Still struggling to leave the break room. From Kenneth D. Royal, April A. Kedrowicz & Amy M. Snyder at Anthrozoos, a survey of what Americans think:
The first study to systematically explore beliefs about animal afterlife by asking a national sample of Americans has been published in the journal Anthrozoös. It investigated how demographic categories can have a considerable influence on beliefs about animal afterlife. With around 70% of US households owning pets, the study marks a new insight into a largely unexplored area of American spirituality.
The authors surveyed 800 participants, examining how demographic factors including sex, race, age, geographic region, religious beliefs, and pet ownership all affect an individual’s beliefs about animal afterlife.
Results showed that people who believe in an afterlife for humans are substantially more likely to believe in an afterlife for animals – 59% of participants believed in human afterlife and 75% of those individuals also believed in animal afterlife (though they reported stronger confidence in their human afterlife beliefs).
The survey further indicated that members of certain demographic categories are more likely to believe animals have a life after death. Women, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Black/African Americans, Buddhists, persons living in the South, and pet owners are all more likely to believe in animal afterlife.
The researchers additionally found people held different beliefs for different animals. The leader of the study – Kenneth Royal of North Carolina State University – said “In general, dogs, cats, and horses were rated the most likely to experience an afterlife, whereas insects, fish, and reptiles were rated the least likely.”
“Another interesting finding is that although more pet owners (45%) believed in an animal afterlife than non-pet owners (37.8%), a large number of pet owners did not believe in an afterlife for pets. We speculate that this is likely related to the fact that almost half of our sample claimed to have no specific religious beliefs or faith.” More.
It is hard to know whether an insect would know it had another life or not. Slowly exiting break room.
See also: Keeping pets is unethical? Francione lives in a society that cannot agree that children should not be delivered pre-term alive and chopped up for parts. Yet he has the effrontery to say this.
Does intelligence depend on a specific type of brain?
Animal minds: In search of the minimal self
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