International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems


I welcome John and Valerie Braithwaite's survey on "Attitudes Toward Animal Suffering" (tnt j Stud Anim Prob 3(1):42-49, 1982) as a good beginning in establishing a much-needed empirical basis for discussions of the issue. Their selection of survey items is exceptionally well designed, providing a systematic comparison of attitudes across relevant values of several important variables. However, in my opinion, the Braithwaites' analysis of the data obtained reflects a mistaken assumption that one can infer behavior from written responses to a questionnaire. The findings also indicate that attitudes to animal research are strongly influenced by the pain level the animal is perceived to experience.