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Fauna Connections

Our third annual remote symposium for animal advocates will take place on September 19, 2024. Get the latest here.

About The Event

Faunalytics is hosting our third annual remote symposium, Fauna Connections, on September 19, 2024.

Request For Proposals


Faunalytics will host a remote symposium for animal advocates on September 19th, 2024 (tentatively 12:00pm-5:30pm EDT). We invite academics and scientists from the social and behavioral sciences, or related disciplines, to submit a presentation abstract of original research that discusses the real-life implications and recommendations of such data for animal advocates in any of four areas: farmed animals, companion animals, wild animals, and animals used in science. 

Examples of topics related to this theme include, but are not limited to:

  • Novel meat-reduction interventions
  • How people think about animals
  • How to build coalitions with other social movements
  • How to influence policy-makers
  • How to transition to animal-free methods in science
  • The state of animal advocacy in under-researched regions
  • How to improve adoption rates for shelter animals 

Examples of topics that do not fit the theme:

  • Human or animal nutrition
  • Replication studies
  • Simple polling data (e.g. statistics on alternative protein consumer acceptance)
  • Studies that examine well-discussed questions in animal advocacy without a new perspective (e.g. vegan diet retention)


Researchers will present their work orally in a pre-recorded 10-minute presentation, followed by a live 5-minute Q&A. While researchers will record their presentations in advance, speakers are expected to attend the event to be present for the live Q&A. After the symposium, all talks will be uploaded to YouTube. 

Faunalytics prioritizes actionable research. Because of this, researchers are expected to also give specific actionable recommendations to the audience. For examples of these evidence-based recommendations, please review our original studies (see these examples) and scroll to the “Recommendations” header. If you are selected to speak, we will also give you materials to help you improve your recommendations as you prepare for the symposium. 

Depending on the number and content of submissions we receive, we may ask some presenters to present their work in a virtual poster format. When you submit your proposal, you will have the option to opt out of the poster format. Selecting the “either poster or presentation” option or not will not influence the chance of being selected for a presentation.

While some scholars usually attend, the primary audience is animal advocates, who may not understand scientific jargon. Please format your application and presentation (including the title of your proposed presentation) in lay-friendly terms to increase readability. 

How to submit: 

Please submit your presentation proposal here by EOD Friday, July 12th, 2024.

  • Names and affiliations of all authors
  • Presentation title
  • Area of the research to be presented: farmed animals, companion animals, wild animals, or animals used in science
  • A summary of your study, including the purpose of research, methods, and results (or anticipated results), maximum 250 words
  • Recommendations for animal advocates, maximum 100 words

Applications will be reviewed for topic, relevance, originality, depth of research, actionability, and clarity. Faunalytics will be in touch with all authors by Monday, July 29th.

Check out last year’s Fauna Connections program below. 

Jump to a section:

Path 6 Copy 3
Path 6 Copy 3

Fauna Connections 2023 Schedule

Welcome & Introduction

12:00pm EST – Welcome by Faunalytics Research Director, Jo Anderson

Jo Anderson (she/her) is an advocate for animals and empirical research. She has many years of experience with a wide range of social science research methods and topics, as well as advanced training in statistical analysis. Jo became Faunalytics’ Research Director in 2017 and since then has led and supervised studies of attitudes and behavior pertaining to animals and veganism, advocate retention, donations, lobbying efforts, and many other topics. Her other roles include serving as the co-leader of the RECAP (Research to End Consumption of Animal Products) researcher collective, a member of the Brooks Institute’s Animal Law & Science working group, an ad hoc research advisor to ProVeg and Food System Innovations, and an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada). Jo has a PhD in social psychology from the University of Waterloo and completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University. Jo’s spare-time interests include sewing, reading, finding accidentally-vegan junk food, doting over cats, and being generally indoorsy.

12:05pm EST – Keynote Speaker: Mueni Loko Rudd – Decolonizing Considerations For Animal Welfare

Black, Indigenous, and other people of color remain noticeably absent in animal welfare. This paper presentation will explore approaches to supporting human animal well-being specifically among racially diverse people. This discussion will challenge current support for human-animal relationships critically through race, ethnicity, class, ability, sex, and gender.

