Vegan education is an important component of animal advocacy. We KNOW that vegan education helps convince people to respect animals and to go vegan. There are countless tales of vegans who decided to make a change in their consumption practices after viewing Meet Your Meat or after receiving a Why Vegan leaflet.
But when we do vegan education - such as leafletting, sharing videos, holding cooking classes, hosting vegan food fairs and the like - we ought to make sure we're doing the most effective kind of vegan education. We should choose the right words, the right images, the right food items, the right location, the right audience... the right pieces of the puzzle.
We want to make a difference, not just spin our wheels.
With this in mind, I've come up with a few ways to determine the efficacy of vegan education programs. These ideas are by no means the only ways to determine how effective specific vegan education campaigns are. Moreover, I don't want to imply that no one has done this in the past. I simply want to promote effective animal advocacy.
Ideas for how to critically examine the effectiveness of vegan education:
- Conduct marketing surveys asking pamphlet recipients how persuasive the pamphlets are. For example, test out a few different pamphlets and ask people which ones are best.
- Perform studies that analyze the behavior of people. For example, before receiving a pamphlet count how many people choose a food item labeled "vegan." After receiving a pamphlet, count how many people choose the vegan item.
- Show various videos that promote the vegan message and take surveys afterwards to see which ones people react to most strongly.
- Survey current vegans to ask what specific triggers inspired them to go vegan.