By Kimberly Dreher, VegFund Program Director
An increasing number of activists and animal rights groups are using videos to educate the public about the benefits of veganism. Despite this trend, research comparing the effectiveness of different types of vegan videos is minimal. VegFund recently partnered with the Humane Research Council (HRC) to conduct a study that explores this important topic.
Over 500 respondents, aged 15 to 23, viewed one of four vegan videos and provided their feedback. Each video was approximately four minutes long and focused on either a graphic portrayal of farmed animal suffering (Mercy For Animals’ Farm to Fridge), information about the detrimental effects of animal product consumption on the environment (Nonviolence United’s A Life Connected), the health benefits of a vegan diet (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s Geico Couple), or a heartwarming story about a cow who escaped slaughter (Farm Sanctuary’s Maxine’s Dash for Freedom). The full report and results can be viewed here.
Below is a summary of some important findings:
- Dietary changes: All four videos were at least somewhat effective in getting participants to think about making positive changes to their diets. Overall, 29% of participants reported that they’d consider reducing their consumption of animal products and 8% reported that they’d consider eliminating animal products. None of the videos were more likely than any of the others to get participants to entertain the idea of reducing or eliminating meat consumption. However, participants who watched Farm to Fridge were more likely than other participants to consider reducing or eliminating their consumption of eggs or dairy.
- Viewer engagement: Of the four videos in the study, participants watched significantly more of A Life Connected and significantly less of Farm to Fridge. On average, participants watched 91% of A Life Connected versus 78% of Farm to Fridge. The graphic nature of Farm to Fridge may have resulted in the lower engagement rate.
- Learning: More than half of the participants reported learning something new from the videos, and 30% of viewers said that they’re interested in getting more information about veg*nism.
- Respondent characteristics: Older participants (ages 19-23) were more likely to report having learned something new than younger participants (ages 15-18). Older participants were also more likely to be interested in receiving further information on veg*nism. Interestingly, individuals with at least a Bachelor’s degree were less likely to consider reducing or eliminating their consumption of eggs or dairy. Finally, women were more likely than men to consider eliminating meat from their diets, but no gender differences were found in the consideration of meat reduction.
It’s important to note that reactions to videos are likely influenced by a number of factors, including where the video is being viewed, who’s viewing it, the incentive provided to the viewer, etc. Without further research, activists should refrain from applying the results of this study to other demographics or videos. More research on this topic is needed, including follow-up studies to assess the long-term impact of vegan videos. This study is a small step on our path toward understanding how people react to different videos and which videos are most effective in encouraging people to embrace a vegan lifestyle.
A special thanks to HRC for conducting the study, and to Mercy for Animals, Nonviolence United, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and Farm Sanctuary for granting permission to use their video footage.