All of kierangreig's Comments + Replies

We need more nuance regarding funding gaps

My understanding is that there is still more money within farmed animal welfare and global poverty than opportunities for funding.

For farmed animal welfare, as per the title: ”We need more nuance regarding funding gaps”, I think it is indeed more nuanced than “there is more money than opps for funding in farmed animal welfare.” 

Quickly consider the likes of:

  • Some of the more outstanding bigger orgs can absorb much more funding, pretty productively (think e.g. THL, GFI, CIWF, MFA, etc.) Across those outstanding big groups alone, quite likely we could ea
... (read more)
Animal Welfare Fund: November 2021 grant recommendations

Hey! Good q :) Apologies for the slower reply- I was OOO for a few weeks. 

So in addition to all those grants being for EA Superstars... I think we may have just made an error in the copy and pasting process between Google Docs and posting here and on the ea funds site. :) 

Specifically the "*" elsewhere (e.g., on Contentful) indicates bolding or italics and we had all these heading parts bolded or italicized (for other grants too) previously. 

I have removed all the * now.

Thanks for asking about it!   

3Peter Wildeford4mo
Thanks!
World's First Octopus Farm - Linkpost

First, I think this is a  really good flag on an important issue and a great first post :)   

As others mentioned CIWF have a good Octopus farming report highlighting the terrible consequences for animal welfare (underrated but I believe that Octopus could live 2-3 years in these conditions). I believe CIWF also presented the report to the Animal Welfare Intergroup of the European Parliament! They have also written to various places (governments, governors etc.) trying to have the practice outlawed or shut down. 

Specifically within ... (read more)

3Jamie_Harris5mo
Some of your thinking and estimates here seem reasonable and useful! I just want to pick up on one small subsection that surprised me: "As in, say a country like Spain outlaws the practice of farming octopus (which in itself may be pretty unlikely), then I think a big multinational company like Nueva Pescanova (the company claiming to start the first commercial octopus farm) perhaps just goes to some other country they work in (and they are present in 20ish). " Why did this surprise me / why are our intuitions different? I think there might be some difference in optimism about the value of legislation. I expect that preventative action is much more tractable than retrospective action to abolish an industry that has already been developed. E.g. see "It is probably easier to abolish a practice through legislation if that practice is not in regular use" here: https://www.sentienceinstitute.org/death-penalty#the-causes-of-legislative-change [https://www.sentienceinstitute.org/death-penalty#the-causes-of-legislative-change] . So challenging the first example of an unusually negative (and/or unusually unpopular) practice seems especially important. If fighting this specific company encourages a battle that spirals across several countries and results in legislation in several places but fails to stop this specific company farming octopus somewhere then I imagine I would consider that to be a major victory. Relatedly, I have in my head a model where anti octopus farming legislation in one country makes anti octopus farming legislation in another. E.g. see "Once influential international bodies adopt a value, they may exert pressure on institutions in other parts of the world to adopt the same value" at the same link as above. Alternatively, maybe it's because you're focusing on helping the octopuses in question in this specific farm. Whereas my concern is not: "(how) can we prevent Nueva Pescanova farming and selling 3,000 tons of farmed octopus per year," but "(ho
8Lizka5mo
I really appreciate this comment-- thank you for taking the time to write it out.
The EA Animal Welfare Fund Has Significant Room For More Funding

> Also, how do you judge their expected marginal cost-effectiveness? Do you do back-of-the-envelope calculations? Compare to previous projects with estimates? Check the project team's own estimates (and make adjustments as necessary)? All of the above? Any others?

It varies by project and depends on who the grant investigator is. 

If a) the project is relatively well-suited to a back of the envelope and b) a back of the envelope seems decision-relevant, then we will engage in one. Right now, a) and b) seem true in a minority of cases, maybe ~10%-25% ... (read more)

The EA Animal Welfare Fund Has Significant Room For More Funding

Hi Michael, 

Good questions, and appreciate you raising them. I am going to split the responses because they’re somewhat long. 

>How do you think the expected marginal cost-effectiveness of the grantees compares to the large effective animal advocacy charities like The Humane League?

