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An interesting idea indeed! 

But I think it is very difficult to achieve results this way, for several reasons:

1- Even if the beef industry wanted to push for welfare reforms for chickens, it would still be very hard. Almost all state-level animal welfare reform legislations in the US resulted from referendums allowed by those states' constitutions. For the other states and federal level, I think it would require a tremendous push to achieve legislative progress. 

2- Although the beef industry might indirectly gain "something" from broiler welfare reforms (higher prices for broilers --> beef being somewhat more price competitive). The poultry industry would directly lose "a lot" from broiler welfare reforms (higher costs). For that reason, even if the beef industry might consider pushing for broiler welfare reforms, they would immediately foresee that the poultry industry would be ready to die on this hill. So, since the beef industry (and its members) would not be willing to invest so much to achieve a slightly better price competition, it wouldn't take long before they realize that their rival (the poultry industry) would be more willing to fight, thus will almost surely win the legislative battle through more lobbying and more resource channeling (and some other counter moves such as you pointed out). As a result of these game theory stages (?), it would be more rational for the beef industry not to even try to fight against the poultry industry. 

But I agree that the most important thing to consider in farmed animal advocacy is the impact on chicken and fish. I had written another forum post arguing that increasing the supply of dairy in Asia and Africa (where dairy is scarce) might decrease the consumption of chicken, eggs, and fish in those populous and developing regions. I would be curious about what you think about it.

Hi there!

Thank you for the comment and your work on fish welfare.

I agree, moral advocacy is also important and may have long term impacts. My point is that "not all" moral advocacy interventions or funding opportunities may be as cost-effective as directly purchasing a wild fish stunner. The main question is: does every animal advocacy group create as much (long term) impact as relieving the suffering of 30.000 fish per 1$?

 Also, given that effective animal advocacy groups are limited in number and their ability to use funds to create impact are also limited due to their capacity and social conditions, this intervention may also be a very reasonable addition to the avenues of helping animals.

I think same logic applies (even strongly) to other cause areas. One can say that advocacy for effective international aid and  effective development reforms might have even more impact in the short and long term. But given that the possibilities are limited and tractability is low, Give Well's funding opportunities are very impressive even if they do not have as much long term impact as a broad political or social change. 

Hi there!

Thank you very much. It is nice to see someone else thinking almost the same things, it's like seeing someone murmuring the same song you also play in your head. 

Thanks for the complements as well.

[1] Fish suffering (wild fish in particular) looks so big that it makes me question if we are missing something. One thing I am trying to find out is the duration of asphyxia in small wild fish. The only "sources" I can find is some videos on YouTube. 

[2]  Yeah, I saw that one too. I assume that the main bottleneck in the past was the lack of effective stunning technology. I think this is still an issue, since there are so few stunner manufacturers. 

[3] Very interesting idea. Substituting wild-fish fish feed with plant-based fish feed would also decrease the demand for wild-fish catch. The difficulty is that, since most wild-fish fishing is not driven by demand, but rather constrained by the supply of fish in the seas and the fishing quotas, one has to dramatically decrease the fish demand in order to create a situation where fishers would rather stay at the docks even if they have not filled their quotas and there are plenty of fish in the seas. That may be hard to achieve. 


Thanks! I haven't read those sources (didn't know), but I will. Your study looks very meticulous, great to see more quality literature on this topic. I will add those sources in the text as well if the contest organizers allow editing.

I hope we finally see that book soon!