March 2019: Animal Welfare Fund Grants

Payout Date: March 7, 2019

Total grants: USD 445,000

Number of grantees: 6



Please note the following grants are recommendations only, as all grants are still pending an internal due diligence process by CEA.

Thank you for donating to the EA Animal Welfare Fund. This month we’re recommending 7 grants totalling $445K:

  • The Humane League UK: $100K
  • Sinergia Animal: $85K
  • Rethink Priorities: $80K
  • Wild Animal Initiative: $50K
  • Faunalytics: $50K
  • Charles He: $40K
  • Anima International: $40K

The Humane League UK - $100K

Hiring for EU and Global Corporate Relations positions. We are providing funding for THL UK’s continued development of corporate campaign work globally, through two positions focused on coordinating members of the Open Wing Alliance. The UK is an important location for these roles, as most OWA members are based in Europe, and the timezone allows for improved coordination between USA, Europe, and East Asia. In addition to securing new cage-free and broiler commitments, THL UK is aiming to use these positions to ensure follow-through on all cage-free commitments that are scheduled to come into effect in 2020. We think this is a particularly important aspect of corporate campaigning, and may be crucial to get right early on.

Sinergia Animal - $85K

Hire one international campaign director. Sinergia Animal is a new organization founded in Brazil in October 2017 and operating in four Latin American countries (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Argentina). They plan to expand their work into Asia in 2019. The group works exclusively to reduce farmed animal suffering and to decrease the consumption of animal products by learning from the successes of corporate campaigns in the US. By applying these strategies in countries with relatively young animal advocacy movements, the marginal impact of such additional work may be relatively high. Sinergia Animal has a significant reported funding gap for 2019 and this grant will help them to expand their team and to start their work in Asia.

Rethink Priorities - $80K

Research into animal welfare interventions. Following up on our previous grants to Rethink Priorities, we are continuing to provide funding for their animal welfare focused research in 2019. Their research agenda focuses on better understanding interventions that the EAA movement has identified as high impact, and includes projects on the impact of ballot initiatives and corporate campaigns, as well as research into improving wild animal welfare. While they have a limited track record in animal advocacy research as an organization, we are taking a bet on their team and strategy. Led by Peter Hurford and Marcus A. Davis, they are now a team of 10 researchers, incorporating a broad range of experience including research into animal advocacy issues.

Wild Animal Initiative - $50K

Research on tractable interventions to help wild animals. Two recipients of previous grants from the Animal Welfare Fund — Wild-Animal Suffering Research and Utility Farm — have recently merged to form a new group: Wild Animal Initiative. Under the direction of Abraham Rowe, Wild Animal Initiative will focus on research prioritization, academic outreach, and research on potential near-term interventions. Over the next year, they plan to expand their research and communications staff. They are also looking into funding early-career academics to do research that is aligned with their goals. We think that wild animal suffering is a relatively large-scale and neglected problem, so we are happy to support one of the few organizations currently working in that space.

Faunalytics - $50K

Complete their existing studies on effective animal advocacy research and potentially hire a new researcher. Faunalytics works to connect animal advocates with information. This mostly involves creating independent research, working directly with client organizations on various research projects, and providing resources for individual advocates through the content library they host on their website. While Faunalytics was also a recipient of our first round of grants, they report a significant funding gap for 2019. Their base budget for 2019 includes funding to complete existing studies on corporate commitments to cage-free eggs, social norms for vegan/vegetarian advocacy, and effective labelling for plant-based foods, as well as "meta" topics like increasing donations to animals and supporting lapsed advocates. Beyond this, Faunalytics would use any additional resources to increase their research capacity with 1-2 new staff members, allowing them to complete up to four additional studies in 2019. These studies will focus on supporting new vegans/vegetarians/reducetarians, more work on corporate commitments to farmed animal welfare, and tentatively attitudes toward farmed animals in China or Brazil. We have been impressed by the high-quality of Faunalytics' research, such as their study on ‘Attitudes Towards Farmed Animals In the BRIC Countries’, and would like to support them to produce more work like this in 2019.

Charles He - $40K

Map farm animals and their living conditions. Charles He, an economist and AI scientist, has created a prototype algorithm that identifies the exact location and number of animals in each Iowa egg farm based on Google Earth data. He now wants to verify the algorithm is over 90% accurate, create an online version of the map, and share the data and code for use by others. This is a high-risk project — it’s especially unclear how interested the public will be in the resulting map, and whether it would be useful for advocates. But we also think it has large potential upside, as a successful algorithm could likely be scaled up relatively easily for use in major emerging nations where data on factory farms is currently much more sparse.

Anima International - $40K

International farmed animal advocacy. In 2018, two European animal charities — Anima and Open Cages — merged to form Anima International. They conduct investigations, corporate campaigns, and public education. Though Anima International is fairly new, we think that both previous organizations were highly promising. Open Cages, in particular, demonstrated solid leadership and a commitment to evidence-based advocacy. Anima International is active in the UK, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, and Russia. We think Eastern Europe is currently a particularly promising location for animal advocacy work, since its animal agriculture industry is relatively large and its animal advocacy movement is relatively small.