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Thanks for a really interesting comment Andrew! I think you're definitely correct that we shouldn't underestimate people's moral concern for insects. I recently saw this poll by Rethink Priorities which shows that around half to two thirds of Americans believe that insects can feel pain, which isn't too far off the kind of responses you get when you ask about fish.

I think ultimately insect welfare is currently so overlooked for a mixture of reasons, not just the lack of empathy that I address in my post. And I think you're spot on in identifying that the wild/farmed distinction is probably a key part of this.

Some people have been adding to the wiki (linked at the top of this list) but I doubt that the updates have captured all the new orgs in EA in the last couple of years.

This is so awesome! Glad that things have gotten off to such a promising start! Thank you for the clear and thoughtful write-up :)

Thanks for the response Karolina. Great that you've looked at the policy change route and that legislation would be the long-term goal of this. 

In relation to your second response point: Looking at the published conversation notes from the interview with the animal advocate who raised the concern, they do not appear to be concerned about cage-free in the same way that they are about this intervention. These quotes show that the advocate thinks that cage-free does not suffer from the same concerns as the feed fortification intervention:

"Feed fortification would not increase prices to the same extent that fundamental infrastructure change, such as cage-free would"

"Although the animal advocate understands that these problems could also be problems for the cage-free campaigns, they think that cage-free is a better ask because it tackles one of the underlying issues of intensive factory farming (confinement), where feed fortification doesn’t."

I think the second quote identifies my main concern with the feed fortification intervention. It seems likely that it would increase profits in the Indian egg industry by paying for something (at an estimated cost of $27,000 per farm according to the model) which will likely increase the overall profitability of farms. This leads to concerns with increased egg production and more overall hen suffering. My worry would be that this intervention seems to clearly benefit factory farms without imposing any particular costs on them. It would be interesting to see some discussion of whether the downside of this outweighs the upside of the welfare benefits provided by feed fortification.

Obviously, if improved feed fortification can eventually become adopted in legislation due to the work of this proposed charity then the intervention seems more promising. However, I couldn't see any mention in the report of how the initial work with individual farms could be translated into policy change. I'd be interested to see this sketched out somewhere in a report if this is the main route to impact for the charity.

Thank you for this report. Really interesting to learn about a new animal welfare intervention - I never knew that osteoporosis was such a big problem for laying hens.

I had a couple of questions:

  • In the linked cost-effectiveness analysis, you estimate that the average flock size in 2007 was 25,500 hens. Based on a growth rate of 6-8% in the Indian egg industry per year, you estimate that the average flock size in 2019 is approximately 59,000 hens. This seems to assume that no new farms were built in that decade, and that all new hens in India were added to existing flocks. Am I understanding this correctly, as it seems unlikely to me that no new farms would have been built?
  • One of the two Indian animal advocates you interviewed raised concerns that this intervention might be 'humane-washing' and would 'actively undermine the work being done by animal advocates in the country'. Later in the report you write 'We struggled to find any empirical research on humane washing to have a good sense of whether this is a valid concern.' Although you did interview one other animal advocate in India who felt that this wasn't a concern, it seems like a red flag that 1 out of 2 of the advocates you interviewed thought that this intervention would 'actively undermine' the movement.  Personally, I'm not sure what I think about this, but I can definitely see a concern that the intervention is supporting profit-making in the industry rather than bringing systemic change. I'd be interested whether you did any deeper analysis of how this intervention fits within the wider animal advocacy strategy in India? 

Notion is a great idea! I know how to use that already so I went ahead and made the wiki. Here's the page. Please let me know what you think of it (and whether you can edit it okay and everything).

This is great! I hope the first stages go well and look forward to hearing more!

Thank you for this Jamie!

I've been using the slightly looser definition of any organisations  that are currently or formerly "Top Charities" or "Standout charities." This would add quite a few to your list.

I had quite a debate about whether to expand the list to some of these charities. I decided against it in the end in order to keep the list to a manageable length (for both me and people reading it). 

  • Veganuary
  • Sentience Politics
  • Global Food Partners
  • Aquatic Life Institute
  • 50by40
  • Credence Institute
  • Farmed Animal Funders

Good suggestions!  I already had ALI on the list but the rest I hadn't heard of/realised that they aligned with EA. I'll make some additions to the list!

This seems veeeery broad and I imagine there are lots that would be added by this criterion. Personally I  wouldn't use it.

Yeah, I can see that there's a fair amount of randomness introduced by this criterion (I obviously haven't attended every EA Global or read every EA Forum post). However, I like that it allows for the addition of orgs that I know definitely apply EA thinking but don't necessarily mention EA on their website. 

Thanks again for your comment. Sorry this reply is a bit late and hope the survey went well!

Looks good! Thank you for this!

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