Tl;dr: Main things I think about are i) the generally lacking evidence base leaves it unresolved, ii) risk and variance across the respective portfolios, iii) "big-picture" takes about the different portfolios, and iv) dynamics at the community level, as well as, wha... (read more)

Investigating how technology-focused academic fields become self-sustaining

This was really cool! Thanks a bunch for writing it up :) 

For those interested, it somewhat reminded me of Some Case Studies in Early Field Growth and Establishing a research field in the natural sciences.

One quick observation that is probably a small thing or not right: 

For the 8 fields that reached establishment, the median time between a field’s origin year and establishment year[3] was 18 years, with the quickest field (Genetic Circuits) becoming established after 5 years, and the slowest (Clean Meat) becoming established after 63 years (the

... (read more)
3Ben Snodin8mo
Nice, thanks for those links, great to have those linked here since we didn't point to them in the report. I've seen the Open Phil one but I don't think I'd seen the Animal Ethics study, it looks very interesting. Thanks for raising the point about speed of establishment for Clean Meat and Genetic Circuits! Our definition for the "origin year" (from here [https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HTACWEnO7NuMfc96fevEKbJWYlLTAGxZNzA0gfugKTg/edit#heading=h.q90cos7hudx4] ) is "The year that the technology or area is purposefully explored for the first time." So it's supposed to be when someone starts working on it, not when someone first has the idea. We think that Willem van Eelen started working on developing clean meat in the 1950's, so we set the origin year to be around then. Whereas as far as we're aware no-one was working on genetic circuits until much later. At the moment I'm not sure whether the supplementary notes say anywhere that we think van Eelen was working on developing clean meat in the 50's, I think Megan is going to update the notes to make this clearer.
Animal Welfare Fund: July 2021 grant recommendations

This round, we report five anonymous grants after receiving advice from internal and external advisors, and further weighing the pros and cons of public reporting. We consider these grants to have a high expected impact, and report that there were no conflicts of interest in evaluating them. 

2BrianTan9mo
Got it, thanks!
Animal Welfare Fund: July 2021 grant recommendations

Thanks for this post! I believe this is the first time that the Animal Welfare Fund is giving anonymous grants, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong. I was aware that the EAIF and LTFF are now able to do this, but I wasn't aware that the AWF is now able to do this too.

Thanks! Yeah, that is right, this is the first time. 

Anyway, maybe EA Funds should indicate in their Apply for Funding page and the application form that the AWF will consider funding applications from grantseekers who wish to remain anonymous in public reporting? It currently says th

... (read more)
2BrianTan9mo
No problem!
What are the EA movement's most notable accomplishments?

Somewhat building on one that is currently mentioned on the page. Advocates have secured thousands of corporate pledges for cage-free eggs globally since 2015. That’s built global pressure for legislation, e.g. the European Commission, UK governments, and various US states have cited corporate progress as a major motivator for them to act. (I think as of latest figures about ~100M (?) US hens were cage-free vs. about 20M in 2015, when the campaigns started ramping up.) In the US, the cage-free flock size has dramatically increased in size these past few years. See, e.g., p.4. 

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Right. So I still might not be fully understanding. 

I guess it seems hard for me to understand thinking both: 

A) Diet change has more negative effects on wild animals than positive effects on farmed animals. 

And B) Diet changes’ negative effects on wild animals are in expectation greater than the positive effects from further work on wild animal welfare (e.g., of the sort WAI completes). 

But maybe I am misunderstanding. Do you think both of those? 

Separately, and another quick thought, it could be helpful to more formally model it,... (read more)

2MichaelStJules1y
In short, I think 1. A is reasonably likely to be true. 2. If A is true, then B is very likely to be true, too (I'm less sure about the reverse implication). 3. A's probability itself seems really uncertain to me, and I'm not comfortable picking one number before seeing models. Picking 50% seems wrong, since I don't have evidential symmetry as in simple cluelessness; this is a case of complex cluelessness. On 1, the main reasons diet change would be bad for wild animals would be through wild fishes and wild invertebrates (and Brian Tomasik's writing [https://reducing-suffering.org/vegetarianism-and-wild-animals/] is where I'd start). Because of the number of animals involved (far more fishes and invertebrates than chickens, and there may be generational population effects since you prevent descendants, too, but maybe what matters most is carrying capacity), it seems pretty plausible these negative effects could heavily outweigh the positives for farmed animals. I think one thing Brian might not have been aware of at the time is that many wild fishes are caught to feed farmed fishes, so fish farming might be good for reducing wild fish populations. There's also all the plastic pollution from fishing that plausibly reduces populations, and not just fish populations. On the other hand, maybe the wild fishes get replaced with more populous r-selected species, and that's bad. I think 2 is true, because * I already think the number of wild animals affected will be larger from diet change, since this is a major ecosystem change whereas wild animal welfare interventions will be more targeted. * A implies the negative effects of diet change are quite large (enough to make up for the benefits to farmed chickens and farmed aquatic animals), and the worlds in which A is true but B is not are the (in my view) unlikely ones in which we're radically interfering in nature to help wild animals through population control or genetic intervent
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Sure. 

