Sarah's research concerns the influence of species on perceptions of animals. For instance, why do many people care for dogs as family, yet eat pigs, despite pigs being ostensibly similar to dogs in behaviour, appearance, sociality, emotionality, and intelligence?
This concept can be termed 'speciesism' and is of great research importance, as pigs (and other animals) may be morally disengaged from. Current research has so far only investigated the existence of speciesism and limited causes, with little consideration of a) the implications of speciesism for perceptions of animals and behavioural intentions, b) alternative causes to speciesism besides self-relevance, and c) interventions to reduce and prevent speciesism. Sarah's research aims to address these gaps.