Cara Langford Watts
Cara is a PhD Researcher in Criminology in the Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, supervised by Dr Wulf Livingston and Dr Caroline Gorden.
Thesis title/work in progress:
The techniques of neutralisation adopted to justify speciesist attitudes for the consumption of animal products. The aim of this research is to explore from a criminological perspective the strategies that individuals employ in order to support and maintain their speciesist views. Speciesism is a term used to describe the systemic exploitation of other species, challenging the prejudice that exists against individuals of other species (Ryder, 2004; Dhont, Hodson and Leite, 2016; Horta, 2010, Ryder, 2006, Singer, 1975, Sorenson, 2016)
Why did you choose this topic and what are your research interests?
I initially adopted a plant-based diet for environmental and health reasons and this opened up a world of abuse and injustice that I simply had not opened my eyes to before. Culturally, consuming meat was part of my daily food intake, it was just was you did, what was expected. I engaged in this behavior whilst proclaiming to be an animal lover, even a protector but realized that my choice of animals to save was selective and I had been missing the ones on my plate all along. They needed my help most of all. Armed with this new information I began telling everyone I knew thinking they would do the same and immediately give up meat and dairy. How wrong I was!! Instead I would hear the same reasons, excuses, and denial like a recorded message on repeat. Whilst eating animals is not illegal, I felt that they were forgotten victims of an immoral act, something that I constructed as not on only unjust but also criminal. This realization is the backdrop and the driving force of my own research. I am at heart an abolitionist.
My background spans across both psychology and criminology and whilst speciesism has been well researched within the field of psychology, I felt that there was a lack of research within the field of criminology.What do you hope to do in the future, and what opportunities are you looking for?
What do you hope to do in the future & what opportunities are you looking for?
As well as being vegan I am a passionate environmentalist and also interested in the wider research field of green criminology. In the future, I hope to be able to continue to research and teach within this field.
Any other interesting facts about you?
As well as being passionate about non-human animals, I am passionate about helping humans too. Whilst working on my research I am also currently running my own business as an ADHD, Autism and Anxiety Coach: www.langfordwatts.co.uk