chegreen

27Joined Jul 2015

Bio

Che Green is a researcher and thought leader focused on animal protection and environmental sustainability. He founded Faunalytics, an ACE To Charity. Through his consulting work, he helps ethical and sustainable businesses, funders, and advocates achieve their potential and bring about much needed change.

Comments
11

Very small note that Faunalytics is spelled two different ways in the article. The correct spelling is with the "y." Thanks. 

It appears that some efforts that started off with a blended product ended up going with just a plant-based product (e.g., The Better Meat Co., Tyson Foods). Anecdotally, it appears that the approach might make the products less appealing to both meat eaters and meat reducers. Tyson Foods also included egg in its "plant-based" line and then dropped it due to backlash. See link. 

https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2020/12/07/From-made-with-plants-to-plant-based-Tyson-eliminates-eggs-from-Raised-Rooted-nuggets-drops-blended-burger

After 21+ years of existence and six as an ACE Standout Charity, Faunalytics was awarded "Top Charity" status. As the organization's founder and executive director for almost 20 years, this is personally gratifying. More essentially, however, it signals the importance of research and effectiveness for the animal advocacy movement, which has historically operated on passion and gut instinct.

I agree with others that this is great and much needed! I'm curious how you chose the recipient charities for the different bundles, which seem to be a select few for the different issue areas. For instance, I would think that the ACE Recommended Charity Fund might be more aligned than their relatively speculative Movement Grants. Important disclosure, however: I'm on the board of an ACE recommended charity and am inherently biased. 

This is disappointing and a great example of the arrogance and speciesism that make it difficult for many animal advocates to embrace EA concepts.

Thanks for posting this and for opening up the process! It's a fast-moving space, obviously, and it might be best to start with an informal survey of what's currently available and what's under development.

You've probably already looked at GFI's white space doc, but if not then it might be a good place to start: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zCwLkwqwYzfzxwIm1-iHrvheRhMhbLYBxqEiz_7bHdE/edit

Jonathon, thank you for sharing the results of the MFA study and for drawing attention to the Faunalytics research showing the high recidivism rate. As others have said, I would be concerned that those who have lapsed are more likely to lapse again in the future, but I still think this is incredibly promising. In our original study, we found that more than a third (37%) of former vegetarians/vegans say they are interested in re-adopting the diet.

For those interested in the details, this blog describes the various reports and resources that we produced, including access to the full dataset.

https://faunalytics.org/a-summary-of-faunalytics-study-of-current-and-former-vegetarians-and-vegans/

Not exactly what you describe, but pretty close: http://www.voolla.org

(Disclosure: an advisor to my organization is the founder of Voolla) Voolla turns volunteer skills into money for charities. We do this by providing an online marketplace where Service Providers with skills are matched to buyers of those skills, with a portion of the project fee going to charity.

The attachment links for the Faunalytics study are now fixed. Thanks again for point out the issue.

We cover a lot of ground in those reports, and much of it corroborates what you say in this post. I'm not sure where the assumption of exponential growth comes from, however. Our research has shown that the proportion of vegans/vegetarians has not increased substantially in the past decade. There may be exponential growth with Google searches of the term "vegan," but that doesn't mean the vegan population is growing.

Rather, the reduction in farmed animal slaughter and the rise of vegan food alternatives is being driven by "part-time" abstainers. That's where we see the exponential growth. With that said, I certainly agree the growth rate is more important than the absolute number of vegans. The challenge is that research on low-incidence populations like vegans/vegetarians is hard, especially when tracking changes over time.

In addition to helping people maintain a nutritious and plentiful diet while being veg*n, animal advocate also need to work on making veganism less of a purist identity and to make it more inclusive. Following are the recommendations copied from our report:

Improve Vegetarian/Vegan Retention

  • Target Demographics – Target outreach activities toward those who are most likely to adhere to the diet. Current and lapsed vegetarians/ vegans differ significantly when it comes to their age, political orientation, and religious beliefs. Current vegetarians/vegans are also more likely to have adopted the diet at a younger age and to have transitioned more gradually.
  • Increase the Focus on the “How” of Vegetarianism/Veganism – 1) Design outreach and supporting efforts to address the most common difficulties faced by former vegetarians/vegans, including: cravings and boredom with food options; insufficient interaction with other vegetarians/vegans; not being actively involved in a vegetarian/vegan community; not seeing the diet as part of their identity; disliking that their diet made them “stick out from the crowd;” and feeling it was too difficult to be “pure” with their diet. Interestingly, health did not present a noticeable difficulty for study participants, with the exception of vitamin B12 monitoring. 2) Consider increasing awareness about the importance of B12: a far greater percentage of former (76%) than current (42%) vegetarians/vegans never had their B12 levels checked while they were adhering to the diet. 3) Think about barriers in the domestic sphere, including the fact that 33% of former vegetarians/ vegans were living with a non-vegetarian/vegan significant other when they lapsed. With about a third (34%) of lapsed vegetarians/vegans reporting that they ate the diet for three months or less, the window for advocates to help individuals find ways to sustain their vegetarianism/veganism is small. While this window is still open, think of vegetarian/vegan advocacy as a longer-term relationship, not just a single point of outreach.
  • Diversify Messaging for the “Why” of Vegetarianism/Veganism – Current vegetarians/vegans report a broader range of motivations for eating their diet than do former vegetarians/vegans. While the only motivation cited by a majority of former vegetarians/vegans (58%) was health, a number of motivations were identified by a majority of current vegetarians/vegans: health (69%), animal protection (68%), concern for the environment (59%), feelings of disgust about meat/animal products (63%), and taste preferences (52%).
  • Focus on Lapsed Vegetarians/Vegans – More than a third (37%) of former vegetarians/vegans are interested in re-adopting the diet, and a majority of these individuals say they are likely or very likely to do so, with health being the primary motivator. If even half of the individuals who express an interest were to resume the diet, that would double the number of current vegetarians/vegans in the U.S. Some thought will be needed, however, to come up with an advocacy approach that works for these individuals.

In the world of animal protection, we have Faunalytics (formerly Humane Research Council). I'm the founder and executive director, full disclosure. We've been around for 15 years, since before "EA" became a common term, but that's essentially what we do. We're a nonprofit research provider and we encourage animal charities to collect and utilize data. We identify and summarize third-party research that is relevant to animal advocacy, conduct fee-for-service projects for animal groups, and carry out independent studies to further animal advocacy. We are a backbone organization that does not directly advocate for animals ourselves, but strive to make animal charities more effective. I'd be happy to talk about our experience sometime or you can learn more at https://faunalytics.org

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