Commentary on Kudo and Macer

Masahiro Morioka
Integrated Arts and Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Gakuencho, Sakai, Osaka 593, JAPAN
Email: morioka@heart.cias.osakafu-u.ac.jp
http://member.nifty.ne.jp/lifestudies/


The survey conducted by Kudo and Macer was interesting from the viewpoint of environmental ethics, but the further analysis should be done because we can see several perplexing results in it. For example, all the people who named "chicken" as a familiar animal disliked it or felt nothing. This is peculiar compared with other animals. Were there bias in sampling, and/or other reasons? When I was a junior high student one of my friends had chickens in his backyard and we played with them. We enjoyed the play. We liked them!

When analyzing the result "livestock" and "pets" should be divided in different category. Cows, pigs, and chickens are usually brought up in a farm for the purpose of producing meat, milk, and eggs. Their lives are directly subjected to humans. We kill and eat them. They never eat us. The are incorporated into the system of worldwide livestock industry. They are cogs in the system before they are independent living creatures. In the case of dogs, cats, and birds as companion animals, we live with them, talk to them, and laugh with them. We never eat them. The relationships are completely different. However, we throw away a number of dogs and cats in the street when we lose interest in them. Even in the case of companion animals we sometimes see them as toy robots or something.

In addition, I want to know their attitudes towards wild animals: monkeys, birds, fish, bears, frogs, worms, etc. Many Japanese go out and see these wild animals in the countryside. When going fishing they kill worms or shrimp to catch wild fish, and they see wild birds hovering over the sea. They must have some special feelings towards wild life.

Further analysis on the reason why people think like this must be done. Interview may be good for this study. Counting number of opinions is the first step. Next we should make clear the reasoning people unconsciously follow.


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