The Animal Welfare Fund made the following grants as part of its 2021 Q4 grant cycle:
- Total grants: $1,115,000
- Number of grantees: 21
- Acceptance rate (excluding desk rejections): 29%
- Payout date: November-December, 2021
- Report authors: Kieran Greig (Chair), Alexandria Beck, Karolina Sarek, Marcus Davis, Mikaela Saccoccio
The three primary areas we granted to in this round were:
- Large-scale and neglected animal populations (for instance, farmed fish).
- Large-scale and neglected geographies (for instance, work in medium or large Asian countries).
- Exploratory work regarding policy and/or alternative proteins (for instance, attempting to secure government funding for research and development of alternative proteins).
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See below for a list of grantees' names, grant amounts, and brief grant descriptions:
- Fish Welfare Initiative ($170,000): Funding ~40% of general operating budget for 2022, mostly to expand producer/corporate/policy work on fish in India.
- Animals Aotearoa ($103,000): Supporting the only NGO working on chicken corporate welfare commitments in New Zealand.
- Vegetarian Society of Denmark ($90,000): Securing government funding for R&D on plant-based alternatives.
- Aquatic Life Institute ($80,000): Salaries for existing positions and potentially towards hiring a research lead for work on farmed fish.
- Advocates for Animals ($75,000): Increasing capacity of an organization providing legal support for EAA organizations in the UK, and considering conducting judicial reviews related to farmed animals.
- Animal Rights Organization EVA ($67,000): Campaigning for implementation of Animal Protection Law in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
- Animal Advocacy Africa ($66,000): Supporting African animal advocacy organisations with fundraising and piloting similar work in Asia.
- Animal Empathy Philippines ($64,000): A year of funding to do community building on effective animal advocacy in the Philippines.
- Shannon Campion ($63,000): Seed funding to advise the movement on political advocacy and develop a plan to build greater political power.
- Sentient Media ($60,000): A year of funding for providing digital marketing/training/content production for high-impact farmed animal advocacy groups.
- Fórum Nacional de Proteção e Defesa Animal ($50,000): Continue accountability with companies that have already committed to banning chicken cages in Brazil.
- Veganuary ($50,000): Upgrading Latin American staff from freelance to full-time to increase corporate engagement success.
- Animal Advocacy Careers ($36,000): Three months of general operating costs while they separate from their fiscal sponsor and await a large grant.
- Tanzania Animal Welfare Society ($36,000): One year costs to conduct a survey on Farmed Fish Welfare in Tanzania which aims to influence the Tanzanian fisheries policy.
- Arba ($25,000): Supporting research on meat consumption and two cage-free campaigning positions in Peru.
- Faunalytics ($21,000): Supporting a meta-analysis looking for substitution effects during meat reduction efforts, especially for increases in chicken and fish consumption.
- George Stiffman ($20,000): Providing 3 months salary to pilot restaurant partnerships in order to help evaluate “cuisine expansion” as a possible new intervention.
- Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira ($20,000): Supporting expanding meat reduction efforts in public services of two Brazilian cities.
- Che Green ($7,500): Research and writing on methods to reduce suffering of urban rodent populations.
- Nicolas Delon ($6,800): Research support and summer salary to review neglected and tractable issues concerning urban wild animal welfare.
- Anonymous ($4,700): Support for conducting a conference session on fish welfare.
Fish Welfare Initiative ($170,000): Funding ~40% of general operating budget for 2022, mostly to expand producer/corporate/policy work on fish in India.
Fish Welfare Initiative is working on a neglected topic in a neglected region, and generally seems highly aligned with the goals of the Animal Welfare Fund. They’ve been reasonably successful at getting corporate commitments in 2021, on higher welfare practices, that in theory impact 1-8 million fish over 5 years. This grant is to help them expand their team to have more dedicated operations support, expand fish welfare work with producers, corporate commitments, and expand policy options in India.
Animals Aotearoa ($103,000): Supporting the only New Zealand-based NGO working on chicken corporate welfare commitments.
Animals Aotearoa is the only organization advocating for corporate broiler welfare commitments that is based in New Zealand, a country which farms roughly 120 million chickens annually. The group has been operational for nearly one year and is now prepared to launch its first corporate campaigns in pursuit of the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC). We are providing a two-year general support grant to this promising organization to cover expenses such as staff salaries, travel, and campaign costs.
Vegetarian Society of Denmark ($90,000): Securing government funding for R&D on plant-based alternatives.
The Danish Government recently allocated a significant amount of funding towards a green transition of Danish agriculture. The Vegetarian Society of Denmark played a key role by ensuring that this includes a significant amount of funding towards plant-based alternatives. Further funding will help secure the quality of these funding initiatives from the Danish government, as well as supporting the Vegetarian Society of Denmark in their quest for additional funds, and potentially engaging in some best-practice sharing internationally.
