This paper focuses the analysis and discussion of results on a recent survey about animal cruelty. The extent of the knowledge students have on animal cruelty are observed through the questions asked in the survey. This paper discusses what students know about animal cruelty and how they feel about the certain issue. It also explores the forms that they are familiar with and what they have done to fight this social problem. The survey discusses the results of the survey and gives a recommendation based on what the students answered. The survey explored the results and answers given by twenty-five random samples of students. The answers given were analyzed by using direct studies that relate to the issue at hand. Papers about animal testing and other issues of animal cruelty are briefly discussed.
There are surprisingly very few vegetarians who stick to a strict diet, of the twenty five samples who answered the survey, only five (5) of the respondents, or twenty percent (20%) were vegetarian or vegan. Twenty (20) did not stick to a strict vegetarian diet, which were eighty percent (80%) of the respondents. However, almost all respondents are against animal cruelty. There were twenty two (22) respondents, or eighty eight percent (88%) who were against the issue. The few that did not state they are against it do not really have an opinion about it, this made up only twelve percent (12%) of the respondents. There are also varying results for the incidents of animal cruelty. The respondents were not very sure about what type of acts would be defined as “animal cruelty”. Besides this, about four fifths or eighty percent (80%) of the respondents also answered that they have never signed a petition against animal cruelty. Not because they refused to, but maybe because one was never given to them directly.
Most of the respondents claim that they never witnessed animal cruelty in the media, this made up about seventy six percent (76%) of the respondents. The ones that did say that they saw animal cruelty in almost all forms of media, most of which was seen in movies, this made up twelve percent (12%) of the respondents. These people believe that the ones who talk about animal cruelty the most are the NGO representatives, especially those working for animal rights groups. Most of the respondents, fifty six percent (56%) think that these are the people responsible for educating people on the issue. Most people answered yes to believing that individuals should be educated more about animal cruelty, which was about sixty four percent (64%). They believe that it is a matter of values. The respondents of the survey also believe that those who can provide the most education about animal cruelty is the media (32%) and schools (68%).
The findings of the survey are very interesting, since not everyone who answered really cared about the issue on animal cruelty. People know that an issue exists, but they do not know the extent of animal cruelty. There are a lot of instances where animals are not just treated inhumanely. They are put into situations where they are forced to feel stress, due to scientific experiments (Miller and Knutson, 1997; 59-82). This is rampant in the drug and cosmetic industries. Not only are animals injected with dangerous drugs made for human consumption, they are also bred to be “humanized” (Lockwood and Hodge, 1986; 1-6). Their emotions are controlled within the laboratory and they live under very stressful environments for the sake of experiments.
The individuals who claim that they are vegetarian might choose that particular lifestyle because of religious constraints, and not necessarily for animal rights. Those who do not really care or have an opinion about animal cruelty might feel this way because they do not understand exactly what is going on behind the closed doors of a laboratory (Morton and Griffiths, 1985; 431-436). This means that they are not aware of instances involving animal cruelty. For example, many people know that rabbits and mice are used to test cosmetics, but they do not know exactly how this is done. A lot of people might know that rats are used for scientific experiments to test drugs, but they are not aware of how the rats are bred and what conditions they live in. Most of the petitions signed by those who want to oppose animal cruelty were mostly about Kentucky Fried Chicken animal cruelty and cruelty against laboratory or test animals.
Since these individuals are not aware of what constitutes for animal cruelty, they would not be able to identify what cruelty is towards animals (Ryder a, 1975). Many people pointed out that there are instances of cruelty in the media, however because of the limited answers, we cannot conclude what they think animal cruelty really is. Not a lot of wildlife documentaries show animal cruelty. At the most, circus animals or the ones used as exhibitions are shown. We are not provided with information on what happens in laboratories or farms where animals are executed inhumanely for consumption.
Those who do not think that it is an important issue do not know how animal cruelty can affect their personal lives. They might believe that the death or the inhumane treatment of animals do not directly affect them or their lifestyles. However, studies show that animal testing in laboratories can affect us and the drugs we are prescribed, cosmetics we wear or the food that we eat (Miller and Knutson, 1997; 59-82). For those who answered that it is a matter of values, we are not sure up to what extent they believe this animal cruelty is, or how much they consider humane treatment for all animals. For example, someone might stick to a strict vegan diet, yet still wear leather shoes. Animal cruelty awareness should be stressed in schools as well as in the media. These two outlets are the ones that will create the most impact.
A very infesting finding from the survey results includes the lack of awareness people have on animal cruelty. Although many people are against it, they cannot explain exactly why they are. Many people believe that animals should all be treated equally. However, this only goes down on paper. When it comes to supporting their stance by giving examples of their lifestyle choices or anything they have done to show their support for animals, they cannot back their claims up with anything. There are a lot of people who believe that this is an important issue concerning values, however they are still on the fence about what they should do regarding animal cruelty (Ryder a, 1975).
There was one particular respondent who claimed that she was vegetarian, she says that she has signed many petitions, yet is not part of any group. She spoke about how she believes KFC is very cruel and wrong and how she never eats at any of their chains. However, she carries a leather bag and wears cosmetics from brands that participate in animal experiments. This shows that there is lack of education on animal cruelty and that many people still support cruelty towards animals without knowing it (Ryder b, 2000). The fact that she thought she was doing everything in her power to stop animal cruelty is quite interesting. This goes to show that schools, the media and NGO representatives should do their part in raising awareness for this issue. Too many people are buying into brands that support animal cruelty, and not enough of the youth know about the consequences animal cruelty brings. These types of acts do not stop at carnivals or fast food chains. The bigger corporations are taking part in these inhumane acts of animal cruelty and it is affecting the lifestyles of many.
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