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Should Bullfighting be Banned?
Similarly, watching videos or documentaries in which animals are ill-treated, or on the contrary having a pet (or other forms of living with animals, e.g. volunteer at an animal shelter) may help some to "make the connection".
Positive forms of learning empathy towards animals (volunteering at a shelter, having a pet, etc.) do not pose a threat to animal well-being to achieve it. However, allowing animals to be mistreated to achieve human awareness defuses its purpose.