Very quickly, here are a few ideas/interventions that seem interesting to me:

  • Helping scope whether large and respected enviro groups may lobby on this if funding was available  
  • Helping establish additional university-affiliated research centers that focus on research into pb alts 
  • Helping establish trade associations in important places that don’t really have them right now

Honestly, I think there’s just a lot of underexplored territory in the area. To some extent it is now about us diversifying somewhat, trying a number of differen... (read more)

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Yeah, I think I would be interested in a variety of scoping projects. 

Briefly, some ideas that seem top of mind for me now are:

  • Someone thinking more about some very preliminary things that could be done in the policy space 
  • Or more about an organization that might focus on wild animal welfare within cities 
  • Or even more about a generalist group that may be to wild animals what GFI is to alt-proteins (some variety of programs and decent emphasis on movement-building) 

However, I think the bottleneck here may be more about finding talented p... (read more)

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Fairly sure it was the ACE Research Fund. :)  

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Yeah, I think your impression of the ratio is correct.

Briefly, as Michael St Jules notes, AWF interfaces with a much bigger community/movement than the LTFF currently does. I think that goes some of the way to explaining the difference in the ratio. Within the respective remits of each fund, it seems the AWF just generally has a more developed movement that it can grant to. The total FAW movement is  > $100M per year. My guess is the total EA-aligned LTF movement is now just a pretty small fraction compared to that total.    &nb... (read more)

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Thanks for all your questions! :)

>What processes do you have for monitoring the outcome/impact of grants? 

We have a ~10 question questionnaire that we send grantees. We send these out 6 months after the grant's starting date - which coincides with the payment date usually. We then send them out every six months and then a final report at the grant’s end date. E.g., if the grant was for an 18-month project, we would send the progress report to that grantee at the 6-month mark, 12 months, and then 18 months. 

I feel like I am also just fairly reg... (read more)

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

I think (and hope) that 5 years from now the AWF will allocate more than $10M in a single year. 

Here are some plausible priority areas that come to my mind for the fund on a 2-5 year timeline:

  • Seeding some groups in the Middle-East and further seeding groups in Africa.  
  • Alt-proteins 
  • Fish welfare.
  • Field building on wild animal welfare 

In terms of challenges, quick thoughts: 

  • Navigating funding weirder/speculative stuff if our donor base has a lot of relatively new EA’s
  • Maintaining a high level of expertise across some pretty dispar
... (read more)
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Unfortunately, not yet. Pandemic certainly makes it harder. I would be keen for an in-person meet up at some point! 

Also, I whole-heartedly blame Jonas for not enough fun. Readers are generally encouraged to please aggressively contact and petition him on our behalf about making things more fun :)

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Hmm… on first-pass, two main points I would make:

1) I think that trying to take into account the flow-through effects of just about everything will make you more skeptical of just about everything. Stated differently, I am not sure there is much in particular about diet change and flow effects from it which leads to this being a particular problem for it. 

