Could Our Own Fear Of Death Be Affecting The Way We Treat Animals?

With shelter euthanasia rates going down, major companies moving toward more humanely-produced food, and the prospect of legal “personhood” for primates being litigated in court, you might have thought things were going pretty well for animals.

But authors of a new paper would disagree.

“There’s basically just one area in which things are getting better, and that’s with homeless pets,” says Michael Mountain, a leader in the no-kill movement. “In every other area we know of — factory farming, vivisection, wildlife, etc. — things are going downhill.”

“We are in a sixth mass extinction and there is no doubt about that at this point,” says Lori Marino, a bio-psychologist, cetacean expert and founder of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy.

Mountain and Marino, whose work is due out this spring, have a theory about why this is happening: existential anxiety and fear of death.

Drawing on ideas advanced in Ernest Becker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Denial of Death, the two argue that our subconscious’ need to think of humans as both immortal, and separate from animals, drives our attitudes and behavior toward living creatures.

“There is the same psychological —> Read More Here


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