Sep 13, 2019 Attitudes to Wildlife
Dr. Stephen Kellert of the Yale School of Forestry performed some of the first large scale assessments of American attitudes to wildlife in the 1970s. He generated a set of attitudes/values and estimated the proportion of Americans strongly oriented toward a particular value. For example (total distribution adds up to more than 100% because there were overlapping value distributions), 35% of Americans were Humanistic (enjoying animal companionship and affection), 20% were Moralistic (includes animal welfare advocates) while 20% were Utilitarian (saw wildlife as a resource for humans) and 35% were Neutralistic (basically exhibited a passive avoidance of and lack of interest in wildlife). The remaining values were Naturalistic (10%), Ecologistic (7%), Scientistic (1%), Aesthetic (15%), Dominionistic (3%) and Negativistic (2%). Kellert and a colleague (Miriam Westervelt) then followed up by looking at changes in US attitudes to wildlife over time (from 1900 to 1976) and found that Utilitarian values had declined.