From Pets to Pests: Testing the Scope of the “Pets as Ambassadors” Hypothesis

Catarina Possidónio*, Jared Piazza, João Graça, Marília Prada

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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    Positive relationships with pets can sometimes foster more positive judgments of other animals. The present study sought to examine the scope of this “pets as ambassadors” effect in relation to four meaningful animal categories (companion, farmed, predator, and pest) derived from the Animal Images Database (Animal.ID). The Animal.ID contains ratings from 376 Portuguese individuals on pet attachment and several dimensions related to animal attributes and moral concern for 120 different animals, which offered insights into the scope and nature of the “pets as ambassadors” effect. Pet attachment was related positively to ethical concern for animals and lower levels of speciesism. The relationship between pet attachment and animal attributions were expressed, beyond companion animals, most consistently for predators and farmed animals, and least of all pests. The benefits of pet attachment centered mostly on aesthetic judgments and benevolent feelings toward predators and farmed animals, sentience attributions for pests, and concerns about the killing of all animal groups for human consumption. Pet attachment did not reliably relate to the attributions individuals made about the intelligence or dangerousness of animals, or their similarity to humans. The findings help clarify how pets might serve as ambassadors for other animals.

    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)707-722
    Aantal pagina's16
    Nummer van het tijdschrift5
    StatusPublished - 2021

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