Mueni Loko Rudd is a Kenyan American scholar advocate with years of experience in racial justice, social activism, and evaluative research. She graduated from Huston-Tillotson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Then went on to earn a Master of Social Work graduate degree from Texas State University. She has a consistent history of membership and participation in professional academic associations and service organizations. She is a published writer and proud TEDx speaker committed to filling the gaps of current Western training and approaches that avoid issues of racial diversity and ethnic cultural differences. She prioritizes Black and other historically marginalized group liberation in all her professional and community contributions. Her focus on accountability can be seen in her efforts to acknowledge systemic and institutional oppression by centering these populations. Mueni is always willing to dive deeply into literature and lived experiences to suggest equity centered and research informed recommendations. Her work amplifies historically oppressed communities, promotes authentic multicultural dialogue, and creates cross-cultural communication which fosters awareness and healing.

Advocacy For Farmed Animals

Which Tactics And Strategies Make An Effective Protest? (James Ozden)

Our aim was to understand which factors made some protests more successful in achieving their aims. We completed a traditional literature review of the tactics, strategies and tools employed by groups that make some protests more successful than others. We studied 54 academic papers, focusing on recent empirical work (1950s onwards although most were much more recent) and largely focused on democratic countries. We also used semi-structured interviews to interview 12 experts, ranging from academics to movement leaders to policymakers to get their views on which factors made protests effective.

We found several factors that stood out as particularly important for protests to incorporate to make them more likely to succeed in achieving their aims. The factors: diversity of the protestors, unity of their message, size of the protest and worthiness of the protestors were positively correlated with protest effectiveness. In addition, our interviews uncovered additional important factors such as there being an unexpected group protesting (i.e. not your “usual suspects”), the protests being responsive to the current media landscape and that the protests are sustained. Experts also recommended that protests be combined with other tactics, such as trainings or constituent contact drivers to both build relational capacity and upskill activists.

James Ozden is the Director of Social Change Lab, a nonprofit conducting social movement research to understand how we can apply learnings from previous movements to other pressing issues. From working on strategy for one of the most well-known social movement organisations in recent history, Extinction Rebellion, he’s learned valuable lessons in designing effective movements. In addition, he was the Director of Animal Rebellion UK, a sister-organisation focused on building a UK mass movement for animals. More recently, James completed the Charity Entrepreneurship Incubation Program on how to launch highly impactful nonprofits using Effective Altruist principles.

Evolve Together: Framing A Role For Collective Political Action In Ending The Use Of Animals For Food (Aidan Kankyoku)

Over the course of one year and over 100 hours of interviews and focus groups with 200+ participants, our research team has been digging into the public’s unexamined notions of animals used for food, uncovering counterproductive beliefs rooted in the view that the use of animals for food is a purely individual/consumer issue. Using language drawn from the participants themselves, we have uncovered new ways to talk about the issue that can help the public see this as a collective/systemic issue and cast a vital role for the government in both creating and solving these problems.

Currently, animal advocates focus their messaging energy on convincing the public that animal agriculture is harmful. These familiar arguments focus on harm to animals, the environment, and public health. While these arguments are somewhat persuasive, persistent patterns emerged in our extended interviews with members of the public showing that the opposition to moving towards an animal-free food system is much deeper.

We will present qualitative and quantitative evidence that animal advocates must address these deeper layers of resistance in the general public, especially the sense of futility, that change is impossible given their lived experience of powerlessness as consumers. We will provide a brief overview of messaging recommendations from our forthcoming report.

Since getting their start as a community organizer with DxE in 2015, Aidan Kankyoku has been immersed in studying the craft of disruptive social movements. Besides organizing in the animal freedom movement, Aidan has gained a broad perspective on mass movement building through hands-on experience at the Standing Rock #NoDAPL protests in South Dakota, Extinction Rebellion in London, and elsewhere. They have spent years seeking out new theories, tools, and methods in order to lay the groundwork for Pax Fauna, which exists to incubate a new social movement organization for farmed animals.

