These are the main projects currently underway at Faunalytics.
Examples of Successful Anti-Subsidy Lobbies
Government subsidies for animal agriculture pose a well-known and difficult barrier facing animal advocates around the globe. They are also, according to the UN FAO (2021), “price-distorting and largely harmful to the environment.” Our goal is to facilitate knowledge sharing among diverse advocacy groups around the world, providing animal advocates with recommendations and lessons emerging from interviews with global animal protection groups that have previously attempted anti-subsidy lobbying. These interviews will be designed in consultation with lobbyists who specialize in animal law to elicit information about tactics that were successful vs. unsuccessful in interviewees’ particular political and cultural contexts, as well as the cost in time and resources of these initiatives. We will provide recommendations about best practices and their cost-effectiveness, which should allow groups around the world to learn from each other and optimize their methods.
The pre-registration for this study is available on Faunalytics’ Open Science Framework page.
This project is made possible thanks to generous funding from an anonymous donor.
Reduction Targets by Demographic
When it comes to animal product consumption, there is no one-size-fits-all approach: a vegetarian pledge could be too much for one person while the person next to them might have gone vegan if that pledge was offered. This study aims to find the best balance of request size versus tractability (the number of people willing to reduce their consumption of animal products) across a wide range of demographic groups and countries. We will recruit participants from the U.S., Brazil, Canada, China, India, and Mexico, and ask participants about their willingness to take a range of pro-animal actions focused mostly on dietary reduction (e.g., vegan after 6pm, meatless Mondays) but also including actions to support welfare initiatives. With the results, we will create a web-based application that models the results in a way that easily enables advocates to compare segments of each country’s populations and identify the optimal ask for each one, minimizing the tradeoff between impact of the change and willingness to try it.
This project is made possible thanks to generous funding from the Culture & Animals Foundation, the Centre for Effective Altruism, and an anonymous donor.
State-by-State Reactions to Potential Legislative Changes
One of the biggest hurdles to getting lawmakers to support or propose welfare legislation is their fear of negative public reaction and its impact on their own political careers. This study will use representative polls in key states and districts to gauge public support for a range of legislative policies dealing primarily with farmed and wild animal welfare. Identifying the regions and issues to target will be done in close collaboration with stakeholders who do this type of work.
This study is made possible by generous funding from the Food Systems Research Fund and an anonymous donor.
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.
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.