Corporate animal welfare campaigns attempt to convince retailers, restaurants, manufacturers, foodservice, catering, and hospitality companies to commit to only use higher welfare animal products. Companies that don’t agree to make such a commitment when asked are targeted by social media campaigns, protests, and negative advertising that exposes the cruelty behind the animal products that the company uses or produces. Perhaps to avoid the negative publicity, most companies agree to make commitments without the need of a public campaign.
So far, the most common ask has been to stop using eggs that come from chickens kept in cages. Cages prevent chickens from engaging in their natural behaviors. In the U.S. and some parts of Europe, cage-free campaigns have already secured commitments from all the companies that use the most eggs, or even achieved a legislative ban on cages. In these countries, animal advocacy organizations started campaigning to improve the welfare of chickens raised for meat by slowing down their growth, giving them more space, etc.
According to research by the Welfare Footprint Project, both of these asks substantially decrease hours in pain experienced by farmed chickens (Schuck-Paim and Alonso (2022), Schuck-Paim and Alonso (2021)), decreasing chicken suffering by an estimated 30%–60%. Indirect effects of welfare reforms have been overviewed in Anthis (2019) and Šimčikas (2019) .
According to estimates by Šimčikas (2019), corporate campaigns between 2015 and the end of 2018 will improve the welfare of 9 to 120 years of chicken life per dollar spent. Capriati (2018) estimated that in 2015-2018, corporate campaigns by The Humane League "achieved an outcome roughly as good as 10 hen-years shift from battery cages to aviaries per dollar received." As a result of such high apparent cost-effectiveness, such campaigns have received nearly 60% donations from major animal welfare EA donors who disclose their donations between 2019 and September 2021 (Ozden (2021)).
Most of the organizations that pursue corporate campaigns are part of the Open Wing Alliance....