Do Chickens Enjoy Learning?: An Investigation Into The Emotional Responses Of Gallus Gallus Domesticus To Their Own Learning Outcomes (Sasha Prasad-Shreckengast & Lauri Torgerson-White)

Empirical evidence of the motivation and desire to learn has been recorded in many species, largely those perceived as more cognitively complex. It is no surprise then that cognitive enrichment has been proven to be an important contributor to positive welfare in captive settings. Chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) experience positive and negative emotions and can learn to solve operant tasks. However, little is known about whether learning opportunities can improve chicken welfare. Farm Sanctuary is performing noninvasive research with the chicken residents following ethical guidelines that elevate animal agency in the research process. This study aims to assess whether adult chickens formerly raised for meat (n=8) respond emotionally to their own learning. Specifically, we aim to determine whether chickens with access to learning opportunities are more optimistic than those without. To measure emotion, behavioral and physiological temperature data are being collected during baseline and post-learning judgment bias tests as well as during yoked control learning trials. Data collection is ongoing, but preliminary analysis suggests that there may be individual differences in response to learning, whereby some individuals become more optimistic and others more pessimistic following learning. This suggests that chickens may benefit from access to learning opportunities, but these opportunities should be optional. These findings may also have implications for enrichment and welfare in chickens raised for meat.

Sasha Prasad-Shreckengast and Lauri Torgerson-White are animal welfare scientists at Farm Sanctuary, where they design and implement research to understand more about the inner lives of farmed animals. Sasha earned a master’s degree in Animal Behavior and Conservation from Hunter College and has years of experience in companion animal behavior and care. Lauri was previously director of research and lead animal welfare specialist at Mercy For Animals and the first research analyst in the Center for Zoo Animal Welfare at the Detroit Zoo. She holds a master of science in zoology from Michigan State University, where she studied animal personality.

Why Are They Buying It?: United States Consumers’ Intentions When Purchasing Meat, Eggs, And Dairy With Welfare-Related Labels (Melissa Thibault & Daisy Freund)

There is widespread and growing concern among U.S. consumers about the treatment of farmed animals. Consequently, consumers are paying attention to food product labels that indicate more humane production practices. However, labels vary in their standards for animal welfare, and prior research suggests that consumers are confused by welfare-related labels: many shoppers cannot differentiate between labels that indicate changes in the way animals are raised and those that do not. We administered a survey to 1,000 American grocery shoppers to better understand the extent to which consumers purchase and pay more for food with certain labels based on an assumption of welfare improvement. Results showed that 86% of shoppers reported purchasing at least one product with the following labels in the last year: “cage or crate-free”, “free-range”, “pasture-raised”, “natural”, “organic”, “no hormone”, “no antibiotic”, “no rBST”, “humane”, “vegetarian-fed”, “grass-fed”, “farm-raised”. Of those who purchased one of the aforementioned labels, 89% did so because they thought the label indicated higher-welfare production practices, and 79% consciously paid more for the product with the label because they thought the label indicated better-than-standard animal welfare. However, many of these labels lack uniform standards for the production practices they represent, and some labels represent production practices that do not influence animal welfare, thus the degree of the animal welfare impact of a given label is highly variable. These results indicate that labels need to clearly and accurately specify their animal welfare benefits to improve the consumers’ ability to purchase products that align with their preferences.

Melissa Thibault (she/her/hers) is a senior manager of research in the department of Strategy and Research at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Melissa conceptualizes and leads research designed to drive toward the goal of improving the welfare of animals.

Daisy Freund (she/her/hers) is vice president of farm animal welfare at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the first animal welfare organization in America. Daisy oversees the organization’s public education, corporate engagement, and policy advocacy efforts aimed at shifting the food system away from factory farming toward more humane and sustainable alternatives.

Capacity Building For Farmed Animals

Testing A Stage Model Of Advocacy Engagement Across 23 Countries (Adam Nissen)

As animal advocacy expands worldwide, models are needed to better understand the most effective ways to encourage engagement in different regions of the world. In this presentation, we will use data from a recent Mercy for Animals survey of 20,966 people from 23 countries to ask three questions. First, how correlated are six different kinds of engagement: volunteering, donating, liking or following animal rights social media accounts, sharing animal rights content on social media, signing petitions, and participating in peaceful protests. Our data suggests that they are strongly correlated, which implies that strategies that get people involved in one will tend to lead to involvement in others as well. Second, what are the different levels of engagement?

