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Advocacy Strategies

 

The Shelter Pet Project - Pet Adoption Topline Research

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This PowerPoint presentation from The Shelter Pet Project illustrates the step-by-step process of analyzing the problem of pet overpopulation, setting a goal (more adoption from shelters instead of breeders), identifying a target audience, and determining the best way to reach them with the message. Research is applied at each step, and provides many valuable insights (such as differences between dog and cat guardians, regional differences, and the qualities potential adopters associate with shelter animals vs. animals from breeders), as well as guiding goals and strategies.

Accommodating the Target: Veganism, Healthfulness, and Hegemonic Masculinities

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The author of this paper analyzes data from the 2007 study by the Humane Research Council and Survey Sampling, Inc. entitled Advocating Meat Reduction and Vegetarianism to Adults in the U.S. to test two hypotheses: 1). People who want to improve their health are more likely to reduce their meat eating than those who do not. 2). Men who wish to improve their health are more likely to reduce meat-eating than women who wish to improve their health. The data supported both hypotheses. Fewer men than women are vegan/vegetarian, which the author attributes to cultural associations between masculinity and meat-eating. The author suggests that focusing on health benefits may increase the appeal of reduced meat eating to men, but cautions that consideration of animal suffering and rights, and questioning of masculinism are unlikely to result from this motivation. However, as long term veganism is often incremental, he concludes that healthfulness can still be a useful entry point to veganism/vegetarianism, provided new vegans/vegetarians are incorporated into a community where they are exposed to broader concerns of animal well-being.

HRC Teams Up with Animal Charity Evaluators to Offer Research Template for Veg Advocates

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HRC and Animal Charity Evaluators have teamed up to provide guidelines for designing surveys on vegetarianism and veganism. We have developed a bank of survey questions that advocates and researchers can use to assess their veg outreach efforts, and also crafted general advice about the research design process. HRC recommends that advocates and researchers use these resources whenever possible not only to ensure that their studies yield useful results, but to allow for greater comparability across campaigns, which will in turn help the animal protection movement craft the most valuable veg outreach strategies.

Economic Impacts of Adoption and Fundraising Strategies in Animal Shelters

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This study presents a model that can be used by animal shelters to compare the effectiveness of various management strategies. The authors present the model along with a number of hypothetical adoption and fundraising scenarios including: 1) general strategies – altering adoptions fees and associated adoption numbers; creating a continued giving environment; promoting adoption events; and re-evaluating adoption criteria; and 2) specific strategies – altering adoption fees and total numbers of animals handled; analyzing low, fair, and high returns to additional promotion spending; and investigating zero-fee adoptions. The study found that increasing animal numbers without increasing adoption fees or donations caused costs to increase faster than total revenues. The model, the authors suggest, can assist shelter staff in improving their fiscal health as well as their ability to save lives.

Growing Meat in Laboratories: The Promise, Ontology, and Ethical Boundary-Work of Using Muscle Cells to Make Food

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This philosophical essay discusses the ethical framework in which scientists and animal advocates regard current research into, and the potential development of, in vitro meat (IVM) production. The author incorporates quotes from interviews with 39 individuals who were scientists involved in IVM-related research or advocates who have supported IVM technology. While most interviewees awarded some degree of preferability to IVM production over current factory farming practices, their motivations for being involved in this area varied. The author concludes that ethical boundary-work concerning IVM production is complex and under development, as is the IVM research itself.

Year of the Thoughtful Advocate

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Knowledge is power. In a world where animal suffering is common and animal-based industries make billions of dollars, the best tool that animal advocates have is information… to find sympathetic audiences, make compelling arguments, identify effective tactics, and measure our impact. Without this knowledge, we may just be treading water, and animals deserve better.

State Legislators’ Roll-Call Votes on Farm Animal Protection Bills: The Agricultural Connection

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This study explored which factors influence elected representatives when they vote on farm animal welfare laws. The author analyzed 216 state legislators’ votes on two farm animal welfare bills: 1) Michigan’s HB 5127 (2009), which bans tethering and confining pregnant pigs, veal calves, and egg-laying hens); and 2) Illinois’s HB 1711 (2007), which bans the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The results showed that representatives’ personal and representational connections with agriculture were significant, but political party was the strongest factor explaining legislators’ votes, with Democrats much more likely than Republicans to support farm animal welfare bills.

Does Colour Matter? The Influence of Animal Warning Coloration on Human Emotions and Willingness to Protect Them

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The role of animal coloration in people’s willingness to protect animals was explored in this study. Children and youth in Slovakia were shown altered and unaltered images of aposematic (those with warning coloration) and cryptic animals. The results showed that participants were significantly more willing to protect aposematic animals over inconspicuous, cryptic animals. These findings, the authors suggest, indicate that the use of aposematic animals in conservation programs may increase their popularity and public support.


When Sex Doesn't Sell: Using Sexualized Images of Women Reduces Support for Ethical Campaigns

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This research showed that the “sex sells” approach does not increase support for ethical causes. Two studies were used to explore the topic. In the first, a sample of Australian male undergraduates viewed PETA advertisements containing either sexualized or non-sexualized images of women. Those who viewed the sexualized content showed reduced intentions to support PETA, a result explained by the images’ dehumanization of women. The second study replicated these findings using a mixed-gender community sample from the U.S., and also showed that behaviors helpful to the cause diminished for those who had viewed the sexualized advertisements.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

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The Humane Research Council is a very different kind of animal group. We save animals by helping advocates be more effective and use their limited resources as wisely as possible. Our work helps lift all animal protection efforts to new levels through our free resources, deeply discounted services, and collaborative research studies. Please be a part of this important mission by making a contribution to HRC today so we can continue providing live-saving research.

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