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Original Studies

Our original studies are carefully selected, designed, and conducted to provide actionable and insightful data for the animal protection movement.

Research In Progress

These are the main projects currently underway at Faunalytics. Pre-registrations for most projects that have reached the data collection phase can be found on Faunalytics’ Open Science Framework page.
Benchmarking Salaries In The Farmed Animal Protection Movement

In our 2020 study, The State Of Animal Advocacy In The U.S. & Canada: Experiences & Turnover, Faunalytics found that dissatisfaction with pay and benefits was also among the top reasons advocates had left past advocacy roles—and this was particularly true for advocates from minoritized groups. Salary transparency and benchmarking are important tools for a fair and equitable movement, but are currently lacking. We will undertake a survey of U.S. farmed animal movement staff about their salary and benefits. This will support employees by providing equal information to everyone and highlighting any potential inequities that employers should address. It will support employers as well, by providing the data they need to provide competitive offers and retain talent with fair compensation and benefits. Finally, it will provide reliable, norm-based data to funders who support or want to better understand the full cost of organizational operating expenses.

This study is made possible by generous funding from an anonymous donor.

Estimating Social Spread of Advocacy

As animal advocacy efforts expand in developing countries without a strong grassroots history, it is crucial that we measure and attend to the impact of both top-down and bottom-up efforts. This study, in which we will conduct a review of the literature on social network analysis and social contagion theory (about how behavior spreads from person to person) will serve as a first step toward realistic impact measurement for grassroots campaigns. Based on this literature review on studies that parallel veg*n diets, we will produce a hypothesis about the amount of behavior spread (to friends and friends of friends) that veg*n advocates might reasonably expect.

This project is made possible thanks to donations from Faunalytics supporters like you.

Chicken and Fish Substitution Meta-Analysis

Substitution of one animal product for another is always an undesirable outcome for reduction campaigns, but poses a particular problem when a smaller-bodied animal is substituted for a larger one, because of the larger impact in animal lives. For this research, being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Maya Mathur and Rethink Priorities, we will conduct a meta-analysis (an analysis of previously published data) to examine whether there is evidence of a substitution effect across many intervention studies. More specifically–although we will look for substitution across all products–we are most interested in whether the consumption of fish and chicken products increases when the consumption of cow and pig products decrease. If there is evidence of substitution effects, we will also use the available evidence to suggest characteristics of interventions that caused it, and suggest how advocates may be able to avoid them in their campaigns.

This project is made possible thanks to generous funding from the Centre for Effective Altruism and an anonymous donor.

Reducing Harm Or Encouraging Exploitation: The Impact Of Humanewashing On Consumer Behavior

With rising public awareness of factory farming and growing demand for higher-welfare options for animal products, companies are increasingly including phrases like “happy cows” or “all-natural” and scenes of animals in idyllic settings on their animal products—sometimes accompanied by third-party welfare certifications but often not. Animal advocacy groups are putting substantial resources toward label education and pursuing litigation against companies who misuse these terms, but a fundamental question remains: whether working toward a world where all humanewashing is gone and replaced with certified higher-welfare products would be a net positive or net negative for animals. On one hand, certain types of labeling increase the total volume of animal product purchases by helping consumers justify their consumption. On the other, labels may have no impact on the “bottom line” of animal product purchases, or even reduce consumption by raising the idea of animal suffering in consumers’ minds. We will design a simulated shopping cart experiment to investigate these competing hypotheses and shed light on this fundamental question.

Conservative Political Values With Respect To Animal Advocacy

Combining analyses of desk research and academic literature review, we will investigate ways that U.S. animal advocates can potentially leverage conservative political values to make headway for animals in state and federal legislatures. In this time of influential conservative, populist movements and deep political divisions, any public policy work at the state or federal level will benefit from a better understanding of core issues. Our goal is to identify alignments with animal advocacy needs, in order to recommend potential opportunities for partnership and better message framing.

Research And Data As Tools In Advocates’ Decision-Making, Phase II

In our 2024 study about the impact of research in the animal advocacy movement, we identified the nuances of how animal advocacy organizations access, interpret, and use research, data, and other forms of evidence in their work. In this study, we build on these insights by expanding our focus to the Global South, given the lack of knowledge on evidence-based decision making for advocacy groups in the region. Spearheaded by Good Growth Co., Phase II of this qualitative study will entail interviews with advocacy groups in Southeast Asia and China, given the latter's vastly different advocacy context and substantial impact on farmed animals. With this study, we hope to make research and data more available to animal advocates and stakeholders across China and elsewhere, and provide insight about how knowledge gaps, use, and transfer might be different in Northern and Southern contexts.

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