Our data further indicates variation in levels across engagement types that implies a stage model, in which efforts should be aimed at the kind of advocacy people are most willing to do (e.g., signing a petition, forwarding social media posts), in order to ultimately encourage types of engagement that may be more resource intensive (e.g., volunteering or donating money). Third, is the stage model the same across countries? If it is, then similar strategies can be implemented worldwide, but if it is not, different strategies may be needed depending on various cultural factors. Overall, we hope that these results can inform an effective and efficient strategy for encouraging engagement in animal advocacy throughout the world.

Adam Nissen (he/him) is a graduate student at the University of California, Davis. He is originally from La Habra, California. He primarily studies how our personalities change over time. He is currently working with Mercy for Animals on projects related to international attitudes about farmed animals and plant-based foods as well as the consumption of animal products in different countries. In his free time, he enjoys learning new recipes and spending time at coffee shops.

Proposed Recommendations For Organizational Governance And Regenerative Practices In The Animal Advocacy Movement As Informed By The Stories Of Women Vocational Animal Activists (Krista Hiddema)

The Farmed Animal Advocacy Movement (FAAM or Movement) is a social justice movement working on behalf of farmed animals used for food. Currently, the majority of the work undertaken in Canada and the United States to combat intensive animal agriculture and espouse a societal animal ethic of care is undertaken by women. Numerous measures, however, assert that the FAAM is failing. A core cause is the troubled state of many FAAM organizations, and the impact this is having on the women employed as vocational animal activists.

This research sought to explore the experiences and recommendations of these women through storytelling as a means to deepen the understanding of the FAAM’s organizational practices, and suggest tools for its sustainability. A central question focussed on the compatibility between the espoused ethic of care for animals and care for the women within those organizations, including the governance models applied to their work.

A qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with 33 FAAM vocational activists was conducted. In all cases, interviews revealed a pervasive culture of oppressive isms, including racism and sexism, as well as significant illegal employment-based activities. Participants were also queried as to their suggested recommendations in regard to employment and organizational practices. One significant outcome was the creation of a proposed, practical, reasonable, and abundantly actionable checklist of practices, that, if implemented, may be instrumental in assuring a positive and highly engaging work culture able to perform the essential labor of protecting animals.

Krista Hiddema is an animal activist whose research highlights the need for ecofeminist principles in organizational governance. She holds a Master’s degree in Leadership, and undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Human Resources. Krista spent the first two decades of her career in human resources including as a vice president of human resources for a global technology firm, then as a founding partner of an employment law firm in Toronto. Krista sold her practice to lead Mercy For Animals in Canada. Krista is the Executive Director of For the Greater Good where she consults on matters of governance and organizational development.

Understanding Capacity Building Gaps Within Farmed Animal Welfare / Vegan Organizations In Asia (Ella Wong)

The goal of the study was to explore what capacity building actions/interventions are most needed to solve the challenges faced by farmed animal welfare (FAW)/vegan organizations in Asia. In addition to desktop research of existing reports and media, we conducted 10 semi-structured interviews with 4 regional capacity builders/grantmakers and 6 local organizations to learn more about the organizational challenges and needs. Based on the research, we came up with capacity-building ideas. To validate these ideas, we shared a survey asking local organizations to indicate which of the 35 interventions they would prioritize participating in and received a total of 8 responses.

On an organizational level, we found that direct work-related training for staff and volunteers were in demand, which includes topics such as effective corporate engagement, government lobbying, and public outreach. Diversifying funding sources in the medium to long term was also important, due to uncertainties with foreign funding and reliance on a few large donors. Organizations also wanted support on tasks where outside experts could come in, like administrative work, or communications strategy. On a movement level, there was a general need to raise awareness of the importance of farmed animal welfare/plant-based diets, as well as promoting non-profit work as a viable career path in Asia.

Ella Wong is an experienced project manager in user research and stakeholder engagement. She has led research projects related to the alt protein industry in China, as well as the animal advocacy movement in Asia. She is also in charge of the distribution of research insights and general operations for Good Growth. Prior to joining, she was involved in running sustainability-related training programs for corporates and government bodies. She also has experience in UX research, design, and stakeholder management for a property developer. In her spare time, you can find her trying the latest plant-based protein products around town.

