Research Agenda
photo_camera Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Calves In A Sale Yard

Last updated September 24, 2018.

Table of Contents

Research Topics

In-progress research projects

The End of Animal Farming (Beacon Press, November 2018)

Technology adoption case studies

Messaging Strategies RCT

Moral expansiveness literature review

History fragility study

Effective inclusionary practices

Higher-priority research projects

Voter turnout literature review

Environmentalism case study

Cell-based meat moral messaging RCT

Dietary asks and cognitive dissonance RCT

Effects of animal-free food tech exposure on animal farming attitudes RCT

Varied victim experiences messaging RCT

Humane myth persistence attribution study

Reform messaging and counter-messaging effects study

Support for bans on producing vs. consuming meat survey

Lower priority research projects

Social movement case studies

Literature reviews

Randomized controlled trials

Polls and surveys

Expert interviews

Other

Research Topics

The existing evidence on most of these topics is summarized in our Summary of Evidence for Foundational Questions for Effective Animal Advocacy.

In-progress research projects

Completed research projects can be found in our Research Publications and Blog.

The End of Animal Farming (Beacon Press, November 2018)

This book, our Research Director Jacy Reese’s main project through November, aggregates existing and original research to outline the most important strategic conclusions for reducing and ending animal farming. For example, it looks at business strategies currently being implemented to see which ones are generating the best results, discuss tentative conclusions for effective social change like this discussed in our Foundational Questions Summaries, and discuss how the animal-free food movement can broaden horizons across cultures and regions. Its publication will be accompanied by speaking tours, interviews, and op-eds.

Technology adoption case studies

Some technologies might not have been developed or adopted to the full extent possible because of ethical controversy, such as GMOs and nuclear energy. Given that there could be very promising animal-free food technologies in the next few years, we will examine past examples of technologies that were not fully adopted to see how we can mitigate that risk in our situation.

Messaging Strategies RCT

There is a gap in the effective animal advocacy literature for a randomized controlled trial (RCT) measuring the very-short-term effects of different advocacy message. If another group doesn’t fill that gap in the near future, we will consider doing so. We usually prioritize research on longer-term effects, but short-term effects can still provide useful indications of those long-term effects. This RCT would vary messages in different ways (e.g. reducetarian/vegan/activism ask, environmental/health/animal harm) and measure the short-term outcomes that seem most useful to farmed animal advocates (e.g. acceptance of animal farming, perception of vegans, assignment of sentience to farmed animals).

Moral expansiveness literature review

What findings have already been published about the moral circle and related constructs in psychology and sociology? This research is foundational to our work and we consider it due diligence to review and share it with our audience.

History fragility study

This blog post series will explore methodological questions and challenges in the use of historical research to inform advocacy. It is broader in scope, more theoretical, and more “meta” than most of our research, and will dive only briefly into this deep question, but we hope for a brief exploration to yield insights pertaining to the usefulness of our historical case studies.

Effective inclusionary practices

The farmed animal advocacy movement is keen on diversity and inclusion, as we expect it should be in the interests of both empowering top talent and reaching a wide audience, but research on intervention efficacy is limited and not readily available and current efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within the movement are guided mostly by intuition. This short research project will analyze existing literature on interventions to improve inclusion in the corporate world and provide advice for organizations, individuals, and community leaders on best practices to promote inclusion in organizations and communities.

Higher-priority research projects

Voter turnout literature review

There have been few if any formal literature reviews done in the effective animal advocacy community, which attempt to aggregate existing evidence in a different advocacy field and draw any conclusions possible for helping animals in particular. The literature on increasing voter turnout, such as through mail and door-to-door canvassing, is particularly robust, so we plan to work on this as an exploration of the value of literature reviews.

Environmentalism case study

Animal Charity Evaluators conducted a partial case study of the environmentalist movement looking at Silent Spring, Earth Day, and some recycling campaigns. The results were useful, such as the potential impact of well-timed book launches and large public events. Given environmentalism’s significantly shared interests with farmed animal advocacy and the significant overlap between the two communities, we expect more research could be fruitful.

Cell-based meat moral messaging RCT

How does telling people that cell-based meat is morally driven vs. not morally driven affect its favorability? How does knowledge of a moral opposition to it affect this?

Dietary asks and cognitive dissonance RCT

How strong of a “denial of mind” effect do eggs, milk, and cheese or other derivative products have compared to meat? This study may be accompanied by other explorations of the degree to which vegetarianism captures the speciesism-mitigation value of veganism.

Effects of animal-free food tech exposure on animal farming attitudes RCT

How does hearing about animal-free food tech affect opposition to animal/factory farming?

Varied victim experiences messaging RCT

How does discomfort with, concern about, or opposition to egg farming compare across external framings of battery cage conditions, free range conditions, pasture conditions, and internal framings of hen health conditions with and without mention of external conditions? This study aims to test which animal welfare harms are most compelling.

Humane myth persistence attribution study

Around half of people think farmed animals are treated well. Is this because of a knowledge deficit, or denial/cognitive dissonance? (E.g. have they not seen investigations, or do they dismiss investigation coverage as being of bad apples?)

Reform messaging and counter-messaging effects study

How do reform campaign messaging and industry counter-messaging (e.g. “Chicken Check-In,” humanewashing labels) affect consumer understanding of animal farming, attitudes towards animal farming, and/or willingness to pay or use alternatives?

Support for bans on producing vs. consuming meat survey

How does support for a ban on meat vary between the framings of a ban on production/selling vs. a ban on consumption/purchasing? They theoretically have the same end, but their efficacy in reaching that end may vary.

Lower priority research projects

This list is not exhaustive and may not contain all items on our internal research brainstorming document.

Social movement case studies

Literature reviews

Randomized controlled trials

Polls and surveys

Expert interviews

Other


Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on our research and activities. We'll email you once a month at most!