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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.

Upcoming Projects

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.

If you’d like to support any of these projects, please donate now or contact us to learn more.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A Case Study Of Food System Education And Students’ Subsequent Impact

Many animal advocates use classroom education as a way to teach children and young adults about the food system and compassion for animals, but measuring its long-term impacts is challenging and therefore understudied. In this case study, we seek to improve understanding of the long-term effects of school-based educational programs. We will examine the pathways taken by alumni of such a program, focusing on their educational and professional accomplishments and their retention in the animal advocacy space. This information will shed light on the effectiveness and value of educational programs for the animal protection movement.

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.

Messaging About Plant-Based Diets and Products In Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s diverse food cultures and beliefs create a unique challenge for promoting plant-based diets and alternative proteins. Recognizing the gap in region-specific research, this study embarks on comprehensive research to understand current perceptions and terminology around plant-based diets in Southeast Asia. The findings will provide actionable insights for animal advocacy organizations, helping them to improve campaign design and effectiveness in Southeast Asia.

How International Organizations Affect Factory Farming In Low- and Middle-Income Countries

We will investigate the various ways that the policies of international organizations such as the World Bank and World Trade Organization affect the proliferation of factory farming in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Results will focus on the goals of international development organizations, the impacts on LMICs, the role governments in LMICs play, and the potential for alternative policy approaches. This research project aims to provide foundational information that can help animal advocates limit the spread of industrial animal agriculture around the world.

Green And Humane: Engaging Generation Z

‘Generation Z’, aged roughly 18-26, are decidedly more aware of the pressing issues that threaten the world as compared to their predecessors, making them a critical group to engage in animal and environmental protection. This study aims to identify strategies for harnessing the action and focus of Gen Z in the US, China and Southeast Asia, by investigating their barriers and motivators in making pro-environment and pro-animal protection lifestyle changes and potential solutions to enable these changes. Further, this study will delve into Gen Z’s perceptions of ‘environmental protection’ and ‘animal protection’ as career paths, identifying what may act as potential barriers, motivators and facilitators to pursuing work in these fields, with the aim to help organizations understand, engage and develop future talents for our movement.

Effective Communication With Political Staffers

There is limited research on what kinds of animal advocacy outreach are most effective when engaging in lobbying and grassroots outreach to politicians. In this qualitative study, we will interview U.S. political staffers instead of elected officials because political staff are more accessible to advocates while also acting as influential advisors to lawmakers themselves. We will obtain recommendations and lessons from political staffers, so that animal advocates considering legislative campaigning in the U.S. can better understand how to best approach lawmakers.

Balancing Inclusivity With An Animal-Oriented Mission

The U.S. farmed animal protection movement has long dealt with a lack of representation of Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). In this qualitative study, Faunalytics will partner with Dr. Ahmmad Brown to interview BIPOC animal advocates and non-advocates to understand their perspectives on inclusivity in the animal protection movement. We will present the inclusivity solutions that BIPOC participants proposed to non-BIPOC leadership in the movement and ask them about what it would take to implement these strategies within their organization. By working with both BIPOC and non-BIPOC individuals, we aim to build a shared understanding of what it means to be an inclusive movement and how to get there.

Voter Response To A Pro-Animal/Anti-Subsidy Candidate

Elected officials have the power to institute policies that can benefit huge numbers of animals. However, many politicians may be hesitant to talk about issues that affect animals for fear of electoral blowback. Among the most pressing political problems for animal advocates is the use of government subsidies to support the animal agriculture industry. In collaboration with Dr. Sparsha Saha, we will use an experimental design to test how political candidates can discuss pro-animal stances, like cutting or reallocating animal agriculture subsidies, in ways that appeal to voters in the U.S. and Brazil. The results will provide candidates and their campaigns with invaluable information aimed at helping them feel more able to put animals on the political agenda.

Scoping Collaboration Across Social Movement Lines In Southeast Asia

This study investigates the potential for strategic collaboration between the farmed animal advocacy movement and other social movements in Southeast Asia. Recognizing the region’s rapid development in various nonprofit sectors, the research aims to map out and explore intersections where animal advocacy can align and synergize with other causes. By examining the missions, goals, and strategies of diverse movements, the study seeks to identify collaborative opportunities that could amplify impact and effectiveness in the region. The approach includes a detailed literature review and interviews with movement leaders, both aimed at fostering a comprehensive understanding of the potential for cooperative efforts. This research lays the foundation for exploring intersectional collaboration to increase the effectiveness of animal advocacy in Southeast Asia, potentially revealing new avenues for campaigns and fundraising.

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.

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