How Faunalytics Makes Animal Advocacy More Effective
Learn about the video series that captures the data you need most
This is a Online Campaign Grants grant story
Learn more about this grant
“Animals need you. You need data.”
Have you ever asked yourself whether graphic images of animal abuse are effective in vegan outreach? You may have wondered what main factors prevent people from going vegan. Or how people’s attitudes about meat substitutes are changing. Faunalytics identifies, summarizes, and shares hundreds of studies a year that answer questions relevant to animal advocacy. Research topics include effective advocacy, animals used in food, companion animals, animals used in science, and wildlife conservation.
Faunalytics shares this information with organizations as well as individuals through three pillars of content:
- A curated and searchable research library. This is the world’s largest library of research on animal issues and advocacy. The studies found there cover wide-ranging topics, including animals used in research, former vegans and vegetarians, the history of puppy mills, the human impact on the biosphere, and much more.
- Original research studies. Faunalytics conducts studies that are designed to fill the gaps in current research on topics that animal advocates care about, such as vegan retention and the relative effectiveness of different approaches to advocacy.
- Direct support such as “Ask Us: Faunalytics’ Virtual Office Hours.” During these 30-minute sessions (up to three hours per year per organization or individual), advocates can get assistance finding research on a topic or strategize how to evaluate their advocacy approaches.
Because many research studies present a lot of information, one of Faunalytics’ goals is to make the studies as accessible as possible. For example, their research library includes summaries of each study. And, the Faunalytics Fundamentals series provides comprehensive overviews of specific topics along with data visuals to help advocates get started or updated quickly in their areas of interest. Topics include farmed animals, animals used in research, ocean life, wildlife, zoonooses, and companion animals.
Over the years, their audience has asked for even shorter summaries of the data that can support animal advocates.
Creating the Faunalytics Explains video series
As a result of these audience requests, Content Director Karol Orzechowski (award-winning director of Maximum Tolerated Dose, a film about the animal experimentation industry) had an idea to create video summaries of research studies. Since 2020, he’s been producing Faunalytics Explains, a series on YouTube that packages studies into videos between one-and-a-half and three minutes long. At this length, the videos can include all the relevant context and information while remaining as brief and easy-to-understand as possible.
Our goal is to make our research available and understandable to as many vegan advocates as possible. These videos are perfect for visual learners and busy advocates who need reliable insights and data to fuel their work.
Brooke Haggerty, Executive Director of Faunalytics
- Make research summaries shorter and easier to absorb
- Produce at least one video every two months
- Build an audience and introduce their existing audience to the new format on YouTube
views across seven videos
total campaign impressions
visits to faunalytics.org from YouTube
new YouTube subscribers
A VegFund Online Campaign Grant supported the production of six Faunalytics Explains videos in 2021. The grant also supported social media ads to promote the videos. What’s more, the Faunalytics team attended VegFund’s webinar, Running Successful Social Ad Campaigns, to optimize their promotional efforts!
The first video explores effective and ethical use of graphic imagery in animal advocacy campaigns based on data from a 2020 study entitled Images That Liberate: Moral Shock and Strategic Visual Communication in Animal Liberation Activism. It has already accumulated 541 views and 55 likes, making it the most widely-viewed video in the Faunalytics Explains series. The author of the original study, Laura Fernández, reached out to collaborate on a Spanish-language version and provided the translated voice-over for this seventh video!
Faunalytics Explains: Using Graphic Images in Advocacy
Other topics include:
- Farmed Animal Images & Advocacy
- Offering Veg Food Options
- Are Plant-Based Food Labels Confusing?
- Does Anticipated Stigma Prevent Consumers from Going Veg?
- Estimating the Impact of Conservation Action
Faunalytics looked at three main criteria:
- Does the study lend itself to the abbreviated video format, or does it have complex or mixed results that require a few paragraphs to explain? Studies that work well in this format have straightforward approaches and conclusions.
- Is the study data useful to the average animal advocate? The best studies for this format provide insights and takeaways that advocates can apply immediately.
