Growing A Community: How To Support Farmed Animal Protection In China
When considering animal suffering from a global perspective, it is clear that current resources are disproportionately allocated to Western countries, yet suffering is on the rise elsewhere too as populations and production grow. One such country, China, is the largest in the world by population, and among the largest by economy and land mass. For all these reasons, supporting the animal protection community in China is crucial. This report and other recent research on wild animal advocacy (Animal Ethics, 2021) share this goal and many complementary recommendations.
Although China’s per capita meat consumption is lower than most wealthier, Western countries (Ritchie & Roser, 2017), its size and growing industry means that it houses and slaughters more farmed animals than any other country in the world (Faunalytics, 2020). Despite that, the number of people who are working to protect the lives and welfare of farmed animals is currently quite small compared to more established communities in some other countries. This study is intended to provide data to support that community. Because of the scale of China’s agriculture industry, even small changes have the potential for an outsized effect.
In partnership and consultation with members of the farmed animal protection community in China, we conducted semi-structured interviews about the current situation and its challenges. These subject matter experts gave their opinions on where the best opportunities to protect farmed animals exist, and how to support the work that is being done.
A Selection Of Key Findings:
- Some of the biggest challenges to animal protection in China right now are a lack of public awareness of farmed animal welfare, a lack of legal animal welfare enforcement, and difficulties with organizations’ operating environment.
- The community reported bottlenecks to improving the situation for farmed animals, including a negative image of vegetarianism, small community size, and limited ability to build additional capacity.
- Opportunities include aligning with growing concerns about the health and environmental consequences of animal agriculture, tailoring educational and food-related events to segments of the public with the greatest interest, building a market for higher-welfare products, and collaborating with other communities who focus on health and environment.
For more key findings and details, see below for how to access the full report.
We collected data for this study primarily via semi-structured interviews. Fifteen individuals who work in various ways to protect farmed animals in China were asked a series of questions related to the current state and future of their work. The full interview guide is available on the Open Science Framework.
We used thematic analysis on the interview data to identify common themes that emerged. These are described in the full report, along with (de-identified) illustrative quotes from participants.
The report authors are Jah Ying Chung (JYC) of the Good Growth Co., Dr. Jo Anderson (JA) of Faunalytics, and Dr. Congcong Li (CL) of NYU Shanghai. The study was conceptualized and designed by JA and CL. The interviews were conducted by JA and CL. The analysis was conducted and written up by JYC and verified by JA.
Thank you, first and foremost, to the 15 anonymous individuals who provided their perspectives for this research. This line of research is much more participant-led than most, with our participants contributing to the research design and logistics as well as providing feedback on this report. We are very grateful to you for your ongoing support of this project. We would also like to thank our funders for their generous support of this research: We are grateful to the Culture & Animals Foundation, the Centre for Effective Altruism, and three anonymous donors for their support. Thank you to The Tipping Point Private Foundation for generously funding the translation of the full report.
Full Report Access
Faunalytics strives to make as much of our data and reporting public as possible, in the interest of transparent and replicable scientific research. However, the confidentiality of our participants and others who work with them is our primary concern, which means that in certain cases like this one, we make our resources available on a limited basis.
To receive a copy of the report, please fill out this form.