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Do all dogs go to heaven? Investigating the association between demographic characteristics and beliefs about animal afterlife

By K. D. Royal, A. A. Kedrowicz, A. M. Snyder

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Abstract

The purpose of this research was to explore American's beliefs about animal afterlife based on key demographic factors such as sex, race/ethnicity, age, geographic region, religion/faith, and pet ownership. We attained a large and diverse sample of respondents (n=800) using Amazon's Mechanical Turk, and attempted to make the data fairly representative of the United States population by applying post-stratification weights based on auxiliary statistics obtained from US Census data. Results of the study suggest that many people perceive animal lives as similarly sacred as human lives. Evidence also suggests that one's membership in a particular demographic category may have considerable bearing on views about animal afterlife. The authors recommend veterinarians remain cognizant that some people extend their own views on issues such as spirituality to their pets and those beliefs and values can impact veterinary care and decision-making.

Publication Title Anthrozoös
Volume 29
Issue 3
Pages 409-420
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
DOI 10.1080/08927936.2016.1189748
Language English
Author Address Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, 1060 William Moore Dr., Raleigh, NC 27607, USA.kdroyal2@ncsu.edu
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Tags
  1. Animals
  2. Anthrozoology
  3. APEC countries
  4. Attitudes
  5. Canidae
  6. Canine
  7. Carnivores
  8. Decision making
  9. Demography
  10. Developed countries
  11. Dogs
  12. Ethnicity
  13. Humans
  14. Mammals
  15. Mathematics and statistics
  16. Membership
  17. Men
  18. North America
  19. OECD countries
  20. Pets and companion animals
  21. Primates
  22. Psychiatry and psychology
  23. Religions
  24. Social psychology and social anthropology
  25. surveys
  26. United States of America
  27. vertebrates
  28. Veterinarians
  29. Zoology