Educational Interventions and Animal Consumption: Results from Lab and Field Studies

Appetite 173 (2022)

Abstract

Currently, there are many advocacy interventions aimed at reducing animal consumption. We report results from a lab (N = 267) and a field experiment (N = 208) exploring whether, and to what extent, some of those educational interventions are effective at shifting attitudes and behavior related to animal consumption. In the lab experiment, participants were randomly assigned to read a philosophical ethics paper, watch an animal advocacy video, read an advocacy pamphlet, or watch a control video. In the field experiment, we measured the impact of college classes with animal ethics content versus college classes without animal ethics content. Using a pretest, post-test matched control group design, humane educational interventions generally made people more knowledgeable about animals used as food and reduced justifications and speciesist attitudes supporting animal consumption. None of the interventions in either experiment had a direct, measurable impact on self-reported animal consumption. These results suggest that while some educational interventions can change beliefs and attitudes about animal consumption, those same interventions have small impacts on animal consumption.

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Adam Feltz
Michigan Technological University
Jacob N. Caton
Arkansas State University
Zac Cogley
Ohio State University (PhD)
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