Opportunities For The Progression Of Farm Animal Welfare In China (Michelle Sinclair)

As the world’s largest livestock producer, China has made some progress to improve farm animal welfare in recent years. Recognizing the importance of locally led initiatives, this study aimed to engage the knowledge and perspectives of Chinese leaders in order to identify opportunities to further improve farm animal welfare in China. A team of Chinese field researchers engaged 100 senior stakeholders in the agriculture sector (livestock business leaders, agriculture strategists and intellectuals, government representatives, licensed veterinarians, agriculture lawyers, and national animal welfare advocates). Participants completed a Chinese questionnaire hosted on a national platform. The raw data responses were then translated and subjected to qualitative and quantitative analyses from which themes were built and resulting recommendations were made. The findings of this study urge emphasis on the ties between improved animal welfare with food safety, product quality, and profit, and demonstrate the existence of animal welfare opportunities outside of the immediate introduction of specific animal protection legislation. The resulting applications are anticipated to be of strategic use to stakeholders interested in improving farm animal welfare in China.

Dr. Michelle Sinclair (she/her) is an International Animal Welfare Program Manager, an academic, and an author from Australia, currently based at Harvard Law School in the USA. Aiming to better understand the stakeholders capable of making impactful change for animals around the world she conducts research to identify barriers, opportunities, mutual benefits and solutions with the goal of engaging traditionally adversarial parties into strategic collaboration to improve animal welfare. She holds a PhD and a Master in Science (International Animal Welfare and Law). Read more or read Michelle’s published work.

Advocacy For Wild Animals

Governing A ‘Harmonious Co-Existence’: The Roles Of Non-State Actors In China’s Wild Animal Advocacy (Jin Qian)

Nearly 10% of the world’s vertebrates and invertebrates species have been found in China. To safeguard and improve the well-being of animals at this scale requires both top-down and bottom-up initiatives from a wide range of state and non-state actors. Using a mixed-method approach, this study maps out the major governance activities carried out by different categories of non-state actors in China’s wild animal advocacy and the distinct roles they are perceived to fulfill. It contributes to the growing body of literature on non-state actors’ participation in authoritarian contexts by providing insights into their comparative advantages and sources of power in promoting wild animal welfare — an environmental domain with increasing salience. As China takes on global environmental leadership and actively advocates for ‘building a shared future for all’, context-specific governing strategies across all levels are needed. This study offers the first step in understanding the division of labor between different non-state actors in China’s wild animal advocacy and opportunities for future endeavors.

Jin Qian is an environmental policy PhD student at Wageningen University & Research. Her research interests lie in China’s environmental governance and its global implications, more specifically at the intersection of food, animals, and the environment. Her PhD project focuses on the governance of amphibians and reptile farming in China’s post-COVID food systems. She previously worked in the media industry in Shanghai as a journalist and translator.

Socioeconomic Development And Ecological Traits As Predictors Of Human–Bird Conflict (Paola Araneda)

Because of the significant impacts on both human interests and bird conservation, it is imperative to identify patterns and anticipate drivers of human–bird conflicts (HBCs) worldwide. Through a global systematic review, following the PRISMA 2020 guidelines, we analyzed the socioeconomic factors and bird ecological traits driving the degree of knowledge and extent of HBCs. We included 166 articles published from 1971 to 2020 in our analyses through which we built a profile of the socioeconomic conditions of 52 countries with reported conflicts and the ecological traits of the 161 bird species involved in HBCs. Although HBC expanded worldwide, it had the greatest impact in less-developed countries (estimate 0. 66 [SE 0.13], p< 0.05), where agriculture is critical for rural livelihoods. Species with a relatively greater conflict extent had a relatively broader diet (estimate 0.80 [SE 0.22], p<0.05) and an increasing population trend (estimate 0.58 [SE 0.15], p<0.05) and affected human interests, such as agriculture and livestock raising. In countries with greater bio- diversity, HBCs caused greater socioeconomic impacts than in more developed countries. Our results highlight the importance of understanding and addressing HBCs from multiple perspectives (ecological, sociocultural, and political) to effectively protect both biodiversity and local livelihoods.

Paola Araneda (she/her) is a wildlife biologist with a Master in Sciences of Natural Resources in wildlife management and conservation. Currently, she’s a PhD candidate in the Department of Ecosystems & the Environment, School of Agriculture and Forestry Science of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Her research interests have focused on bird ecology and conservation, but she also has recently become more and more interested in social-ecological systems and human-wildlife interactions. Her PhD thesis focuses on an interdisciplinary analysis that links ecological and cultural traits of birds as indicators of biocultural memory in globally important social-ecological wetland systems.

