Most of us are no stranger to social media, and we are excited in the power that it gives us to unite for a cause. Creating alternatives to animal testing is a cause that we can all get behind. When we talk about animal testing, and familiarize ourselves with these issues, we often wonder how other people become affected by the information that we share.

At a recent American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Chicago, a team of researchers from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Western Governors University revealed the promising results of their most recent work involving the public opinion of animal testing.

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Previously, in 2012, PETA and other professors teamed up for a similar study, published in the academic journal, Contexts. The procedure for this study was very similar to the report from 2012, just with updated data. According to a press release, the team “examined data collected in independent surveys by the Gallup organization from 2001 to 2013, in which approximately 1,000 American adults each year were asked whether they found ‘medical testing on animals’ to be ‘morally acceptable’ or ‘morally wrong.’”

The results are incredibly encouraging, and demonstrate just how much public opinion on animal testing has changed in a fairly short amount of time. Opposition to animal testing has risen in all demographic groups, but the largest increase is among 18 – 29 year olds.

Science reports on the findings, “54% of them [people 18-29] found animal testing morally wrong in 2013, versus just 31% in 2001. The team says the surge in Internet use during this period may explain the trend. Animal rights and animal welfare organizations have a much stronger presence on social media than do pro-animal testing groups—PETA has more than 2 million followers on Facebook and nearly a half million on Twitter, for example, versus 130,000 and 1700, respectively, for the Foundation for Biomedical Research.”

So when you share information about animal testing, or other animal issues, you are showing the world what issues matter. When a large group of people share information, it has the ability to make an even greater impact.

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Image Source: Jlhopgood/Flickr