So I think that if you apply that lens elsewhere you’ll run into similar issues. Reality is just really complicated and it’s nigh on impossible to truly know how our actions reverberate throughout. F... (read more)

2MichaelStJules1y
I think one way 2 might not be appropriate here is that diet change may have more important effects on wild animals1than on farmed animals, and also more important effects on wild animals than our targeted wild animal interventions2. Say 1. Diet change gives you 100 utility per $ in expectation for farmed animals, and -1000 to 900 utility per $ in expectation for wild animals, and it's very ambiguous, so you aren't willing to commit to a single expected value, and you instead use this whole range of -1000 to 900 (or -700 to 1100 or whatever). 2. Wild animal-targeted interventions give you 100 utility per $. Then donating $1 to diet change and $c to wild animal interventions would give the following utility in expectation: (100-1000) + 100c to (100+900) + 100c, or -900 + 100c to 1000 + 100c, and you need c>9 to make sure this is positive, so you'd spend at least 9x more on wild animal interventions than diet change to ensure a positive expected value. I've written more about this idea here [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/Mig4y9Duu6pzuw3H4/hedging-against-deep-and-moral-uncertainty] . 1. possibly counterfactually increasing the populations of wild invertebrates and wild aquatic animals, especially; many wild-caught fishes are also fed to farmed fishes. 2. because the population effects are more important.
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

I would say the current focus areas are: 

  1. Large-scale and neglected animal populations (for instance, farmed fish and wild animals) 
  2. Large-scale and neglected geographies (for instance, China and India) 
  3. Exploratory work regarding the scaling of alternative proteins (for instance, a novel and potentially scalable intervention on plant-based alternatives)

In terms of projections, I think it is hard to say. There are going to be a lot of inputs into that output. Inputs that will only become known over the next couple of years

Here are some plausibl... (read more)

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Hi William, 

> What is the EA fund?

Briefly, the EA AWF is a regranting mechanism for donors interested in maximizing their impact on non-human animal welfare. Contributions to it are allocated out to grantees by fund managers three times per year.  

> How does it work and how does it make decisions?

As outlined in another question by Karolina. We solicit applications via an open process advertised on relevant sites, Facebook groups, and by individually reaching out to promising candidates. Additionally, we create an RFP and distribute it ... (read more)

4erikaalonso1y
I echo Kieran's points on the difference between EA AWF and ACE Movement Grants. The only other distinguishing factor I'd mention is that because the grant managers and processes differ, the projects that end up being funded tend to have different trends between funds. You can find a list of previous Movement Grant recipients on this page [https://animalcharityevaluators.org/donation-advice/ace-movement-grants/#eaaf-distribution-10-20] which may give you a better idea of the types of projects funded as well as the size of those grants for each round.
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

That is interesting! 

Haven’t really thought much about doing it. But I think a lot of that is because I have not really come across anyone who has expressed this desire. It seems interesting, though, and could be worth exploring further. 

If someone is curious about doing something like this, I think it is worth reaching out to either me or Jonas.

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Sure. :) 

Somewhat random sample of past grantees includes: 

  • FIAPO 
  • Essere Animali
  • Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan
  • Compassion in World Farming USA

The full list with description regarding the grants are available in our payout reports

Some specific grants that I have been particularly proud of include early stage grants to:

  • Crustacean Compassion 
  • Equalia 
  • Rethink Priorities 
  • Wild Animal Initiative
  • Fish Welfare Initiative
  • Sinergia Animal

In terms of lessons learned, I would quickly say: 

  • Active grantmaking is important&
... (read more)
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

> To what extent do you worry that we're underinvesting in approaches outside of incremental welfare reform work right now? 

Hmmm… I think it is fair to say that this isn’t in my top-tier of worries. Some things that inform that take are:

  • Some other major funders, that I am aware of through FAF, focus more on non-incremental welfare stuff but at the same time seem aligned with some principles of EA 
  • As other funders focus more on it, the movement as a whole seems to adequately experiment with and explore some things that look promising from that
... (read more)
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

In terms of the process, I drafted the RFP and then ran that by the other fund managers. After that, I incorporated their feedback. 

Hearing that, I suspect you might be somewhat less interested in the process and more interested in how we reached those areas and ideas. I think a quick response to this is:

  • All of us fund managers try to stay quite up to date on the body of evidence in our sector 
  • We also routinely have calls with others involved in our sector and bounce ideas off of them, and try to hear their ideas 
  • We then try quite hard to ap
... (read more)
4Peter Wildeford1y
Can you say more about what kind of wild animal welfare work you would want to see?
4Peter Wildeford1y
Can you say more about what you think a promising new initiative on PB alternatives might look like?
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Thanks, Max! :) 

There certainly are. Here’s what we listed in our RFP

We’d be interested in hearing from you if:

  • You want to tackle some “big-picture” question regarding wild animal welfare
  • You would like to launch a new non-profit venture, or you would like to trial something new, in the wild animal welfare space
  • You’re a scientist and want to pursue field-building activities, such as organizing conferences, trainings, courses, or events
  • You’re a scientist that could add welfare metrics to your current or planned research
  • You’d like to do some resea
... (read more)
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

I would be pretty surprised if I was somehow resurrected, or otherwise able to observe, millions of years from now and factory farming was still happening! 

