The campaign to expose the harmful, violent, and destructive reality of the animal agriculture industry.

END IT, DON’T MEND IT: What messaging makes people oppose animal farming?

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The results showed learning about current animal farming conditions led to significantly stronger negative feelings compared to learning about animal welfare reforms.

ELENA SCHALLER: Animal farming is a leading cause of animal suffering, environmental destruction, and chronic health problems. Animal welfare reforms are used to improve factory farming conditions. However, some advocates argue that we should fight for the abolition of animal use instead of trying to improve it — especially if learning about reforms leads people to think that farmed animals are better treated than they are. This study tested how educating people about reforms affects their attitudes towards animal farming.

The researchers assigned 1,520 U.S. adults to read one of three articles: one about animal welfare reforms (companies’ cage-free egg commitments), one about conventional animal agriculture practices (the use of battery cages), or an unrelated article. Afterwards, participants were asked a series of questions related to their attitudes towards animal farming, including their overall opposition, the likelihood of changing their diet, and the likelihood of supporting future animal welfare reforms.

The researchers expected to find that educating people about reforms would cause them to oppose animal farming more strongly than if they had learned about current farming practices… The results, however, showed the opposite outcome. Learning about current animal farming conditions led to significantly stronger negative feelings compared to learning about animal welfare reforms and the control group. Meanwhile, learning about animal welfare reforms had no significant effect on attitudes towards animal farming…

The authors predicted social norms and optimism about the end of factory farming helped explain some of the opposition among participants who learned about animal welfare reforms… These findings suggest that advocates should prioritize raising awareness of current animal farming conditions over the changes that are underway to improve those conditions, if the goal is to encourage opposition to animal farming. SOURCE…

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