There are three types of consumer as far as what they are looking for regarding animal welfare, said Paul Thompson, PhD, Michigan State University, at the AVMA/AAVMC animal welfare meeting in November.

Thompson said a survey, “Consumer preferences for farm animal welfare: results from a telephone survey of U.S. households,” will be forthcoming in Animal Welfare.

What the survey found was that respondents tended to fall into one of three clusters:
1. Naturalists – They want allow animals to exhibit normal behaviors and exercise outdoors. They view them more akin to their wild counterparts and that little management is needed.
2. Price seekers – They would sacrifice amenities of farm animals for lower food prices
3. Basic welfarists – As long as feed and water are available and they are kept alive, little else is of importance. They have a much shorter list of animal needs, but will pay some money to make sure those needs are met.