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Want to help animals? Focus on corporate decisions, not people’s plates.

Looking at the evidence to date, those campaigns aimed at companies — as opposed to persuasion efforts pitched at the individual level — may well be the more promising path to bringing change to our food system.

KELSEY PIPER: ‘Animals in industrial farms are treated appallingly… At the same time, we’re finding out more about other negative consequences of eating meat. Animal agriculture is resource-intensive and a major contributor to climate change… Farmed animal advocates have been working on these problems for a long time. One of the problems they’ve wrestled with is a pretty fundamental challenge: How do they persuade more people to become vegetarian? Over the past decade, they’ve done a lot of research to test which methods of advocacy work, and how and why people become vegetarians.

Studies have looked into the effects of different persuasion efforts: leafletting, online ads, undercover investigations of farms, street protests… The results, and what they mean, are still being hotly contested within the animal rights community. That disagreement underscores the steep challenge the animal rights community faces in trying to convince the rest of the world to give up meat. It also stands in sharp contrast to the repeated successes the advocacy movement has had in pursuing a different course: pressure campaigns against corporations.

Advocates have convinced companies like Starbucks and General Mills, for instance, to source eggs for their products from cage-free farms through a mix of behind-the-scenes negotiation and protests. Looking at the evidence to date, those campaigns aimed at companies — as opposed to persuasion efforts pitched at the individual level — may well be the more promising path to bringing change to our food system, even as advocates continue to research the most effective ways to change a person’s mind’. SOURCE…

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