Protective objectification is the denial of the subjectivity of others in order to avoid closeness, responsibility and the burdens of empathy. People in paradoxical and stressful relationships include farmers nurturing animals for slaughter; animal shelter personnel obliged to kill animals; caring laboratory researchers responsible for the suffering and mutilation of animals; health professionals caring for the terminally ill will often mobilize such a defence. The difference between a nurturing, supportive person and one is empathetically disconnected is the difference between humaneness and indifference, between compassion and inhumanity. The difference is not between intrinsically kind and cruel persons, but between those who can bear the burden of empathy and those who fear it.
It is exemplified by the treatment of women as "sex objects", medical patients as "cases", and animals as trophies, pets, research tools, livestock, and the like.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
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