ACE reviews existing evidence on the effectiveness of animal advocacy interventions in order to inform our charity evaluations and grant-making.
Note: We are currently in the process of updating our approach to intervention research and expect to make updates to this page in 2021. See below for our previous intervention research:
Interventions we are considering but which we have not yet evaluated are listed below.
Animal Welfare Food Labels: Charities promote the use of clear food labeling that informs consumers about the conditions of animals used for food. Alternatively, charities oppose the use of misleading labels.
Books: Books can be used to educate people about various issues regarding animals—content can relate to the treatment of animals raised for food, the ethics of using animals, the health and environmental effects of animal agriculture, etc. Books can inspire people to become animal advocates, as well as motivate existing advocates to become more effective in their outreach.
Boycotts: Charities and individuals refuse to buy certain products or to do business with certain companies in protest of their policies. To some extent, veganism can be considered a boycott of animal agriculture. However, boycotts are typically more organized and include clearer sets of demands or requests for companies.
Cultured Meat Development: Scientists, companies, and nonprofits perform basic and applied research intended to lead to the availability of meat grown in labs as a competitor to meat produced by industrial animal agriculture. Charities help Researchers secure funding, gain publicity, and foster connections.
Farmed Animal Rescue: Charities and individuals rescue animals from farms or slaughterhouses. Rescues generally involve rehabilitating the animals and either placing them for adoption or in a sanctuary for the remainder of their lives. In “open rescues,” activists take videos or photographs of the conditions the animals were living in and promote the animals’ stories in the news and/or on social media.
Grassroots Political Campaigning: Individuals and groups affect the political process in many ways—including through events and demonstrations—to encourage the passage of bills that would benefit animals or the defeat of bills that would harm them. Grassroots campaigns involve the participation of many individuals, often engaging at a local level.
Humane Farming Promotion: Charities research how farming practices can be improved to increase animal welfare and then promote such improvements. Organizations may offer grants to encourage farmers to implement better practices, engage in educational activities, or publicly campaign for improved welfare standards for animals.
Institutional Meat Reduction Campaigns: Charities work with institutions—including school districts and hospitals—to implement a variety of meat reduction programs such as (i) Meatless Mondays and (ii) an increase in the availability of vegetarian and vegan options in cafeterias.
Letter-Writing Campaigns: Individuals or groups send letters addressing animal issues to government officials, newspaper editors, or corporations. Charities orchestrate these campaigns by distributing sample letters to their members, encouraging them to adapt them, and advising them to send the letters to their elected representatives, local papers, or other groups.
Lobbying: Charities work with lobbying firms or meet with state or national elected officials on their own behalf to influence the legislative process, specifically working on the legislation that affects animals. They help write bills and find co-sponsors, or explain how they think the officials should vote and why.
Mass Advertising: Charities pay for advertising on billboards, commercials (television and online), and other advertising platforms. Advertisements use limited space and time to educate viewers about industrial agriculture, farmed animals, and vegetarian or vegan eating. They are often subject to content restrictions dependent on the platform.
Plant-Based Meat Development: Scientists and companies develop plant-based meat substitutes and market them to compete with the products of animal agriculture. Charities and businesses help promote and publicize these products through activities such as food sampling.
Media Campaigns: Charities and individuals disseminate information about industrial agriculture, farmed animals, and vegetarian and vegan diets through traditional media. For example, charities may show videos from their investigations on the news, sometimes alongside interviews with members of the charity.
Pay-Per-View Video Advocacy: Charities and volunteers bring video equipment to areas with heavy foot traffic and pay passers-by small amounts of money to watch brief videos about farmed animals and industrial agriculture. They also provide resources to support dietary changes.
Veg Cooking Workshops: Besides providing cooking lessons that can be useful to vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores interested in veg eating, these workshops often include discussions about the ethics of using animals. Veg cooking workshops can nudge participants to change their diet or to become animal advocates.
Veg Starter Guide Stands: Charities and individuals distribute Veg Starter Guides and other literature using news racks, or by placing them in coffee shops and other businesses that allow it. Individuals in the area then have immediate access to the guides and the information they provide.
Veg Fests: Charities organize celebrations of veg eating ranging in length from a day to a week. These events include food sampling and food for sale from veg*n companies, as well as opportunities to engage in community building. Veg fests usually present educational materials to attendees, including film screenings, presentations/panels, and reading materials.
Virtual Reality: Charities use 360º cameras to film inside animal industries and then use VR headsets to let people experience these industries as if they were standing there, being able to freely look in any direction and get a vivid sense of how factory farmed animals live. This can be coupled with other interventions such as newsletters and veg pledges to encourage and support dietary change.