Cultivating Biodiversity: A Business Model To Save Amazon Towards Wild Animal Cultivated Meat (Ana Abrahão)

Cultivated meat is a disruptive technology providing an alternative to animal protein. In this context, Amazon manatee emerge as one important case, although it is illegal to hunt since 1987, this big mammal meat consumption still happens causing several threats to the area. The aim of this study is to explore the impacts of introducing cultivated meat of Amazon manatee in the traditional meat value chain as a tool to help biodiversity of the Amazon basin. Thus, we draw a Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats Matrix from content analysis of 11 interviews made between October of 2021 and May of 2022. We presented this illegal hunting and its consequences during the interview, then the cultivated meat process and how the royalties, from the selling of this innovative product, would help protect Amazon biodiversity through the proposal of a new business model. The interviewees have different expertise, from financial analysts of novel foods technologies, to biologists, researches, etc. The main findings suggest that this proposal model is a good deal, but the threat might be a rebound effect of consuming wild animals was mentioned in most answers, specially from preservation’s actors. Strength and opportunities of this disruptive narrative are mainly towards conserving biodiversity and promoting environmental consciousness, bounding together wildlife conservation and consumers through novel food. Weaknesses regard lack of knowledge and the non-existent market. This framework is relevant for policymakers, nongovernmental organizations, and researchers seeking to improve the sustainability not only of the Amazon specimens but the world.

Dr Ana Abrahão went to Law School and Economics, guiding her studies toward pro-environmental issues. As a lawyer, she participated in the Commission for Animal Rights helping to develop laws and other projects to diminish their exploitation. During her master’s degree on Business Management, her research results showed that environmental certifications were far from being a reality, especially to Brazilian consumers. Thus, her doctoral thesis intended to understand what influences sustainable purchase, consumers’ environmental consciousness and their willingness to pay for green products. Now, as a vegetarian, she is more than happy to study cultivated meat production.

Taking A Walk On The Wild Side: On The Importance Of Citizen Science For Conservation, And How You Might Employ It In Your Research (karol orzechowski)

Researchers and advocates interested in the conservation and welfare of wild animals often face one key problem: they can’t be everywhere at once. The field is simply too vast and the animals we want to help are too numerous to always be able to effectively do our work. Citizen Science offers some potential solutions. How can researchers and advocates employ citizen scientists in their work to protect and save wild animals? karol will provide a range of examples from recent years and offer thoughts on potential future projects.

karol orzechowski (he/him) is an animal advocate with a passion for blending activism and art. In addition to producing numerous short films on various animal issues, karol is the director of Maximum Tolerated Dose, a full-length documentary about the psychological toll of vivisection on both animals and humans. He completed a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and an MA in Communications and Culture at York University, writing theses on nationalism and the Atlantic seal hunt, and Canadian rodeo culture, respectively. When he’s not working for Faunalytics, karol is usually planning, hosting, or performing events in his local arts scene, or playing with Raoul the rescue dog.

Advocacy For Animals Used in Research & Companion Animals

Animals Used In Research: Extracting Use Data And Animal Impact Stories From Research Papers (Adam Cardilini)

Animal use in research is opaque, difficult to quantify, and animals’ experiences are hidden. The animal research industry uses this secrecy to insulate itself from significant public scrutiny. Without a clear understanding of the scale and experience of animals used in research many people don’t question it. Animal use transparency could encourage discussion and challenge to the industry. Transparency of animal use in published articles is not common in the industry but research journals could set requirements regarding animal transparency. We wanted to determine animal use at a journal level to identify journals with a significant impact on animals. We collected animal use data directly from published research articles across 15 oncology journals over a 2-year period (2017-2018). Total animal use varied significantly between journals (0-21,334 minimum animal lives). For many journals it was difficult to quantify the total number of animals used in their published articles, calling into doubt the scientific rigor of the work. We also extracted Animal Impact Stories by recording the methods that individual animals were subjected to during a study. Animal Impact Stories provide a narrative insight into the experiences of animals. Making animal use transparent at a journal level would enable deeper discussions and advocacy related to journals’ implicit support of animal use. High animal-using journals could be identified and worked with to support a transition to alternative research methods. A citizen science project which collects animal use data could kickstart a strong case for improved industry transparency.