Aquatic Life Institute ($80,000): Salaries for existing positions and potentially towards hiring a research lead for work on farmed fish.
The Aquatic Life Institute aims to engage with food industry companies in order for them to adopt approved certifications for all products sold or used that are derived from aquatic animals. These funds help support their ongoing work, where they aim to work with leading global certifiers to improve their aquatic animal welfare standards. In addition to salaries of current positions, they may hire a research lead tasked with investigating the global seafood supply chains. The ultimate goal of ALI is to eventually facilitate global corporate campaigns for aquatic animal welfare, similar to the cage-free campaigns we have seen for chickens.
Advocates for Animals ($75,000): Increasing capacity of an organization providing legal support for EAA organizations in the UK, and considering judicial reviews related to farmed animals.
Advocates for Animals provides legal support to groups like Animal Equality UK, and The Humane League UK. For instance, they assist with undercover investigations by identifying and mitigating legal risks and ensuring that campaign materials are legally compliant. They may also conduct judicial reviews, draft legislation and submit evidence for government consultation related to the welfare of farmed salmon and broilers. This grant will allow them to hire their first staff full-time.
Animal Rights Organization EVA ($67,000): Campaigning for the implementation of Animal Protection Law in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has some of the top animal protection laws in the world—including bans on force-feeding, fur farming, and animal experiments—but they significantly lack enforcement. With these funds, Animal Rights Organization EVA will launch a campaign to research barriers to enforcement, raise public awareness of the issue, and lobby decision makers to enact existing laws.
Animal Advocacy Africa ($66,000): Strengthening the capacities of African animal advocacy organizations by helping them increase funding and effectiveness, and researching the replicability of similar work in Asia.
Following their pilot program, Animal Advocacy Africa (AAA) aims to offer improved versions of their capacity building program to up to 20 organizations in Africa working on animal welfare. Simultaneously, they are conducting scoping research to determine whether this intervention can and should be replicated to support animal advocacy organizations in Asia. Work to help farmed animals in Africa and Asia is both under-funded and under-developed relative to the scale of animal product production and consumption. AAA hypothesises that a similar program of 1:1 mentorship, research, and grant support could benefit organizations in Asia without much additional overhead.
Animal Empathy Philippines ($64,000): A year of funding to do community building on effective animal advocacy in the Philippines.
The Philippines is a priority country for farmed animal efforts—there are more than 1 billion farmed fish alive there at any point, and 200 million chickens. Yet relatively little work is being done to improve welfare of farmed animals; partly due to significant difficulties in identifying further grantees there. This grant aims to fund three members of the EA Philippines to support the student chapters in running EAA fellowships, catalyze the interest and talent of Filipino students and professionals, and further create a talent pipeline for EAA organizations in the region overall.
Shannon Campion ($63,000): Seed funding to advise the movement on political advocacy and develop a plan to build greater political power.
These funds aim to leverage some relatively extensive nonprofit and legislative campaign experience in order to create a useful political advisor for the movement. In the near term they’ll work with The Humane League and local- and state-level animal protection groups to be part of the new national public policy Alliance that will advance legislation to protect farmed animal welfare and reduce animal product consumption. Guidance from someone with two decades of experience building and leading a multi-state advocacy group can help develop sophisticated campaigns, accelerate progress, and build capacity for the movement.
Sentient Media ($60,000): A year of funding for providing digital marketing/training/content production for high-impact farmed animal advocacy groups
Sentient Media is a nonprofit news organization that reports on the global food system. Sentient Media also provides digital services, specializing in search engine optimization, paid media, content production, training, and digital strategy for farmed animal protection issues. This grant will support the group’s new project aimed at providing pro bono digital marketing services to six high-impact farmed animal advocacy groups.
Fórum Nacional de Proteção e Defesa Animal ($50,000): Continue accountability with companies that have already committed to banning chicken cages in Brazil.
Over 140 companies in Brazil have committed to eliminating cages from their egg supply chains. With this grant, Fórum Nacional de Proteção e Defesa Animal will be able to continue their accountability work to ensure companies are publicly reporting on progress toward their cage-free transitions and have plans in place to eventually fulfill their commitments.
Veganuary ($50,000): Strengthening the Veganuary hubs in Latin America to increase corporate engagement success.
Veganuary is an international organization that works on both corporate and consumer engagement. They expanded into Latin America in 2019, after identifying this region as having high growth potential for corporate engagement and hired a dedicated part-time CorporateEngagement Manager in 2021. By solidifying Veganuary’s presence in several Latin American countries and moving part of the team into full-time positions, they can further work with a broader range of businesses and strengthen engagement, providing support to increase the quantity, quality, and variety of plant-based food.
