WHP Logo

The White Horse Press

Environmental Values

Contents of Volume 28

Other volumes of EV

Environmental Values

Atheism in the American Animal Rights Movement: An Invisible Majority

Corey Lee Wrenn

Environmental Values 28 (2019): 715-739. doi: 10.3197/096327119X15579936382509

Download reference in Endnote or BibTex format


Previous research has alluded to the predominance of atheism in participant pools of the Nonhuman Animal rights movement (Galvin and Herzog 1992; Guither 1998), as well as the correlation between atheism and support for anti-speciesism (Gabriel et al. 2012; The Humane League 2014), but no study to date has independently examined this demographic. This article presents a profile of 210 atheists and agnostics, derived from a larger survey of 287 American vegans conducted in early 2017. Results demonstrate that atheists constitute one of the movement's largest demographics, and that atheist and agnostic vegans are more likely to adopt veganism out of concern for other animals. While these vegans did not register a higher level of social movement participation than religious vegans, they were more intersectionally oriented and more likely to politically identify with the far left. Given the Nonhuman Animal rights movement's overall failure to target atheists, these findings suggest a strategic oversight in overlooking the movement's potentially most receptive demographic.


Animal rights, atheism, secularism, social movements, veganism

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Knowing Your Audience: Exploring the Latent Attitudes and Values of Environmental Stakeholders. Ewan J. Woodley

Download full text (PDF format) from IngentaConnect. Access is free if your institution subscribes to Environmental Values.

Subscriptions and back numbers of Environmental Values.

Other papers in this volume

The Old Vicarage, Winwick
Cambridgeshire, PE28 5PN, UK
Tel: +44 1832 293222