. Because lab animals are so often only identified by a number, or another identifier which are not "names" per se, they demonstrate a "negative case" enabling lab workers to distance themselves from the animals' situation. Phillips deconstructs the category of "laboratory animal," and provides some comparisons to our treatment of companion animals that could be useful for research animal advocates.
by Mary T. Phillips (Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society)
New Research Citation, Entered on 2/26/2015; Original Item from 2014
[Full Text]This study from Vegan Outreach compares the impact of two pro-veg pamphlets in order to measure the effectiveness of paying people to read outreach literature. In addition to seeing how much people changed their behavior based on being exposed to the different leaflets, the study also measured how much money (in the form of pay-per-read payments) might be required to effect pro-veg behavior change per person. The results provide insight into the effectiveness of different literature, as well as the kind of budgeting that might be useful for pay-per-read outreach programs.
by Jack Norris (Vegan Outreach)
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