Tuesday, June 03, 2008


A new Gallup poll finds a solid majority of Americans (62%) support "strict laws regarding the treatment of farm animals." 29% support strongly. That's actually pretty good, and the difference across political parties is not as great as one might expect - Independents and Democrats are the same (66% and 67%), while Republicans are lower, but not by a lot (53%). On other animals rights issues, the party split is much larger. A good sign for ethical farmers; the public is fairly supportive. Of course, if I were designing the poll, I would want to look at a few additional factors. There are probably some small-government types who object not to the goal, but to the method (strict laws), so it would be nice to get a general support measure - say, for a voluntary system of credentialing humane treatment, and how likely they would be to buy products with such a credential. Also, how much more would they be willing to pay. I would want to know how many people currently take animal treatment into consideration when purchasing food (watch that number drop to the single digits), and also what they think the term "free-range" means. Ah, to have a polling budget at my disposal!

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