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Inhuman animals: moving dehumanization into the domain of human–animal relations

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-05, 14:06 authored by Sarah Gradidge, Joaquín Alcañiz-Colomer, Steve Loughnan
Dehumanization researchers have robustly shown that people display remarkable variability in attributing humanity to others and outgroups, often with negative consequences for the dehumanized. We argue that a similar process operates at an interspecies level; people attribute less mind and humanity to animals, often with negative consequences for animals' moral standing and treatment. We outline recent work demonstrating that people attribute farmed animals less mind and do so in a motivated fashion. Further, we examine evidence that this denial of mind undermines moral concern for farmed animals. Finally, we explore some of the avenues for improving both mind attribution and moral concern toward farmed animals. We conclude that while researchers have robustly demonstrated that a process similar to intergroup dehumanization occurs when omnivores think about farmed animals, we need more research to understand how this can be counteracted.



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Publication title

Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences




Elsevier BV

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  • Published version


  • eng

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  • School of Psychology and Sport Science Outputs