Problem

Impaired human empathy toward animals

Other Names:
Human desensitization to animal suffering
Claim:
The moral foundations of the relationship of industrial civilization with animals and nature is clearly flawed by its lack of awareness for all life. In order to further the exploitation of animals by the biomedical, farming and wildlife "resource" industries, such beliefs as man's dominion over nature and the irrelevance of animal rights, divinity or capacity to suffer emotionally become essential defences to rationalize away and deny empathetic feelings of compassion, guilt and responsibility. Empathy is also impaired towards animals because humans lack objective, scientific knowledge about the behavioural requirements and emotional, subjective world of animals. Farmers, animal scientists and others involved in livestock production also have little training in ethology. Desensitization occurs naturally as a defence mechanism when humans have to perform various painful procedures upon animals and are ultimately obliged to kill them. Empathy is thus withdrawn because the burden of responsible compassion associated with it awakens the individual's sense of vulnerability. Closing off empathy, especially in laboratory animal research, factory farming and wildlife exploitation ultimately distorts perceptions and objectivity, and becomes a primary source of needless animal abuse and suffering.
Reduces:
Bestiality
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Subject(s):
Zoology Animals
Mankind Human
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 15: Life on Land
Date of last update
10.06.2019 – 06:17 CEST