Faunalytics will study the following topics in 2023. Each project will be moved to the “Research In Progress” page once the study has begun. To submit a research idea, please complete the form at the bottom of this page.
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.
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