Animal Welfare Tops List of American Causes

Americans say they care more about animal welfare than children’s education and hunger. That’s according to the findings of the “Causes Americans Care About,” a new study that gathered responses from 1,000 adults, 41% of which chose animal welfare number one. Children’s education ranked second with 38% of respondents, followed by hunger, chosen by 33% of respondents.

Conducted by Ketchum, a global communications firm with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents, the 2018 study is the third conducted by the firm. Last year’s study found hunger was the number one concern of Americans.

The top five causes Americans care about in 2018 is rounded out by disease research (No. 4) and disaster relief (No. 5), which bumped the environment out of the top five to the No. 6 position this year. Environmental issues dropped by 10 points in the last year, from being rated as important by 34 percent in 2017 to 24 percent in 2018.

The study revealed diverging opinions about the cause landscape according to generation, ethnicity and household income:

Those 35 and older were more likely to identify animal welfare (43 percent) as a top cause, while young adults (ages 18 to 34) chose children’s education (44 percent) over animal welfare (37 percent).

Although women are more likely than men (22 percent versus 11 percent) to show interest in women’s rights issues, the gender gap narrowed from 17 to 11 percentage points in the past year.

While African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Caucasian Americans do not share the same list of top three causes, children’s education is a common thread across all three.

People with a household income of $49,000 or less have the same list of top three causes as the general population, but those with a household income of $100,000 to $150,000 prioritize the environment over hunger.

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