Publication Date

Spring 2015


The mass consumption of nonhuman animals is a significant contributor to climate change. Yet public awareness remains low globally, posing a barrier to social action. This study analyzes the websites of 22 international, environmental non-governmental organizations to investigate their participation in setting the public agenda through a diagnostic framing of animal agriculture and a prognostic framing of reduced animal consumption. Results show that the majority of websites include messages about animal agriculture’s environmental impact, but do not suggest reduced consumption. Instead, websites propose more “sustainable” or “efficient” means of producing the same foods. Substantial, untapped potential for climate change mitigation remains if those with access to a diverse range of plant-based foods eliminate or drastically reduce consumption of animals. By increasing the salience of this issue on its own agenda, the environmental movement may increase the salience of this issue on the public agenda, leading to significant reductions in animal agriculture’s environmental impact.


Agriculture--Climatic factors; Climatic changes; Climate change mitigation; Communication surveys; Non-Governmental Organizations;

Publication Information

CST 510: Communication Theory Capstone Project

Copyright for this work is retained by the author.

Document Type

Capstone Project