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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K361: 兒童認為養殖場動物與人類應受平等對待 Farm animals and humans should be treated the same, children say

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.K361: Farm animals and humans should be treated the same, children say

Children think farm animals deserve to be treated as well as human beings but lose this belief in adolescence, a groundbreaking study has found.


Researchers from the universities of Exeter and Oxford asked a group of British children aged nine to 11, young adults aged 18 to 21 and older men and women about their attitudes to different sorts of animals.


In general, the children said farm animals and human beings should be treated the same and found eating animals less morally acceptable than both sets of adults. The findings suggest that “speciesism” — a moral hierarchy that gives different value to different animals — is learned during adolescence, according to the study.


“Humans’ relationship with animals is full of ethical double standards,” said the lead author, Luke McGuire, a lecturer at the University of Exeter who specializes in social and moral development. “Some animals are beloved household companions, while others are kept in factory farms for economic benefit. Judgments seem to largely depend on the species of the animal in question: dogs are our friends, pigs are food.”

“人類與動物的關係充滿了道德雙重標準,”主要作者,埃克塞特大學(University of Exeter)專門研究社會和道德發展的講師盧克·麥奎爾(Luke McGuire)說。“有些動物是心愛的家庭伴侶,而另一些則為了經濟利益而被飼養在工廠化農場。判斷似乎在很大程度上取決於所討論動物的種類:狗是我們的朋友,豬是食物。

The report says an important aspect of the human mind is “moral acrobatics”: people can hold ethical values that contradict each other and employ moral double standards. But the origins of moral acrobatics relating to animals is poorly understood and the researchers say this new study provides some of the first evidence examining the differences in how children and adults think about animal treatment.


Among other tasks, participants in the study were presented with pictures including a farm animal and companion animals and asked to categorize them as “food”, “pet” or “object”. They were asked how animals were treated, and how they should be treated.


Children did not judge all animals to be equal. They concluded, in fact, that dogs ought to be treated better than pigs — but also that pigs ought not to be treated differently from humans. The two sets of adult groups said pigs ought to be treated less well than dogs, while humans and dogs ought to be treated the same.


McGuire said the study suggests that while children think farm animals and humans ought to be treated equally well, by adulthood people believe that companion animals and humans ought to be treated better. He said children rated eating animals as significantly less permissible than young adults and adults did.


The paper, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, is titled “The development of speciesism: age-related differences in the moral view of animals.”

這篇論文發表在《社會心理與人格科學》(Social Psychological and Personality Science)雜誌上,題目是“物種主義的發展:動物道德觀中與年齡相關的差異”。Source article: