Joanna Anderson is the Research Director at Faunalytics, a non-profit that empowers animal advocates with access to research, analysis, strategies, and messages that maximize their effectiveness to reduce animal suffering. In 2020, she received a grant to conduct a research study to investigate the cultural barriers and supports to the reduction of animal product consumption in a non-Western country. She writes:
When considering animal suffering from a global perspective, it is clear that current animal advocacy resources are disproportionately allocated to Western countries, yet production and consumption of animals used for food are on the rise elsewhere. In fact, the majority of farmed animals live and suffer in low- and middle-income countries.
This research project will help animal advocates understand perceived barriers and supports to advocacy and change in the region selected, considering both institutional and individual diet campaigns. Additionally, we will learn what reactions to successful types of Western campaigns (institutional and individual) animal advocates can anticipate, and gain information on the likelihood of successful adaptation in non-Western countries. The results will allow us to generate hypotheses about strong approaches to advocacy, which can also be tested in subsequent experimental research.
In 2021, Joanna received a grant to conduct a research study to investigate the beliefs about chickens and fish in Brazil, Canada, China, and India, and their relation to animal-positive behaviors. She writes:
In 2020 Faunalytics conducted similar research in the U.S. As a follow up to this research, this new project will answer important questions regarding chickens and fish in four other countries, including: which beliefs do the public have about small-bodied animals, and which of these are associated with animal-positive behaviors? Specifically, we’ll look at how a number of beliefs relate to both a willingness to sign a welfare petition to reduce chicken and fish suffering and a diet pledge to refuse the consumption of each animal. By answering these questions, advocacy efforts can become more targeted and effective across these four countries.
Joanna and her colleague Brooke Haggerty at Faunalytics have been working on their report on Culture Barriers and Supports to the Reduction of Animal Consumption in China and plan to publish their findings by the end of this year. Recognizing the sensitive nature of conducting a study on animal advocacy in China and the potential harm that might be inflicted on the animal advocates within China, they have been carefully conducting an ethics review of their project and seeking external feedback on protecting activists in China.
They have already pre-registered the qualitative analysis process and deductive coding scheme on the Open Science Framework and plan to work with Hong Kong-based researcher Jah Ying Chung. They have divided their research into two phases, interviewing Chinese farmed animal advocates during Stage 1 and the general Chinese public during Stage 2 to ensure a targeted approach to the needs of the Chinese advocacy movement. In addition to the CAF grant, they have secured funding from ProVeg International and made new contacts in the Chinese animal advocacy scene.