First News – Kids: “Farm animals should be treated like humans”

Nigel Booth
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 12:24pm
First News – Kids: “Farm animals should be treated like humans”

First News is a 28-page weekly newspaper for young people delivered into homes across the UK every Friday. Find out more at site.

New research has found that children are less likely than adults to think of animals as food.

Farm animals should be treated like humans (photo: Catherine Falls Commercial)

A study carried out by researchers from both the University of Exeter and Oxford University found that the majority of children think farm animals should be treated as well as humans. However, this opinion begins to somewhat lessen by the time they reach their teenage years.

New research has found that children are less likely than adults to think of animals as food (photo: Mint Images – Emily Hancock)

The researchers quizzed 479 people from three different groups in England: kids aged nine to 11, a group of young adults aged 18 to 21, and a group of older adults between the ages of 29 and 59. All participants were shown pictures of various animals, foods and other items and asked to class them as ‘food’, ‘pet’ or ‘object’.

Treat humans and animals the same

The majority of the children believed humans and farm animals should be treated the same, with many dismissing the idea of eating an animal, at least compared to the adults interviewed.

Researchers say the survey tells us more about the development of ‘speciesism’, which is the belief that one species is superior to another.

They say the responses suggest that speciesism is likely to be mostly learned during adolescence (the time between being a child and an adult). However, the children did think that “chimps ought to be treated better than pigs, and pigs better than rats”, so they had already decided that some species were on different levels in some ways.

The report says: “Humans’ relationship with animals is full of ethical [what’s right and wrong] double standards.

“Some animals are beloved household companions, while others are kept in factory farms for economic benefit. Judgments seem to largely depend on the species of the animal in question: dogs are our friends, pigs are food.”

Should all animals be treated as well as humans? Vote at


World Tapir Day

April 27

Highlights the impact of human activities such as mining, deforestation, farming and hunting on the four species of tapir. See

Stop Food Waste Day

April 27

Global day of action to tackle food waste. Find out more at website.


Sudoku puzzle


Can you complete our sudoku puzzle? Fill in the numbers one to nine.

Last week’s puzzle answer:

Last week’s Sudoku Puzzle Answers

For last article visit:


This website and its associated newspaper are members of Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).
© 2024 National World Publishing Ltd.