Pakistani Students Attitudes’ Toward Animals

The nature of human–animal interactions is diverse. Animals have been an essential part of human lives for centuries, from being hunting partners to companion animals at home and livestock raised for human consumption at farms. Given this bond and inter-dependence, significance of attitude toward animals and other related influential factors is increasingly being recognized within the field of human–animal relationships as well as animal welfare. More recently, researchers have increasingly highlighted people’s positive attitude toward animals due to their numerous physical and psychological benefits for individuals as well as society. These benefits included enhanced physical health, increased happiness, reduced loneliness and anxiety, and enhanced social interactions.

Similarly, animals are an integral part of people’s lives in Pakistan. They serve various roles as pets, livestock, transportation and food animals, even being part of religious practices. However, despite playing such crucial roles in society, very little is understood about how people view and treat animals in general and how these views affect animal welfare. 

It is important for students to understand ethical issues and to implement a change that supports animal welfare. Young adults are at a crucial stage of transitioning into adulthood and have a vested interest in the future of the society. They are further exposed to a multitude of information through different channels that lead to formation of views and opinions about critical topics. To bring about such a change requires considering students’ existing understanding, including their views on moral reasoning and ethical concerns.

To the best knowledge of the authors, the current study is the first one to explore ethical ideologies alongside attitude toward animals among students in Pakistan. The study showed that there was a positive relationship between ethical ideologies (idealism and relativism) and positive attitude toward animals. Individuals who believed that their moral behaviors always led to desirable outcomes as well as held universal moral principle were more concerned about animal welfare and held more positive attitudes towards animals. Further, individuals who believed that moral decision should be based on situational factors were also concerned for animal welfare. It was also evident from findings of study that students in advanced stages of their program held greater idealistic ideologies as compared to students in their initial semesters. Lastly, idealism was found to predict positive attitude and concern for animal wellbeing among students.

Read the full paper here: Khalid, A., Martens, P. & Khalid, A. (2023) Impact of Ethical Ideologies on Students’ Attitude toward Animals – A Pakistani Perspective. Animals, 13(3), 927.

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