Gallup Poll Says Americans Support Wearing Fur and Animal Testing

The latest Gallup Poll on what is morally acceptable in American culture today should make animal welfare organizations take notice. The poll measured 15 overall moral issues with 3 areas specific to animal rights. The outcome showed that Americans are slow to change when it comes to animals, but are headed in the right direction.

While the results of the Gallup Poll didn’t jump off the charts from last year, it did show that Americans are slowly accepting the moral concept of treating animals humanely; especially in one area.

Below are the 3 animal related topics asked in the Gallup Poll. They reflect the percent of people who find these practices acceptable:

1. Buying & wearing clothing made of animal fur 61%
2. Medical testing on animals                                   57%
3. Cloning animals                                                       34%

The issue of buying and wearing fur was the question that should worry activist groups most. It saw a decrease in the amount of empathy Americans have for animals. In 2008, 54% of those surveyed thought it was acceptable to wear fur while 61% of poll takers in 2009 said it was O.K.

Wesley J. Smith, senior fellow in bioethics, believes this shift should be a warning to activist groups like PETA, HSUS and the ASPCA. He says, “…the increase in the ‘acceptable’ category might reflect animal rights exhaustion, that is, people are tired of the preaching.”

On the other hand, Smith thinks advocates should be proud that 35% of the nation thinks it is morally wrong to wear fur. He wants people to consider that just a few years ago wearing fur wasn’t a moral issue at all for most Americans. It was seen as a sign of luxury and status that was highly sought after. Now it’s a subject familiar to everyone and the fact that the topic made it to the list of moral questions on the survey should bring a small sense of satisfaction to animal welfare groups.

Regarding the question of medical testing on animals, it appears that Americans are still not getting the message. This category of acceptance increased from 56% in 2008 to 57% in 2009.

These statistics don’t necessarily mean that people are unaware about the torment of animals used in research. It seems to be more of a problem of confidence for Americans. They need more reassurance that medical and scientific advances won’t suffer because they haven’t been tested on animals. This may give clues to activist groups to focus their campaigns on educating the public about the modern techniques available for medical testing.

And finally the question regarding cloning showed the most improvement in how Americans could potentially feel about animals. Only 34% of the population thought it was morally acceptable while a whopping 66% didn’t believe it had any merit. Could this be our true nature coming out or the fact that cloning is relatively new to our culture?

The new Gallup Poll was conducted by a phone survey from May 7- May 10, 2009 with adults at least 18 years old. Overall most people showed concern for animal welfare, but put the well-being of humans first. Which way do you think the trend will continue in the 2010 survey?


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CR C.6 years ago

That a terrible result really people to wakeup and realise these are living creatures like you and me and deserve to live and get some respect.

Jake C.
Jake Costello6 years ago

Maybe yuu should ask a real sample of human beings. Vegans and vegetarians are people with value, and worth. Meat-eating humans are not really human at all.

Cj clayton
Cj Clayton6 years ago

This gallup poll sounds like a made up one! I have already started a petition and have over 100 signatures already! that would leave this so called gallup poll in the dust! You want to sign a REAL poll? Then sign this one here:

Sandi F.
Sandi Fentiman6 years ago

I would be inclined to ask those less caring people if they would like to see their hair/skin on other people or forced to be used for experiments against there wills.
God said we would have dominion over animals; not abusive behavior. He meant that we are to take care of them!!!

Janina Iwasa
Janina I.6 years ago

Who are these people that they polled? This poll seems suspect at best. Most people I know, including myself, are opposed to wearing fur and animal testing. I myself have volunteered on several occasions for drug tests. Speaking of animal testing: there's overwhelming evidence that humans don't react in the same way as animals. In fact, one person may react in a different way to another person. In the clinic where I volunteered, another person had a reaction different from what I had. So what's the point of animal testing when it doesn't address the issue of specificity?

edward s.
edward s.6 years ago

So! The Gallup Poll discovers that US citizens are environmental barbarians. Did you expect something else ? a Will all the airheaded famous shun fur coats, stop driving gas guzzlers, put the environment before a nose job, stop pollution, environmental vandalism, wildlife before greed? Sorry, not on this planet.

Lynn Barnes
Lynn Barnes6 years ago

People don't care unless it is in their face and impacts them personally, they are self centered and petty. With greed and stupidity mixed in.

LaJana P.
LaJana P.6 years ago


As far as animal testing - According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 92 percent of drugs that pass preclinical testing (which is conducted mainly on animals) fail during the human clinical trial phase.

Do you really think there was any humane reason that these animals had to suffer pain and death when animal experimentation is an outdated method producing inconsistent and species-specific results while there are currently other methods available for studying human biology directly-- including genomics, imaging technologies, computer simulations, epidemiological analyses, tissue cultures and biochips.

As for cloning. Humans are not God's. Some of our species might think they are but we aren't. Cloning is just another step towards our own destruction. Who knows scientists might just take cloning to the next level (and they will) and create a creature that will use us for their food, clothes and to experiment on. Will you be opposed to these atrocities when you are the one that is suffering and being slaughtered??

"Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is-whether its victim is human or animal-we cannot expect things to be much better in this world...We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature."
Rachel Carson

"If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals." Albert Einstein

LaJana P.
LaJana P.6 years ago

I don't know who got to participate in this poll but personally I think that if it was sent out to all US households then they might have gotten different results. Most of the people I know are against animal testing, wearing fur and cloning.

However, for those of you on this thread who think that the exploitation and death of other sentient beings for your greed and lust is acceptable - you either don't believe in God or some other creator or you completely lack any moral conscious.

If you are in the least little bit religious then do you really think that your God would want you to destroy his beautiful creations just so that you could wear them???

Have you not evolved beyond the point of cavemen and women to a point where you realize that there are so many more options out there and that the cruel deaths of fur animals is not only not necessary to keep you warm but it is also a cruel brutal barbaric slaughter??


Annmarie Little
Annmarie Little6 years ago

polls can be manipulated depending upon who is taking the poll. are you asking people you see coming out of a leater or fur shop, how they feel? how do the deside who makes up this group, how many people were asked? i think the only reason anyone does a poll is to try to convince people how they should think... see everyone else thinks this, maybe you should also.