which encompasses negative perceptions of bats as disease vectors, pests, or harmful creatures associated with evil spirits
We found that 62% of the cultures had only positive values, 8% had only neutral values, while 10% had only negative values.
This suggests that the Asia-Pacific region and its cultures contain far more positive associations with bats than most Western societies
bats are associated with vampires in Western culture (e.g., Prokop et al. 2009; Rydell et al. 2018)—folklore with roots in a Russian myth of a reanimated corpse that feeds on human blood, dating back to the eleventh century
In contrast, since the fourteenth century, Chinese culture has associated bats with good luck and blessings
To date, ethnobiological information regarding bats throughout the Asia-Pacific region has mainly focused on utilitarian aspects of bats as food and medicine
Bats—in recognizable or abstract forms —serve as inspiration and motifs in art forms. Ethnic Chinese communities regard bats as lucky animals,
Bats are revered throughout India
as sacred and protect colonies for fear of divine punishment.
indicating that positive cultural perceptions of bats are not isolated or unique, but are rather under-represented in global, English-language narratives about bats.
The negative impact of such cultural erosion is compounded by contemporary negative messaging and scaremongering in the media that portray bats as disease carriers (López-Baucells et al. 2018; Tuttle 2018), thus conferring a negative value to bats.
the proliferating negative representations of bats due to growing Western influence and the simultaneous erosion of local biocultural memory and relationships containing positive representations.
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