Society and Animals 19 (1):38-58 (2011)

Nonhuman animal farming, by its fundamental nature, involves a greater or lesser degree of ill treatment and oppression. Definitions of abuse or cruelty in relation to nonhumans, however, are inconsistent and ambiguous. People support nonhuman farming by purchasing its products, but the majority of people do not themselves mistreat nonhumans. How can this incongruity be explained? Any account is likely to be complex, but work in experimental psychology has identi- fied a number of conditions that can contribute toward individuals becoming morally disen- gaged from abusive acts. This paper shows that a number of these conditions are embedded in the nonhuman animal farming industry, thus providing some insight into why consumers may be disconnected from the mass abuse carried out by an industry they support. Recognizing this process can help advocates for nonhumans take steps to counter this disengagement and so allow consumers to examine their ethical choices more clearly
Keywords social psychology   cruelty   mass violence   moral disengagement   nonhuman farming   abuse
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DOI 10.1163/156853011x545529
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The Causes of Animal Abuse.Robert Agnew - forthcoming - Between the Species.

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Animal Killing and Postdomestic Meat Production.Istvan Praet & Frédéric Leroy - 2017 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 30 (1):67-86.

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