Great piece! You’ve put words to an idea that I imagine a lot of us (but at least myself) have had vaguely bouncing around in our heads for a while, namely that a strategic emphasis on the animals killed most numerously in the food system doesn’t take human psychology into account. I’d love to see more research on the cow-chicken-fish elimination process (or see research that already exists) but like you, I’ve heard lots of anecdotal evidence suggesting this is true.
There’s a real possibility the best way to help future farmed shrimp and insects is to try to expand society’s moral circle to cows as fast as possible, on the way to further expansion to chickens and eventually shrimp and insects.
Another question I’d have for further research would be how quickly we can introduce concern for invertebrates once an individual or social group has opened up to concern for cows. A hunch would be that the process of moral circle expansion is subject to the basic principles of momentum: that once we overcome inertia on cows, each subsequent expansion gets easier and easier as long as we sustain momentum.