A new YouGov poll of 1000 U.S. adult citizens conducted from 6th to 10th May 2022 found that Americans with companion animals are more supportive of policies that expand the rights of animals in society than are people who do not live with any non-human animal as companions.
The study shows that about one in three Americans say that animals do not have enough legal rights in society, and only 8% say animals have too many legal rights. People with companion animals are twice as likely as people without them to say animals should have more rights. Women are significantly more likely than men to hold this opinion.
46% of Americans believe that animal-cruelty laws in the U.S. are not strict enough, while 5% say they are too strict. Women are also more in favour of strengthening laws around animal cruelty than men are.
66% of Americans with companion animals say that when a couple who shares companion animals divorces, the judge should consider the animals’ best interests when deciding who gets custody of them. 46% also approve of judges giving divorcing couples joint custody of an animal. The poll shows that most people support allowing dogs in offices, aeroplanes, shopping malls, and, restaurants under some circumstances, but majorities who support allowing them in each of the settings think these should be restricted to service dogs. Fewer believe non-service dogs should be allowed in offices (32%), aeroplanes (31%), shopping malls (27%), and restaurants (18%). People with dogs are more likely to say all dogs should be allowed into these places than people without dogs.
However, most people with an opinion on the subject (72%) disapprove of vegetarian or vegan people feeding their dogs a meat-free diet, while 28% approve. Therefore, it would be fair to say that most Americans are not aware of the recent scientific studies that show that giving vegan food to dogs may be healthier for them than conventional pet food and that even domestic cats can thrive on a nutritionally complete vegan diet.