What is it about?

Omnivores showed greater willingness to sign and share a petition to save an identified runaway calf (presented with a name and a picture) from slaughter than to save several unidentified runaway calves. Additionally, they were more inclined to sign and support an actual petition and make an actual donation when the victim was a single identified one. Sympathy and ambivalence mediated the effect, whereas concern, empathy, identification with animals, and ecological identity moderated it.

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Why is it important?

This is the first study to present the unique challenge of harnessing people who are at least partially responsible for the victim's outcome.


Hopefully, the current study showed that a more effective way of eliciting higher levels of sympathetic emotional responses, felt ambivalence towards meat, and pro-animal advocacy behavior might be to present single, identifiable target examples such as Lucky, the 1-year-old calf.

Rakefet Cohen Ben-Arye
Israel Bar-Ilan University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Giving farm animals a name and a face: Eliciting animal advocacy among omnivores using the identifiable victim effect, Journal of Environmental Psychology, November 2023, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2023.102193.
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