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‘Out of Sight, Out Of Mind’ Prevails When It Comes To Farmed Animal Suffering

One conclusion was that even within the intellectually privileged population of university students there is a high resistance to acquiring new information on the scale of livestock farming.

ELENA NALON: ‘Every year approximately 10 billion terrestrial animals are slaughtered in the U.S. and 65 billions … worldwide. This is, of course, if we exclude fish, who are killed by the trillions. The numbers are staggering, which is probably one of the reasons why they can be difficult to remember. However, according to the study: “College Student Literacy of Food Animal Slaughter in the United States” (Corey L. Wrenn), there are other, more complex explanations. Educators, as well as the animal advocacy and veg*n movements, must take these explanations into account if they want to improve their effectiveness in driving positive change for animals.

According to the study, there is institutionalized pressure on consumers – from the livestock industry as well as from governments – not to reflect too much on how food is produced. Farmed animals live and die away from public scrutiny, and the final products no longer resemble in shape or name the animal(s) from whom they are obtained. The author of the study contends that the other negative effects of livestock farming beyond animal suffering, such as environmental degradation or climate change, also appear to have a limited effect on the degree of awareness of U.S. citizens…

According to the authors, previous studies have reported that most people in the U.S. are still oblivious to the consequences of industrial livestock production. Apparently, the same applies to university students… The scope of the experiment was limited, but one conclusion was that even within the intellectually privileged population of university students there is a high resistance to acquiring new information on the scale of livestock farming… The study suggests that a continuous effort to educate the general public via multiple sources (media, scientific evidence, advocacy) could have strong results in the long run’. SOURCE…

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