Monday, June 23, 2014

What Works vs What's "Right"

In addition to our friends at ACE, The Humane League Labs has been searching for what works best to help the animals. David and Ethan have a post up over at HRC with a summary of some of their latest findings, including that booklets with multiple types of animals worked better than a booklet with just chickens. This follows from something I've pointed out several times (including in my ACE interview), that we should understand and utilize our target audiences natural affinity for mammals, and use it to "prime the pump" to build the case for concern for birds.

David and Ethan make another important point, one that is hard to internalize:
"[F]rom our “Diet Change and Demographic” study, we found that giving up dairy is a huge hurdle for people making the switch to vegan eating. So if we want to get our foot in the door, initially focusing on replacing meat may yield better results. At the moment, the research suggests highlighting convenient foods like beans, lentils, and grains, followed by plant-based meats, rather than starting with dairy replacements."
From Vegan Crunk.
Given that the vast majority of people who make and maintain changes that help animals do so in a step-by-step manner, we always have to try to get people to take the first / next step, rather than present the full case.


  1. Thanks for sharing the link. I think it's fascinating to question our assumptions and learn more about human nature in order to develop the best strategies to reduce animal suffering. Only if we are able to meet people where they currently are and really listen to them and to the evidence of what works will we be able to make the best use of our limited time and resources. I'm kind of surprised about the chicken result, but in some ways it makes sense. Many people find it hard to develop empathy for animals who they see as very different from themselves. But if they can be engaged through thinking about the animals who they do care about, then maybe it won't be so hard to extend their circle of compassion.