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Caring about Blood, Flesh, and Pain:Women's Standing in the Animal Protection Movement

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Using the results of a survey of animal rights activists, advocates, and supporters, the paper reveals much more convergence (80%) than divergence (20%) of attitudes and actions by male and female animal protectionists. Analysis of the divergence suggests that the differences between men and women in the movement are contingent upon such things as early socialization, gendered work and leisure patterns, affinity with companion animals, ambivalence about science, and a history of opposition to nonhuman animal abuse by generations of female activists and animal advocates. Aside from the feminist and women's movements and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, it is rare to find a social movement in which the standing of women eclipses those of their male colleagues. The paper suggests that animal protection remains a bastion of female activism and advocacy because women care about blood, flesh, and pain and, unlike earlier generations of animal activists, no longer are seen as a liability to the success of the movement.

Affiliations: 1: School of Humanities, Communication, and Social Science, Monash University, Gippsland, Churchill, Victoria 3842, Australia

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