The demographic of my audience is primarily males and females between the ages of 16 to 35, the reason for this is because I believe that many individuals are conscientious of what impact they are having on the environment, but they have come from a traditional family where meat has been a large part of their diet and have become accustomed to eating meat. I think that one of the reasons it is very hard for people to change to a less meat based diet is because it is a part of their cultural upbringing. Because a lot of young people are starting to live independently from their parents they may change their lifestyle habits, where as it might be harder for an older individual to change their lifestyle habits after becoming so accustomed to their lifestyle after 30 plus years. The idea that young people are more likely to change their meat eating habits is backed up by studies that suggest vegetarian diets are on the rise in Britain, especially in young people, where 20% of people aged 16 – 24 have vegetarian diets, according to studies by analysts such as Mintel (Morgan 2014). Also, as my project is a website it makes sense to appeal to a younger audience because they are more likely to use the Internet. The audience doesn’t necessarily have to be within the age range of 16 – 35, other ages could find it interesting as well, but it seems that a younger audience are more likely to come across this type of website and have a positive response to the content.
The target audience is also directed at those who have some scientific awareness and people who recognize that issues such as climate change and deforestation are a problem but may think it is beyond their control to do anything about it. It could also be targeted at individuals who might have considered cutting down on their meat consumption for other reasons, such as the unethical treatment of livestock, which are given no space to roam freely, or perhaps because they want to cut down on eating meat for personal health reasons, or for financial reasons. Some of these individuals may have two values which oppose one another (cognitive dissonance) which means they are fighting with the idea of trying to eat less meat but are finding it hard to change their lifestyle. Perhaps these individuals are aware of some of the negative impacts on a personal and environmental level but may not realise how much of an impact the livestock industry actually has, which may prompt them to try harder to eat less meat.
What my project doesn’t intend to do is convince people who cannot be convinced. Whether that is people who deny the scale of the problem (climate change deniers for example) or individuals who hold a defeatist ideology that changing their habits wouldn’t make a difference anyway, or perhaps even individuals who don’t care. The Project could also be a tool used by activists and other interest groups who want to promote awareness about the impact of the livestock industry on the environment.
To get a better understanding of the intended audience for the project I took a survey of 50 Internet users. The users were Facebook users, the majority of which were between the ages of 18 and 35, as shown below. Although these were people that I know, I don’t believe this had much of an impact on the outcomes of the survey.
What I wanted to find out was what amounts of meat individuals ate, I tried to avoid asking vegetarians to fill out the survey as they are not my target audience and the data wouldn’t be very useful.
I then asked the individuals a question which related to how they felt about their diet.
In terms of my target audience I think my project is aimed at those who selected the option “I think I eat too much meat and would like to eat less”. Considering over 50% of those who took the survey stated that they ate meat at least more than 3 times a week and 32% stated that they would like to eat less meat, it is fair to say that a percentage of those who ate meat more than 3 times a week would be the same individuals who said they would like to eat less meat, especially when considering that it’s more likely that vegetarians and those who eat meat less than once a week are probably quite content with their diet.
Morgan, T., 2014. Meat is off the menu as more Britons become vegetarian. http://www.express.co.uk, The Daily Express. Available from: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/517246/Vegetarians-are-on-the-increase-in-Britain [Accessed 3 December 2015].