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Global-No Country - 1; United States of America - 840


Many different approaches to advocacy exist within the animal protection movement, from talking to people you know about animal suffering, to sharing social media posts, to protesting in public spaces. Currently, we do not fully understand how these approaches affect people’s behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes towards farmed animals, or even how common they are.

We conducted two studies in the U.S. to address this topic as fully and accurately as possible. The first was a retrospective survey. It explored people’s experiences with different advocacy types within the last five years and measured their current behaviors and attitudes. This tells us how common animal advocacy is from the average person’s perspective and whether previously experiencing animal advocacy is associated with positive behavior and attitude changes towards farmed animals over the long term. However, we can’t necessarily assume that animal advocacy caused those behaviors and attitudes from a study like this. To assess people’s perceptions of what is most impactful, we also directly asked them whether their most recent experience with animal advocacy changed any of their behaviors.

The second study was an experiment, which lets us be surer about causal direction (i.e., whether advocacy caused behavioral and attitudinal changes or instead, whether people with pro-animal behaviors or attitudes sought out advocacy). Here, we investigated the impact of many types of animal advocacy against a control condition on people’s immediate behaviors and attitudes towards farmed animals.

The ultimate goal of this project was to estimate how successful each advocacy type is across both the short- and long-term. While the retrospective survey gives us insightful information about what people think caused them to change their behavior and allows us to consider a wider range of advocacy types, the experiment provides stronger evidence of whether animal advocacy actually changes behavior, in a controlled setting with less opportunity for bias.