You're very kind Andres. We're very grateful for what SWP does as well!
Seeing people take an idea from scratch and go out into the world to implement it is one of the things that inspires me most about many people in EA. Props to you all for having the audacity to do this, and more importantly props for building one of the most promising early-stage NGOs this community has created
I've enjoyed reading your work occasionally throughout the year—interesting stuff.
As a general point, posts like this push back against the seeming increasingly popular narrative that EA isn't funding constrained right now. Or more specifically, this post speaks to the fact that we can have a load of money but not be distributing it adequately to all the small non-profits (like SI) that could make good use of it.
Fish Welfare Initiative is now live on every.com! Thanks @WilliamKiely for making us aware of this opportunity.https://www.every.org/fishwelfareinitiative/f/improve-the-welfare-of-farmed-fish-in-india
Do the fund managers ever do fun things together?? :)
What are your favorite productivity tips?
What books do you most recommend for someone looking to spend their career fighting for animals?
The recent grantees are very welfare-reform heavy, and there are relatively few organizations here who are taking an abolitionist approach (even though many, like THL, advocate achieving abolition through welfare reforms). This portfolio of grantees is fairly common in EA giving: Welfare reform organizations are invested in very heavily right now (for which they're all very grateful :).
I sometimes get concerned though that our movement puts too great of confidence in incremental welfare reforms as like "the best thing", thus stifling innovation. I feel this in our work at our organization, where I feel some pressure to always have numbers of the number of animals we're helping. While I think this pressure is often good in our case, I recognize that very popular focus on "number of animals helped" leads certain approaches (e.g. more activist-style abolitionist approaches) to look less promising than they actually are, as these approaches do not easily lend themselves to such calculations.
So I sometimes worry that the EA side of the animal rights movement (and also the AR movement more generally, though to a lesser extent) has reached a sort of local optimum with welfare reform work: It's pretty good right now, but we're investing in it so heavily that talent and funds that would otherwise fund more experimental work goes towards work that is tried and true. Donors and talented people see all the funding going into this space, and I can only expect that some of them assume that this is just the approach that has been decided on to be best, so why bother with anything less effective?
So my first question is: To what extent do you worry that we're underinvesting in approaches outside of incremental welfare reform work right now?
And my second, related question is this: Going back to the approach of using welfare reforms as avenue to ultimately reach abolition (e.g.), presumably if this strategy works we'll be shifting our resources to focus more directly on abolition and less on welfare reforms at some point. Do you have any sense for when (if not now) we might reach that point where it makes more sense to invest in more abolitionist approaches?
Note that by abolitionist approaches, I mean things like plant-based/alt meat engineering and advocacy, banning the sale of certain types of animal products, giving animals legal rights against being exploited, etc. Vegans of Shanghai fall into this category, as do many orgs that that are more on the grassroots side of things (eg DXE, AV).
What approaches or ideas do you wish the animal welfare fund would have invested more heavily in sooner?
Do you think industrial factory farming will ever end? If so, when do you think it will?
By end I mean something like there are like 95% fewer animals being farmed, and the ones that are farmed are farmed in more natural, extensive system (e.g. pastures or extensive fish ponds).
And do you think animal farming will ever end? If so, when do you think it will?