Animal Advocacy Careers ($36,000): Three months of general operating costs while they separate from their fiscal sponsor and await a large grant.
Animal Advocacy Careers provides support to individuals to maximise their positive impact for animals through their career and directly supports organisations with their largest talent bottlenecks. We feel all of their main projects (e.g., attempting to better individual career plans, supporting groups with their recruitment, especially for hardest-to-hire-roles) are of significant value to the movement. This grant should tie them over until they have sufficient funding for 2022 which will be provided by Open Philanthropy. (They would prefer not to receive that larger grant now, but to wait until they have received 501(c)(3) status because their fiscal sponsor would charge a ~6% fee on it.)
Tanzania Animal Welfare Society ($36,000): One year costs to conduct a survey on Farmed Fish Welfare in Tanzania which aims to influence the Tanzanian Fisheries Policy.
Fish farming is one of the fastest growing food sectors in Tanzania, where more than 20 million fish are now farmed each year. TAWESO aims to conduct a survey of farmers in four regions within the country to make observations, measurements, and apply questionnaires to assess welfare indicators of the fish commonly farmed (Nile tilapia and African catfish). TAWESO will use the survey results to advocate for the inclusion of farmed fish welfare compliance in Tanzania’s Fisheries Policy.
Arba ($25,000): Supporting research on meat consumption and two cage-free campaigning positions in Peru.
Asociación para el Rescate y Bienestar de los Animales (ARBA) has been advocating for corporate cage-free commitments in Peru for over three years. After securing commitments from over 50 companies, the group now aims to target large retailers and support companies in fulfilling their commitments. This grant will allow ARBA to hire staff who will develop an economic proposal with a cost-benefit analysis to make changes in egg supply chains more fluid, as well as a platform that links producers on a national map to facilitate companies' access to suppliers throughout the country. They will also conduct a nationwide survey to gather up-to-date meat consumption data.
Faunalytics ($21,000): Supporting a meta-analysis looking for substitution effects during meat reduction efforts, especially for increases in chicken and fish consumption.
“Substitution effect” refers to a problem where in an effort to reduce consumption of animal products, people may first eliminate beef and pork, but rather than replacing them with plant-based options, they substitute them with products from smaller-bodied animals (e.g., fish and chicken). As a result, to receive the same amount of meat, more individual animals of lower welfare may be consumed. Although the effect has been previously discussed, no systematic literature and meta-analysis have been conducted so far. This grant aims to fund such research conducted by Faunalytics and Dr. Maya Mathur, who has a strong track record in research of this kind.
George Stiffman ($20,000): Providing 3 months salary to pilot restaurant partnerships in order to help evaluate “cuisine expansion” as a possible new intervention.
These funds will help support a trial of a new intervention, tentatively called “cuisine expansion.” Rather than veganizing existing cuisine (e.g., alternative proteins striving for “biomimicry”), cuisine expansion instead will start to approach this via the following premises: 1) the best dishes haven’t yet been invented, 2) chefs can be supported in creating them, using plants, 3) market incentives could scale this process, and 4) this could drastically widen the appeal of vegan foods. While unsure about just how promising this might be, we are interested to see the results of this pilot.
Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira ($20,000): Supporting expanding meat reduction efforts in public services of two Brazilian cities.
SVB is the largest Brazilian nonprofit working to implement reduction of meat, dairy & eggs consumption and to increase the accessibility of the population to plant-based products across the country. They have been involved in significant meat reduction programs both with business and government, including within São Paulo's public school networks, which resulted in important legislation for meat-free meals there. They want to strategically scale this to two other cities, and attempt to have them also introduce meat reduction food policies.
Che Green ($7,500): Research and writing on methods to reduce suffering of urban rodent populations.
Che Green was the founder of Faunalytics and long-time ED, but more recently has founded research initiatives on plant-based alternatives. This grant will cover the costs of these initiatives doing research to identify some rat population control methods that may be less harmful than current methods, while also being feasible to implement.
Nicolas Delon ($6,800): Research support and summer salary to review neglected and tractable issues concerning urban wild animal welfare.
Nicolas Delon has previously published on the ethics of wild animal welfare and that work has been cited a decent amount (i.e. Delon and Purves 2018 and Delon 2020). This grant covers more work in that field, attempting to develop a persuasive approach to dealing with the ethical impacts of liminal animals in urban environments by reviewing the existing literature and engaging with local stakeholders.
Anonymous ($4,700): Support for conducting a conference session on fish welfare.
This grantee interned at a promising group working on fish welfare and they seem to have promising connections in-country in an important region. This grant will support work on possibly the first conference session centred on fish welfare in this country. We see this as a unique opportunity to expedite progress on fish welfare advocacy in a very neglected region.