New Study May Help Turn People Vegan

New research from Faunalytics could help turn people vegan by looking at how different U.S. groups feel about taking action to help animals

Faunalytics website for Different Strokes for Different Folks study
Faunalytics website for Different Strokes for Different Folks study

Los Angeles, June 23, 2023 — The nonprofit research organization Faunalytics has surveyed thousands of Americans about how likely they would be to try several pro-animal actions, such as giving up meat, becoming vegan, or buying cruelty-free products. The fascinating results can help vegan advocates tailor specific asks to the most receptive groups. This analytical approach could improve their effectiveness in turning people vegan. When it comes to vegan outreach, there are many different tactics that may be effective for some people, but not others. This new research helps us understand why and adjust accordingly.

For instance, many vegan and vegetarian campaigns use billboards with thought-provoking messages.  This research could offer insights into when and where to place them to get the best results.

Eat Differently

One particularly imaginative project, using billboards and social media, has just launched. It’s called Eat Differently. It’s a powerful campaign featuring Paul McCartney, Jane Goodall, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Albert Einstein, Cesar Chavez and other revolutionary thinkers. It aims to inspire people to eat plants, not animals.

UnchainedTV’s Jane Velez-Mitchell spoke with Lori Amos, founder of the PR agency helping to run this new campaign and Zach Wulderk, the Faunalytics researcher who unpacks his findings. You can watch the entire, eye-opening conversation here:

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Zach Wulderk, research scientist from Faunalytics
Zach Wulderk, research scientist from Faunalytics

Zach Wulderk is a research scientist from Faunalytics who, after years of advocating for animals outside of work, decided to make his passion for animals his career. He has a background in economics and political science.  He explains what this new research titled Different Strokes for Different Folks is all about:

“We surveyed thousands of people in the US and asked them how likely they would be to try a bunch of different pro-animal actions, and we asked them some information about themselves as well, ranging from their political beliefs to their age and gender, to how far they are from the nearest grocery store.”

After analyzing the data, the study issued the following recommendations to vegan campaigners: ally with climate change advocates; push for clearer, more meaningful,  food product labeling; combine the tractability numbers from this study with estimates of animals affected to evaluate the relative impact of various approaches; tailor your ask to your audience using the Faunalytics graphing tool; and focus on the groups who are most open to your asks.

“One of our key findings is that the groups who are the most and the least likely to take pro-animal actions are often divided along political lines.”— Zach Wulderk, Faunalytics scientist  

Help Turn People Vegan

Study's tool from the Faunalytics website
Interactive tool from the Faunalytics’s study website

In addition to releasing a report containing the study’s findings, Faunalytics created an interactive tool that lets people quickly and easily look at projected results for their specific advocacy work. In doing so, they can learn how to turn people vegan more effectively. Here are some of the interesting results:

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  • 84% of Democrats would vote for a ballot measure aimed at improving conditions for farmed animals compared to only 56% of Republicans.
  • People who are concerned about climate change were 45 percentage points more supportive of Meatless Monday school lunch policies than people who aren’t.
  • Black participants reported the highest likelihood of removing beef and pork from their diets (27%), going pescatarian (21%), and going vegan (12%).
  • More than 60% of the U.S. public said they would vote for a farmed animal-focused ballot measure, sign a farmed animal-focused petition, or support a Meatless Mondays school lunch policy.
  • Non-animal lovers, people who aren’t concerned about climate change, conservatives, and Republicans had the highest levels of speciesism, while Democrats, liberals, women, Hispanics, and people outside the gender binary had the lowest levels of speciesism.

“We wanted to provide a resource that allows advocates to choose their asks based on their typical audience, or to seek out groups that might be particularly friendly to their message.”— Zach Wulderk, research scientist from Faunalytics

The Eat Differently Campaign

Lori Amos
Lori Amos, founder of Scout 22

Lori Amos is the founder of Scout 22, a full-service marketing and PR agency founded eight years ago, that focuses on sustainable and compassionate products and services. She adopted a vegan diet 30 years ago. Scout 22 is working on PR for the Eat Differently campaign, which is designed to inspire people to turn people vegan. It was launched in early June of 2023 with a massive outdoor campaign including 29 billboards with famous people that will be displayed for three months in the Greater San Diego area. The campaign also features a poignant video.

She explains why Eat Differently uses current and historical public figures:

We are calling them luminaries because they’re not just celebrities. They are, in fact, above celebrities… If you look at the iconic 1996 Think Different Campaign that Apple launched, it was arguably one of the biggest, most lauded campaigns of the 20th century…This is a public service announcement and a commentary on that original campaign because, if you look at the people they featured, many of them not only thought differently, but they ate differently as well. Were they 100% vegan? No. But, some are.”

Eat Differently, LLC was formed in 2023 as a public service resource. Its mission is to inspire the world to eat plants, not animals. The billboard images were painted exclusively for the Eat Differently PSA by renowned speed artist, Amy Burkman.

“We have plans to go to other major metro areas in the US. Hopefully, in 2024, we will be international.” —  Lori Amos, founder of Scout 22

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