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I hear this phrase often when people have different likes. But can I say something like this?

People have different taste in animals, some people like cats more while some people like dogs more.

I used the phrase in similar way to

have different taste in music.

I thought this sounds funny because it gives the nuance that people like dogs (or cats) for their taste.

I would like to know how I can apply this phrase to other sentences.

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    The noun taste has more than one meaning, as you apparently know. English speakers can almost always determine from context which meaning is intended; no-one would be likely to misunderstand your sentence. It's hard to understand what you mean by "I would like to know how I can apply this phrase to other sentences." Can you add an example of this kind of sentence to your question to help us understand? (You can use the edit link under your question.) – P. E. Dant Jun 29 '17 at 3:08
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In your phrases

People have different tastes in animals
have different tastes in music.

you want to use the plural since each person will have their own taste.

In your usage of "tastes" is synonymous with "likes".

His taste runs to long legged blondes.

When you hear

people have different tastes in animals

is can be the start of a bad joke

What's your taste in animals?
I like mine medium rare.

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