We would like to inform the EA community about our current giving campaign and ask you  to support our political advocacy for animals in Switzerland. If you’re not in Switzerland, please don’t click away. We have reason to believe that our work generates traction amongst an international audience as well. For example, our recently concluded initiative to abolish factory farming (where I was acting as campaign director) was reported on in various outlets outside of our small bellwether state. We think it’s plausible that we’re doing impactful work for animals that could have knock-on effects further afield. 

To tell you a little more about us, Sentience Politics represents the interests of non-human animals in society. Our goal is to minimise their suffering through institutional changes. We work with the direct democratic means available to us in Switzerland at the communal, cantonal and national levels.  I've been involved since 2014 and have just switched back to the role of (co-)managing director.

We are the first organisation to bring a case against factory farming to voters. The initiative mentioned above was launched by us in 2018 and became a national referendum after four years of advocacy work. A vote took place on 25 September 2022 and was discussed in this EA Forum post (with the criticism duly taken on board and a post mortem in the works which we gladly share with the EA community). Although we didn’t win, there are several successes to focus on, such as:

  • Over a million people voted YES for an end to factory farming. This is almost ten times higher than the proportion of vegetarians and vegans in the general population. We find it encouraging that many people voted for measures to help animals that would go against their own interests e.g. financially, as our demands would likely have caused price increases for animal products.
  • Our demands were discussed in more than 1,000 media articles since the beginning of 2022, bringing the plight of animals in Swiss factory farming to the public’s attention. It is hard to measure the full impact of our media outreach, but we think it’s reasonable to assume that the public will have a greater appetite for future campaigns with an animal welfare focus.
  • We triggered a debate about reducing the level of meat consumption in Switzerland. Several major newspapers agreed with our arguments. The campaign also received international attention in The Guardian and Time Magazine, among others.
  • We established a broad alliance between politics, the farming community, environmental groups and other animal welfare organisations with a common goal of ending factory farming.

At the moment, we are analysing the results of two opinion polls conducted before and after the vote and deciding on the direction of our future campaigns. One of our goals will be to keep pushing for the most effective of the initiative’s demands, re-packaged as individual asks with a higher likelihood of causing incremental improvements for animal welfare.  

We are now raising money to support our work in 2023. It is a matching campaign, with up to 30,000 CHF being pledged by some of our major donors. We therefore have an overall goal of 60,000 CHF. The money raised from this fundraiser will contribute to our 2023 core expenditures, such as staff salaries and administrative costs. 

Thank you for reading this far, and we hope you will consider making a gift, which you can do here.





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