- Can the topic be depicted visually via available stock video footage? At times, it was challenging to find relevant video clips that could be edited to look natural and appealing to viewers.
Faunalytics created high-quality videos using stock footage and some of their existing video footage, a strategy that saved them the time and expense involved in producing original footage.
They included infographics (created in-house) and bullet points within the videos to help people process the information and not miss the main takeaways.
Faunalytics Explains: Farmed Animal Images & Advocacy
Producing the video is just the beginning of the process. For example, creating an engaging thumbnail image, title, and description can increase the video’s reach. Experimenting with these small details can have a big impact when it comes to guiding people to your content.
Each Faunalytics Explains video cites the original study and links to the summary found in the Faunalytics research library. After a new video is published, there is indeed an uptick in site visits, suggesting that viewers often want more information after watching a video.
Advice for advocates
Keep in mind that the Faunalytics Explains series is designed for animal advocates and not for the general public. The intent is for advocates to use the data and insights from the videos to enhance their own outreach. For example, after watching the video on whether graphic images are effective or counterproductive, an advocate might avoid broadcasting images in a public space and instead create private viewings at a table where adults can opt to watch. This approach can lead to conversations with viewers about actions they can take to make a difference.
There's no such thing as perfect research, so don't let a fear of imperfection keep you from getting started on evaluating your impact. You can build on what you have over time.
Jo Anderson, Research Director of Faunalytics
When it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of your activities, once is not enough. Animal advocacy is contextual. What works for one demographic group or country may not work for another. And, over time, as public opinions change, so may the effectiveness of particular strategies. So, stay apprised of what’s happening in the world, including trends and topics that may affect your advocacy. Avoid getting stuck trying the same strategies and expecting different results. Karol recommends experimenting with small changes to your approach.
Karol recommends keeping your audience in mind: “If you approach the general public imagining that they already care about animals or already care about the environment, you may be very disappointed in the results. It’s important to try and understand what motivates people, what drives people to action, and try to fit that into your message.” —Karol Orzechowski, Content Director at Faunalytics
Watch our interview with Karol, in which he shares more effective strategies for vegan activists!
📊🐮 How Faunalytics Makes Animal Advocacy More Effective
Learn from Karol Orzechowski all about the video series from Faunalytics that captures the data you need most!
The Faunalytics Fundamentals series he produces provides comprehensive overviews of specific topics along with data visuals to help advocates get started or updated quickly in their areas of interest. Topics include farmed animals, animals used in research, ocean life, wildlife, zoonoses, and companion animals.
▶️ If you’d like to get a quick overview of Faunalytics’ video series initiative head here: https://bit.ly/faunalytics-story
#VegFundLearn #LiveStream #FacebookLive #LinkedInLive #YouTubeLive
Posted by VegFund on Wednesday, November 17, 2021
“Short, highly watchable video is a superb guide for effective animal advocacy. Well done.”
—Faunalytics Community Member
Faunalytics’s 2021 Community Survey asked their audience which of their resources have been most useful to them, and many advocates specifically named Faunalytics Explains. One advocate wrote that the videos are “…a great place to start when considering how to effectively advocate for our animal friends.”
The Faunalytics Explains videos have informed and supported advocates’ outreach while expanding the organization’s community.
Persevering in the Pandemic: Advice from Activists
What Will You Do? World Vegan Day (and Month)!
Veg-Curious Co-Workers? How One Advocate Designed a Lunch-and-Learn Series!
Faunalytics has been moving toward a global approach that includes multilingual resources. A quarter of respondents to the community survey, for example, would like to see more resources in Spanish. Resources are available in Hindi and other languages as well.
An impact dashboard is also in the works, tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most important to their audience, funders, and other interested stakeholders.
What’s next for this series? A new video in the series summarizes a study authored within the animal agriculture industry. The video describes how this industry is viewing and responding to the current interest in plant-based foods. While it can be a bit uncomfortable, looking outside of our own perspective can offer valuable insights!
Faunalytics is open to feedback from animal advocates, who are always welcome to comment on videos, send direct messages on social media, and email about studies they’d like Faunalytics to include in their library, video series, or social media posts.