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

Last updated December 3, 2019.

Table of contents

Research topics

In-progress research projects

Replication of our 2017 survey of animal farming and animal-free food attitudes

Effects of animal-free food technology awareness on animal farming attitudes RCT

Health behavior interventions literature review

Moral expansiveness literature review

Case study of the US anti-death penalty movement

Higher priority research projects

Cell-based meat moral messaging RCT

Dietary asks and cognitive dissonance RCT

Environmentalism case study

Humane myth persistence attribution study

Reform messaging and counter-messaging effects study

Support for bans on producing vs. consuming meat survey

Varied victim experiences messaging RCT

Voter turnout literature review

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

Replication of our 2017 survey of animal farming and animal-free food attitudes

Data collection was conducted in October 2019, and we expect to publish the results in early 2020. Please contact us if you or your organization needs preliminary results sooner.

Effects of animal-free food technology awareness on animal farming attitudes RCT

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

Health behavior interventions literature review

What does existing research on interventions to change people’s health-related behavior (such as smoking, healthy eating, and safe sex) suggest for efforts to reduce animal product consumption?

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.

Case study of the US anti-death penalty movement

This report aims to assess (1) the extent to which the anti-death penalty movement in the United States, especially from 1966-2016, can be said to have successfully achieved its goals, (2) what factors caused the various successes and failures of this movement, and (3) what these findings suggest about how modern social movements should strategize.

Higher priority research projects

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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