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China - 156


Despite being comparatively neglected until recently, the suffering of animals in Asia is starting to command more attention from global animal advocacy activists. In particular, as the largest country in the world by both human and farmed animal population, and among the largest when measured by economy and land mass, China plays a central role here. However, the key question of how best to improve outcomes for farmed animals in China remains difficult to answer, due to the recency of the movement and a comparative lack of research on the topic.

Although China’s per capita meat consumption is lower than most wealthier, Western countries (Ritchie & Roser, 2017), the country’s size and the rapid growth of its meat industry means that it houses and slaughters more farmed animals than any other country in the world (Faunalytics, 2022). Despite this, animal welfare remains a relatively fringe issue in China. Because of the scale of China’s agriculture industry, even small changes have the potential for an outsized effect.

For these reasons, research on animal protection in China is crucial. While previous reports (including Phase 1 of this study) have focused more on China’s animal protection community, this report seeks to shed light on Chinese consumers, and in particular, explore advocate assumptions that we identified in Phase 1.

After seeking input from members of the farmed animal protection community in China, we conducted focus groups regarding the attitudes of Chinese consumers towards meat consumption, the concept of farmed animal welfare, different types of messaging and strategies for encouraging movement growth.