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Dataset of EA global survey

We investigated following issues in the survey: reducing poverty, racial equality, woman's right, peace and security, professional ethics, environmental protection, sustainable development, animal protection, equality for LGBT, human euthanasia, capital punishment, genetic engineering, human cloning. Click here to order the dataset.

JM Welfare Index and JM Rights Index

Animal welfare and animal rights are different. How to define and measure them? To what extent do you support animal welfare and animal rights? Find your answer here!

JM Welfare Index and JM Rights Index were created by Earth April scientist Dr Jenia Meng in 2008, utilising the information in the dataset of 'Global Attitude to Animals Survey 2007/08'. The indices can be used to calculate people's (in particular a group of people's) attitudes to animal welfare and animal rights. They range from 0 (do not support at all) to 100 (are extremely supportive). The higher the indices, the more endorsement or support people have for animal welfare or animal rights. Simply rate your opinions on the 13 questions below and your indices will be calculated.

Dr Jenia Meng also created seven other Attitudes to Animals Indices (New Welfarism, Reverence for Animals, Naturalness, Autonomy, Experimentation, Wildlife Protection, Spiritual Power ) and discovered hundreds correlations between variables. The detail can be found in her book ORIGINS OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS ANIMALS (OAA).

Download Abstract, Table of Content, Keywords etc. of OAA (pdf)
Download Conclusions of OAA (pdf)

Read the book excerpts online: (Google book) (via the University of Queensland Library) (via National Library of Australia)


Click here to order a copy of ORIGINS OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS ANIMALS. If you are doing research in related fields, or you are interested in animal activism, you may be eligible for a free copy of OAA and the dataset of 'Global Attitude to Animals Survey 2007/08'. Please contact Earth April Research at Research@EarthApril.GoodEasy.Info for more information.

Extended reading:
The definitions for animal protection and vegetarianism are different in different nations

Films in EA Educational Package

You can find more EA research in the form of films in EA Educational Package. Click here to download an introduction of the package.

Online test of indexes

Your JM Welfare Index is: Unknown
Your JM Rights Index is: Unknown

Issues Abbreviations of the Issues Extremely Unacceptable Unacceptable Neither Unacceptable Nor Acceptable Acceptable Extremely Acceptable
Allowing animals to experience pain during slaughter AllowingSlaughterPain
Decoration of animals, such as dying or cutting their hair for aesthetic reasons Decoration
Depriving animals of an appropriate environment to rest, including shelter RestDeprivation
Depriving animals of their needs for food and water FoodWater
Desexing by hormone implants DesexHI
Keeping animals as pets PetKeeping
Keeping animals for the education of the public in zoos, wildlife parks etc Zoo
Issues Abbreviations of the Issues Extremely Unacceptable Unacceptable Neither Unacceptable Nor Acceptable Acceptable Extremely Acceptable
Keeping animals for the production of food or clothing Food/clothing
Killing young animals that are dependent on their parents KillingYoung
Marking animals by branding or ear notching Marking
Removal of a body part, such as tail docking, or declawing BodyPartRemoval
Using animal for entertainment or sports Entertainment/sports
Using animals for work Work

Equations of JM Welfare Index and JM Rights Index

JM Welfare Index =
+ 2.50 × PetKeeping
- 6.21 × RestDeprivation
- 5.25 × AllowingSlaughterPain
- 4.30 × FoodWater
- 2.75 × KillingYoung
- 1.64 × BodyPartRemoval
- 0.461 × Entertainment/sports

JM Rights Index =
- 2.64 × DesexHI
- 2.35 × Food/clothing
- 1.86 × KillingYoung
- 1.82 × Zoo
- 1.61 × AllowingSlaughterPain
- 1.56 × Marking
- 1.55 × Entertainment/sports
- 1.54 × Work
- 1.19 × BodyPartRemoval
- 1.07 × Decoration
- 0.756 × PetKeeping

Abstract of the book "Origins of Attitudes towards Animals"

Jenia Meng

The present study is a unity of science and philosophy.

Previous studies of the attitudes towards animals suggest they are far from universal. The majority of existing studies are largely based on animal welfare in the Western world, which represents approximately 12% of the world human population. Little attention has been given to people in other parts of the world. People sometimes assume that animal welfare is the equivalent of animal protection, or positive attitudes towards animals, though the difference between animal welfare and animal rights has gained some attention.

The present study was placed in a global context; it not only investigated the attitudes of people from vastly different backgrounds, but also investigated the relationship between attitudes towards animal issues and world issues. Three distinct types of animal protection, Animal Welfare, Reverence for Animals, and New Welfarism were identified by scientific methods.

The major research method was an international survey of university students distributed online during 2007 – 2008. The survey was presented in the official languages of participating nations, and over 90 variables were investigated. The participants were invited by local collaborators from different parts of the nation based on probability sampling. In total, 4,514 filled questionnaires were received from 12 nations by the middle of 2008. The 12 nations were: China (mainland), Czech Republic, Iran, Ireland, Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The results were weighted by the gender ratio, level of education and area of study obtained from other sources; the results were also adjusted by tertiary enrolment rate of the nation.

