How does culture affect animals?
Many of our readers must have been to other countries. And if you are observant, then you noticed that the difference in attitude towards animals can be huge depending on the country. More often than not, we attribute this to differences in cultures. How does society culture influence attitudes towards animals?
In the photo: dogs play in the park. Photo:google
Is a dog a best friend or a mortal enemy?
Jill MacKay, a researcher on animal behavior and animal welfare at the University of Edinburgh (UK), believes that this difference is particularly striking in dogs.
In Western culture, dogs are perceived as man’s best friends, companions, looking forward to our return from work. However, in the rest of the world the situation is different.
For example, in regions where there are many stray dogs, they pose a great danger as a source of rabies infection, and this disease also makes dogs very aggressive. And they really represent a danger in terms of well-being and human health. As a result, dogs are very scared in some areas of India and Africa.
And if you look to the east (for example, to China), then there dogs are raised for meat. Moreover, in China, a dog can be both a companion and the main lunch dish. This is reminiscent of the situation with horses in Europe: a horse can be either a companion or a meat animal.
But even in Western culture, where dogs are man’s best friends, these friends are used without hesitation in clinical trials and for drug testing.
So, although the dogs have lived side by side with us for many millennia, people still cannot finally determine their attitude to them.
In the photo: Golden Retriever. Photo: pxhere.com
Is it possible to achieve unity in relation to animals, despite cultural differences?
It is important to remember that, no matter what we use dogs for, the dog does not cease to be a dog. With your feelings, emotions and needs, with your own view of the world. It does not matter where the dog sleeps: on our bed, on the street or in a cage in a research laboratory - her needs do not change from this.
And this applies to any animal, which reached the hands of man.
That is why it is so important to develop common standards of attitude towards animals that have had happiness (or unhappiness) in the sphere of human influence. It is important that these standards have scientific evidence.
And attempts to create and implement such standards are being undertaken, and very successfully. For example, the concept of assessing animal welfare, known as 5 freedoms, was developed in the UK, but it is applicable to all animals living in any country.