Thursday, August 25, 2011

More on Cattle and Chickens

On Tuesday, we reproduced Ginny's great post about keeping the animals in mind when choosing what information to promote.

Although bad news for red meat, in terms of health impacts, leads to a net increase in suffering, there isn't always an inverse relationship. Paul points to this Kansas State study that found that coverage of cruelty to farm animals, including cattle, ended up reducing demand for all meat products, not just beef:

In particular, this study found increased media attention caused a reallocation of expenditures to nonmeat food rather than reallocating expenditure across competing meat products.

Accordingly, all three evaluated livestock and meat industries stand to lose if total meat expenditure is reduced as consumers obtain increasing amounts of media information regarding animal well-being and handling issues. More narrowly, if consumers make budget adjustments in favor of nonmeat products, the aggregate meat market loses the ability to internally compete for those funds.

Bottom line: Exposing cruelty can help all animals.
[Update: Kansas study link now corrected; thanks, Bea.]

Ankur Patel reaches out for the animals at College of the Canyons.