"Animal Tracker" Report Shows Strong Support for Humane Education, But Fewer People Engaging in "Animal-Friendly" Behaviors

More news and features about our relationship with animals and issues of animal protection are finding their way into the mainstream, but does that increased awareness result in more "pro-animal" behaviors from the public?

The Humane Research Council just released its "Animal Tracker" annual survey of U.S. adults, which serves to "track and understand how public opinion and behavior is changing over time, with respect to a wide variety of critically important animal protection issues." The gist of the findings: the public continues to show strong support for humane education, but there has been a decrease in the number of people engaging in "animal-friendly behaviors." Here are a few details (pulled straight from the report summary):
  • Of the listed activities, U.S. adults were most likely to have watched wildlife or consumed a meat/dairy substitute during the past year. The least common activities during the past year were volunteering for animal organizations and going to circuses.
  • Regarding actions that they have ever taken out of concern for animals, U.S. adults are most likely to report spaying and neutering their companion animals (about half of respondents have done so). One fourth also report adopting animals, while one fifth of U.S. adults voted for an animal-friendly law and one fifth have signed petitions for animals.
  • Nearly three quarters of U.S. adults believe that humane education for K-12 and college levels is “very” or “somewhat” important.
  • A strong plurality of U.S. adults supports each of the advocacy tactics described in the survey, with most support for anti-cruelty investigations and using the media for outreach. There was least support for demonstrations/protests, boycotts, and state ballot initiatives.
The report also shows that U.S. citizens may be becoming more ambivalent about different tactics to help animals. The report speculates that some of this decrease in positive support may be due to the current economic challenges.

To read the full report, you'll need to apply for free registration, but it's well worth it. The Humane Research Council is the founder of of HumaneSpot, a database which provides access to relevant and credible research, surveys, and other data, as well as information for becoming more effective advocates.

~ Marsha

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