Children do not make value judgments between farm animals and humans. This tendency disappears with adolescence: this is what we learn from a study published in the review this Monday Social Psychological and Personality Science†
In a study by British researchers, photos of farm and companion animals were shown to the 479 participants. The latter had to classify them into one of the following categories: food, animal, or object. They were then questioned about their attitudes towards these different types of animals.
It turned out that for the littlest ones, farm animals should be treated like people. This is what the media pointed out yesterday Vegetable : children have an unconditional love for animals. Both groups of adults in the study believed that pets and people deserved better treatment than farm animals. the Guardian asked Luke McGuire, the study’s lead author: Something happens in adolescence, where this early love for animals becomes more complex †
The relationship between humans and animals remains ambivalent, regardless of age group. According to Luke McGuire she is ” full of double ethical criteria For example, the children thought that dogs should be treated better than pigs, but also that pigs should be treated like people!
The study’s author concludes his interview with: the Guardian with a reflection on diets: If we want people to switch to plant-based foods for environmental reasons, we need to shake up the current system. For example, if children were to eat more vegetarian food at school, it would be more in line with their moral values.†
A study that precisely analyzes the development of speciesism and questions us about the social constructs involved.