Cruelty Investigations Reduce Demand for Animal Products

September 16, 2010

The substantial media attention given to undercover factory farm investigations is paying off in the best possible way: a Kansas State University study suggests that Americans are eating about 2.5 to 5 percent less pork and chicken as a result of all the farmed animal cruelty stories that have been in the news.

The study concludes that:

As a whole, media attention to animal welfare has significant, negative effects on U.S. meat demand.

Better still, the demand drops off throughout the meat industry, and isn’t just limited to the sorts of animal products highlighted by a given cruelty investigation:

Increasing media attention to animal welfare issues triggers consumers to purchase less meat rather than reallocate expenditures across competing meats.

We already knew that undercover cruelty investigations can result in arrests and even the closure of certain facilities, but now we’ve got evidence that these investigations are also effective at reducing demand for animal products.

You can count on animal advocacy groups ramping up their funding of undercover investigations, now that we’ve got tangible evidence that these efforts can steer consumers away from the meat aisle. (Thanks, Paul; via Farmgate.) PDF Link.

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