Vad är ett djur?
en rapport om veterinärstudenternas djursyn
ABSTRACTThe aim of the study was to survey attitudes towards animals among veterinary students, and to assess how the Swedish veterinary education affected students' perspectives on animals. Students in the first and second years of the study programme were asked to answer the question "What is an animal?" as they saw fit, and the answers were analysed using a qualitative-to-quantitave analysis method called the Elementary Model, which had been developed for the purpose. Results showed a significant decrease in "zoo-perspectives", i.e. views and descriptions of animals as beings with cognitive and motor functions, and a significant increase in "homo-perspectives", i.e. descriptions of animals as useful to humans or as taking part of an anthrozoological context. The prevelence of "geo-" and "bio-perspectives" (describing animals as objects, a collection of parts etc. or as living beings with metabolic and reproductive capabilities, respectively) did not change significantly during the first year of education. Results also indicated that mere research into matters of animal sentience may positively affect student awareness, thus potentially masking a negative effect from veterinary education when the same students are asked the same questions repeatedly during education. An educational supplement, "Animals - a Metaperspective", was also evaluated as part of the study.