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ŠUMARSKI LIST 1-2/2023 str. 79     <-- 79 -->        PDF

Because it is little information about children and teenagers attitudes toward game management, the other way to finding factors shaping it can be closer look to attitudes toward animal in general and utilisation (mostly eating) of them. From that kind of analysis factors worth of closer research can be determined.
Attitude of adolescents to the utilization of animals – Stav adolescenata prema praktičnoj uporabi životinja
Since the beginning of time, humans have utilized animals for food and parts of their bodies as clothing. The development of civilization has extended the utilization of animals to help with work, e.g. horses, dogs, research, entertainment and companion animals. As in the case of hunting, most opposed to the use of animals are younger children, teenagers and young female adults, who do not eat meat and also have a pet (Pagani et al., 2007; Martens et al., 2019; McGuire et al., 2022). Additionally, according to Kellert (1985), younger adolescents, aged 10 to 13, were characterized by a significant increase in cognitive understanding and older adolescents, aged 13 to 16, were characterized by an increase in ethical concern and the need to protect animals and the natural environment. McGuire et al. (2022) based on the study of the group of children and young adults in Great Britain, found that children aged 9-11 years are characterized by lower speciesism than young adults aged 18-21 years. Children were more sensitive to the treatment of pigs than young adults, however this difference was not in the treatment of dogs, as both groups were equally highly sensitive to treatment of dogs. Young adults were more likely to believe it was alright to eat animals, but both groups highly accepted eating animal products.
Martens et al (2019) found several strong correlations in attitudes towards animals among young adults. Young women showed greater concern for animals, especially in categories where the animal’s welfare and life were at risk (e.g., “killing animals”, “experimenting on animals”, “harming animals for the benefit of the environment”). There was no difference between the genders, in activities that included treating animals to improve their appearance or productivity (“changes in animal genotypes” and “destruction of animal integrity”). The results of Martens et al. (2019) confirm the conclusions of previous studies on gender differences. At the same time, studies by Pagani et al. (2007) found that 11% of the teenagers surveyed had committed animal abuse. The most common target of bullying was the cat, followed by the dog. When broken down by gender, 27% of boys and 9% of girls have abused animals. However, when broken down by age group, 28% of students aged 13-14, 20% aged 15-18, 16% aged 11-12 and 9% aged 9-10, committed abuse. The most common response to the question of why they were bullying was “for fun.”
People raised by single parents and visited zoos, also showed greater care for animals (Martens et al., 2019). Interestingly, 64% of girls and 50% of boys were against zoos (Pagani et al., 2007). These studies also show, that 93% of girls and 88% of boys are against the utilization of animals for fur, and 82% of girls and 71% of boys are against the use of animals in circuses. No differences were found in the care for animal welfare in adolescents living in cities and villages, which confirms the results of previous research conducted by Su and Martens (2017) on a group of Asian students. However, Asian students showed less concern for animal welfare than students from Belgium and the Netherlands. Researchers led by Martens (2019) also found that having a pet as a predictor of greater empathy for animals is ambiguous. Contrary to previous studies which showed that adolescents and young adults with pets, showed greater empathy and sensitivity to the welfare of other animals (Paul and Serpell, 1993; Prokop and Tunnicliffe, 2010). The group that stands out for its empathy towards animals are people who do not eat meat. This is the consistent conclusion of many authors studying the relationship between humans and animals (Pagani et al., 2007; Martens et al., 2019).
Bambi syndrome – Bambijev sindrom
The term “Bambi Syndrome” began to appear in the 1970s, although it began to be researched twenty years later (Lutts, 1992; Bramer, 1998). Bambi syndrome is simplified or naive (“through the eyes of children”) approach to nature and an opposition to killing animals that are perceived as cute or adorable, such as deer. At the same time, a person affected by this syndrome may have no objection to the suffering of animals that are perceived as uglier, e.g. pigs, spiders (Hastings, 1996; Nash, 2006). For 3/4 of teenagers, in Bramer (1998) study, man is the enemy of nature, and in the case of high school students, this view is shared by as many as 90%. This feelings are in opposition to XIXth century views, when people seen nature as threat to human. Researchers connect this change with many factors but living in cities far from natural environment and gaining knowledge about nature from television and the Internet seems to be the most important (Bramer, 1998; Kollender and Zabel, 2014). The literature researching Bambi Syndrome is very scarce, this problem requires more careful examination.
Game management is an important element in the protection of the natural ecosystem. When its goes to children and young people they attitude toward is generaly negative. Age, sex and place of residents have impact on this attitudes. Younger children, girls and children living in cities have