Finding Common Ground: Animal Welfare Messaging

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Finding Common Ground: Animal Welfare Messaging

How can you keep vegans on board with lobbying efforts to incrementally improve welfare standards for systems they’ve chosen to boycott? Let’s apply common ground messaging theory to answer this question.

  • Triggers: Ethical vegans recognize that cruelty exists in even the ‘best’ systems. Anything that could be read as an endorsement of animal production may be jarring.
  • Common ground: This audience wants to see cruel production systems eliminated.
  • What to avoid: Economic arguments and mentions of higher welfare systems could be misinterpreted as endorsements of the status quo.
  • What to highlight: Maintain focus on eliminating the target production system, give context to immediate goals by framing them in the bigger picture, and draw attention to the animals whose suffering can be eased.

Don’t say:

“Help secure better welfare for egg laying hens!”

“Urge CruelCompany™ to go cage-free!“

“Together we can make the egg industry kinder to animals.”

“Please thank BetterCompany™ for choosing to use cage-free eggs!”

Do say:

“Help free hens from cages!”

“Urge CruelCompany™ to dump cruel cage eggs!”

“Together we can end one of the cruelest practices ever inflicted on farmed animals.”

“Please thank KindCompany™ for ending its support for cruel battery cages!”

More examples

Here are some other scenarios where common ground theory can help make messaging more impactful and inclusive:

From: Find common ground

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Karen Nilsen

Hi there! I’m Karen. I’m on a mission to reach my former self. Had I known 10 years ago what I know today, I could have achieved more good, made fewer mistakes, and had more weekends. Every time we share what works, we win faster. Let’s create digital experiences that move people — that grow our base and fuel our movements. Are you with me? Please share this with someone you know who wants to up their digital game!

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