Adam Cardilini is a Lecturer of environmental science at Deakin University, Australia. Adam trained as an ecologist and geneticist but now predominantly uses social science methods to investigate human relationships with non-human animals and the environment. Adam has a particular interest in understanding how concern for Animals informs environmental values and practice, the environmental potential of transitioning to plant-based agriculture, and more critical approaches to how the sciences consider Animals. Adam wants to leverage research to help create a better future for Animals, the environment and humans. Adam has also co-hosted the community radio show Freedom of Species since 2016.

Animal Methods Bias In Funding (Emily R. Trunnell)

There is broad agreement among researchers, policy-makers, and regulators that increasing the use and awareness of non-animal research methods is needed to reduce the numbers of animals used in science. However, progress in this area has been slow and animals continue to be used even in research areas where non-animal methods are available. Our research will attempt to ascertain whether a greater familiarity with animal-based methods within research project review committees may contribute to the continued use of animals in biomedical research in the U.S.

To investigate this, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is conducting an analysis of the types of research methodology expertise held by members of U.S. National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review study section members. Using the agency’s “iCite” tool, we will assess the extent to which individual committee members’ publication profiles are oriented towards human, animal, and cellular/molecular research. Preliminary data suggest NIH study sections evaluating basic and translational research proposals are disproportionately composed of reviewers with primary expertise in animal-based methods, and animal use among reviewers positively correlates with the number of animal-based grants funded.

The implication of these data is that review bodies without sufficient expertise in non-animal methods may not be providing fair review and consideration to research proposals that propose to use non-animal methods. We expect this research to demonstrate the necessity for systemic and cultural change in the biomedical research community and be used to advocate for policies that raise the bar on ethical and effective research.

Dr. Emily Trunnell (she/her) earned a B.S. in nutrition science and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Georgia. During her graduate research, she studied the effects of diet on learning, memory, and gene expression in the brains of mice and rats. She is currently a senior scientist for PETA’s Science Advancement and Outreach Division. She works with government agencies and other scientists to replace the use of animals with superior research methods. Her peer-reviewed papers, letters, and opinion pieces have appeared in numerous publications, including Drug Discovery Today and Scientific American.

Saving Normal: A New Look At Behavioral Incompatibilities And Dog Relinquishment To Shelters (Janis Bradley)


  • To review the literature relevant to the question of whether behavioral incompatibilities are an important factor, or even as is sometimes claimed, the major factor, driving relinquishment of dogs to shelters.
  • To examine the implications for shelter husbandry and adoption policies based on the results of that review.

Methods: Ireview studies on reported reasons for relinquishment, risk factor analysis, and prevalence of corresponding behaviors among owned dogs in an effort to determine the extent to which behavioral incompatibilities have been demonstrated to put dogs at risk of relinquishment.


  • We found many instances of “lumping” of disparate behaviors, which is often prone to unconscious bias, and inevitably discounts differences among reasons. Lumped together behavioral incompatibilities were then often compared to other reasons which had been split into smaller categories, giving a distorted impression of the relative weight of the behavioral reasons.
  • We found only two risk factor analyses (epidemiological studies that compared a control group of owned dogs with relinquished dogs to assess risk associated with various behaviors). Neither study provides compelling evidence that particular behavioral incompatibilities are a strong determining factor in the decision to relinquish a pet.
  • We found only two risk factor analyses (epidemiological studies that compared a control group of owned dogs with relinquished dogs to assess risk associated with various behaviors). Neither study provides compelling evidence that particular behavioral incompatibilities are a strong determining factor in the decision to relinquish a pet.

    Adoption return rates are low and the only large study of outcomes found that the LOS averages of returned dogs appeared to be enhanced over those of dogs entering the shelter for the first time.

Janis Bradley (she/her) is the Director of Communications and Publications for the National Canine Research Council. A science writer specializing in dog bites and the role of bias in policy making regarding canine/human relationships, she has co-authored peer-reviewed papers, recently collaborating with a veterinary epidemiologist on studies regarding behavior-related policies affecting dogs living in shelters. From 2000 to 2009 she taught 450 professional dog trainers at the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers where she participated directly in the training of more than 1,500 dogs living in that facility, while also maintaining a private behavior modification practice.