Factor analysis, one self-developed program and other types of statistical techniques were applied to the raw results. In total nine Attitudes to Animal Indices were established for different types of attitudes. Two indices were created to calculate people’s attitudes to animal welfare and animal rights. The origin of positive attitude to animals was discussed from an evolutionary perspective; the relationship between holism and reverence for animals was explored. Important conclusions of the present study are shown below:

  • The definitions for animal protection and vegetarianism are different in different nations.
  • Prevalent stereotypes of the attitudes of some societies are incomplete and unrepresentative.
  • Animal Welfare and Reverence for Animals are two fundamentally different attitudes towards animals.
  • A holistic world view is tied to high Reverence for Animals.
  • Animal Rights is a product of animal welfare and Reverence for Animals. Societies can have low levels of animal welfare but high levels of animal rights when Animal Welfare is low but the Reverence for Animals is high.
  •  ‘New Welfarism’, a term coined by Gary L. Francione, is identified scientifically. This type of animal protection does not challenge the property status of animals and is different from Animal Rights; Integrity of animals and zoo issues are important aspects of Animal Rights but have been given limited attention in New Welfarism.
  •   In total the four types of animal protection explain 32.8% of the variation in the overall attitudes to animals. The degree of the different types of animal protection are: (The UK ranks may be subject to considerable random error.)
    Animal Welfare – Spain, Iran, Norway, Serbia>China, Czech, Ireland, South Korea, Macedonia, Sweden;
    New Welfarism – Serbia>Macedonia>Spain>China, Czech, Ireland, Norway>Iran, Sweden>South Korea;
    Reverence for Animals – Macedonia>China, Serbia>Spain>Czech, Ireland, South Korea, Norway, Sweden>Iran;
    Animal Rights – Serbia>Macedonia, Spain>China, Czech, Ireland, Iran, South Korea,Norway, Sweden;
    Other types of attitudes analysed were: naturalness (Genetic changes) of animals, autonomy of animals, animal experimentation, wildlife protection, spiritual power of animals.
  • Respect for the autonomy of animals is identified as a positive attitude towards animals. This attitude is sometimes mistaken for the avoidance of animals.
  •  The attitude to animal welfare is a more consistent predictor of the attitudes to world issues among different types of animal protection at the present time.
  •  Females on average have more positive attitudes to animals than males.
  • Overall ranking of perceived sentience is: Human Infant> apes>other mammals> birds> cold-blooded animals.
  • Far East tradition, Greek tradition and many indigenous traditions have higher levels of reverence for animals than do Abrahamic religions.
  •  There is some evidence to suggest that people in higher levels of the social hierarchy tend to have lower reverence for animals.
  • Students from nations sharing similar political ideologies, in particular those sharing communist influences, share similar overall attitudes to animals and world issues, but this association can also be explained by the similar human welfare levels in these nations.
The present author concluded that though many factors are associated with the attitudes towards animals, memes (tradition, religion, political ideology, education, etc.) and genes (empathy, position in social hierarchy, genetic similarity to the animals, etc.) are two fundamental origins of attitudes towards animals, and the two can be further unified by the information they carry.


Related Article

Attitudes to animals in Eurasia: the identification of different types of animal protection through an international survey

Original URL of the Article: Book of Abstract, Minding Animal Conference 2009 - OP061

J. Meng1, A. Hanlon4, A. Handziska1, B. I. Choe3, G. Illmann5, G. H. Lee2, H. Y. Hou1, H. Kjastad1, L. Keeling7, M. Kennedy6, M. Alonso8, S. J. Aldavood1, T. Rehn7, V. R. Pelagic10, V. Lund9, C. Phillips1

1Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, University of Queensland, QLD, Australia, 2College of Veterinary
Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of, 3College of Medicine, The Catholic University of
Korea, Seoul, Korea, Republic of, 4UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine,
Veterinary Science Centre, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 5Institute of Animal Science,
Department of Ethology, Prague, Czech Republic, 6Department of Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University,
Cambridge, United Kingdom, 7Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of
Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden, 8Department of Animal Production , Veterinary Faculty, University
of Leon, Leon, Spain, 9National Veterinary Institute, Oslo, Norway, 10Foundation SFS Center for Education,
Research and Consulting in Agriculture, Novi Sad, Serbia

Previous studies of attitudes towards animals suggest that they are far from universal. Some assume a more positive attitude to animals than others. We undertook an international survey of university students (n=4536) over the Internet during Dec 2006 – June 2008 based on probability samplings.

The questionnaire asked respondents about their support for two sets of issues, selected to be generic in
nature and not confined to geographical regions:
1) Forty-three Animal Issues: animal uses, welfare, integrity, longevity, experimentation, genetic
manipulation, animal-related environmental and societal issues
2) Thirteen World Issues, including: environmental protection, reducing poverty, racial equality, women’s
rights and, sustainable development.

Results were weighted by demographic variables and adjusted by tertiary enrolment rates. Four distinct types of animal protection (explaining 33% of total variation) were extracted by factor analysis, with the following ranks of participating nations:

  • Animal Welfare — UK> Spain, Iran, Norway, Serbia>China, Czech, Ireland, South Korea, Macedonia,
  • New Welfarism (Francione, 1996) — UK>Serbia>Macedonia>Spain>China, Czech, Ireland, Norway>Iran, Sweden>South Korea;
  • Reverence for Animals —UK>Macedonia>China, Serbia>Spain>Czech, Ireland, South Korea, Norway, Sweden>Iran;
  • Animal Rights — UK>Serbia>Macedonia, Spain>China, Czech, Ireland, Iran, South Korea, Norway,
All four types of animal protection were closely correlated to the perceived importance of many world issues, but animal welfare was found to be the most consistent predictor of attitudes towards world issues. The results suggest that the prevalent stereotypes of attitudes to animals of different nations are inaccurate.



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