Is love for animals encoded in our DNA? Scientists have made an amazing discovery!
Some of us adore animals, while others hate them. However, some scholars have suggested that love for animals is innate and even ... encoded in our DNA!
In the photo: a girl and a dog. Photo: Pixabay
In any case, experts from the Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh) and Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) Dr Sarah Brown and professor Alistair Lawrence analyzed the DNA of 161 volunteers and came to the curious conclusion: people who are very fond of animals have genetic differences from those who experience hostility towards our little brothers.
The difference lies in the genes that are responsible for the production of the hormone oxytocin, which is better known as the hormone of attachment and is responsible, among other things, for the formation of social bonds between people.
However, the level of oxytocin affects not only the attitude towards other people, but also the attitude towards animals. And scientists expressed the hope that this discovery will help develop a strategy aimed at improving animal welfare.
The subjects participating in the experiment were asked, among other things, to fill out a questionnaire, which made it possible to identify their attitude to animals, including the level of empathy with respect to furry and feathered ones. It turned out that people who showed greater empathy in relation to animals were “equipped” with a specific version of the gene responsible for the production of oxytocin.
It also turned out that women on average treat animals better than men, and that is why most of the employees of organizations that care for animals.
However, social factors cannot be discounted. Genes are genes, but the attitude towards animals depends largely on life experience, character traits and religious beliefs. However, this is the first study to prove that genetics also matters.
The study was published in the journal Animals.
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