Lay Perceptions Of Working Animals And Exploiting Animal Labor (Steven Shepherd)

This research seeks to understand how people perceive animal labor, and how people rationalize negative outcomes that may be experienced by working animals. Species and breeds are regularly described as having innate traits and drives. Leveraging recent work on passion exploitation (Kim et al., 2020), I predicted that in an animal labor context (e.g., police/security dogs), various negative outcomes will be seen as more morally acceptable when the work is seen as consistent with an animal’s innate traits. More specifically, perceived intrinsic motivation (e.g., seeing the labor as intrinsically rewarding and what the animal would do anyway) were predicted to rationalize and justify negative outcomes (e.g., isolation, risk of harm, limited emotional care). Experimental designs manipulated the salience of innate traits associated with a particular type of work, and measured i) the ethicality of various work-related behaviors, and ii) perceptions of intrinsic motivation. The effects of the experimental manipulation were generally non-significant, although correlations between variables were consistent with hypotheses: when the animal was seen as intrinsically driven to perform various work tasks, ratings of perceived ethicality were higher/perceived exploitation was lower. Political ideology was also a significant predictor of these judgements, with conservatives being more likely to perceive intrinsic motivation and high ethicality/lower exploitation. Additional data more broadly showed that people see it as appropriate to call animals “employees” in many common animal labor contexts, and that considering them an employee would improve their well-being. Implications for animal welfare and potential future research directions are discussed.

Dr. Steven Shepherd (he/him) is an Associate Professor of marketing in the School of Marketing and International Business at Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business. He earned his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Waterloo in 2012, followed by a three-year post-doctoral research position at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Dr. Shepherd researches ideology and social issues in marketing and management. His research has been published in top psychology and marketing journals.


4:25pm EST – Influencing Consumer Behavior For Animal Advocacy: A Panel With Chris Bryant, Benjamin Buttlar, Sophie Cameron, Jah Ying Chung, And Maya Mathur

In this panel, researchers will talk about their work that has investigated diet change (e.g., reducing one’s meat consumption) and give recommendations for advocates on how to best achieve positive behavior change for farmed animals.

Chris Bryant PhD. (he/him) is a social scientist and an expert on alternative protein markets and marketing. He has published several papers on consumer acceptance of cultivated meat, plant-based meat, and fermentation-derived animal product alternatives. Through his company, Bryant Research Ltd, he works with alternative protein companies and non-profits, including Formo, Ivy Farm Technologies, Aleph Farms, Wild Type, and the Good Food Institute.

Benjamin Buttlar (he/him) is a social psychologist working at the University of Trier, Germany. I am interested in why people do not act in accordance with their convictions, e.g., why do people eat meat or waste food although they know that their behavior causes harm? Currently, I am fascinated by the question of why vegetarians and vegans sometimes eat meat or even revert to an omnivorous diet although they intend to eschew meat. Based on such research, I investigate how behavioral insights can be used in interventions to promote ethical and pro-environmental behavior.

Sophie Cameron (she/her) is a post-doctoral research fellow at The University of Queensland, Australia. She does research in both developmental and social psychology, including topics such as moral character, imitation and innovation, and strategies for reducing meat consumption.

Jah Ying Chung is a user and market researcher, focusing on the animal welfare and alternative protein industry in Asia. This includes consumer studies on attitudes towards plant-based products and farmed animal welfare in China, as well as landscape analyses of animal advocacy across Asia. She is currently studying the intersection of farmed animal welfare and organisational decision-making at the University of Sydney, aiming to apply academic research and entrepreneurial experience to develop effective tools for animal advocacy in Asia. Previously, Jah Ying founded and sold a student sponsorship startup, and led climate change campaigns in China and East Asia.

Maya Mathur (she/her) is an Assistant Professor at the Stanford University Quantitative Sciences Unit and is the Associate Director of the Stanford Center for Open and Reproducible Science. Her research on animal welfare focuses on educational and choice-architectural means to reduce consumption of meat and animal products. Her statistics research develops new methods for evidence synthesis, meta-analysis, and reproducibility. She has received early-career and young-investigator awards from the Society for Epidemiologic Research (2022), the Society for Research Synthesis Methods, and the American Statistical Association (2018). She has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles.

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