In terms of probabilistic predictions as to the chance that factory farming is still around x years from now, I think mine pretty roughly looks like some exponentially decaying function. If you want to model it, I would put P0 at 1 and alpha at ~0.988. 

So, I’d guess there are decent chances forms of it are still around at the end of this century, but 200 years from now, I think there are pretty good chances that we will have ended it :)

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Not strongly considered longer write-ups at this point. Basically, it takes a lot of work to publicly and extensively communicate our views in the form of longer-write ups. We generally don’t think that work adds much value to our primary output; it’s not a big part of how we make grant decisions, and donors rarely ask about it. So we usually prefer to focus our time on other parts of grant reporting, as well all the other work the Fund requires.

That said, if you have any questions about any of the decisions we’ve made, please feel free to contact us.

Fwiw,... (read more)

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

To some extent, we are only able to work with what is available to grant to. And I think we have been pretty good at granting to things as soon as they’re ready. But we could probably have done more to get some projects/NGOs ready for grants. 

So the main thing that comes to mind when I think about this, is I think we probably should have started doing more active grantmaking sooner. That would look like us more actively trying to bring new promising projects into existence. And note that could be either through seeding new groups or having existing gr... (read more)

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Good question!

In short, I think it may be important but I feel pretty unsure about what the implications are. I guess it generally updates me somewhat towards some of the more speculative things that fall inside our remit, including wild animals and invertebrate welfare.

But basically, I think that longtermism is still way underexplored... so when we start talking about longtermism’s intersection with something like animal welfare, I think it is just really really underexplored. At this point, there may have been a few blog posts looking at that intersectio... (read more)

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Great question! Multi-decade forecasts are hard, so take all these quick thoughts with some salt :)  

  • Amount of funding in our space increases significantly. Sometimes I find it pretty inspiring to think that over the past decade or so, we have almost gone from no field really existing to a budding one. It has gone from <$20M/yr to ~$200M/yr. Predict (75%) that positive trend continues and we would be at >$500M/yr by 2040. 
  • Alt-proteins have significant progress and are really important. Again, it can be inspiring to look back on our pro
... (read more)
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Smallest grant we can do through the EA Fund is $1k. If you are interested in something smaller than that, please get in touch and I might be interested in funding in order to reach my personal giving pledge. 

Yes and yes to your examples!

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

I think I would name the categories a bit differently but your point still stands. Fwiw, I would name the categories:

  • Large-scale and neglected animal populations (for instance, farmed fish and wild animals) 
  • Large-scale and neglected geographies (for instance, China and India) 

On THL UK and OBRAZ being exceptions, briefly, a few thoughts: 

THL UK: 

  • We think THL UK has been instrumental to the successes of the broiler movement. 
  • The THL UK team plays a major role in OWA’s global & European progress (e.g., last years helped with trai
... (read more)
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

I think we would be interested and able to do this. However, I am not sure exactly what that would look like. I can think more about this and might look to implement something! 

In the meantime, if you’re a donor who is interested in our thoughts, please feel free to contact us

Another solution is to allocate to the fund, and we can then distribute it from there! 

1Cameron_Meyer_Shorb1y
I'm sure others have much more considered thoughts on how to evaluate and communicate room for more funding, but here are some I've been musing on. I've found it more productive to frame the question in the negative: "Why wouldn't this charity have room for more funding?" I think that's because it only takes a few things to constrain a charity's growth, but when the org has room to grow, there are many directions it can grow. So when I try to think of the ways a charity could grow, I'm almost always going to underestimate the number of opportunities the charity itself has identified. For example, I might think a charity has exhausted the opportunities for a certain kind of campaign, but it probably wouldn't occur to me that they could make all of their campaigns much more effective if they hired an operations staffer with Salesforce expertise. Starting with the negative framing, there seem to be only a few kinds of constraints a charity can have other than funding. Probably not exhaustive, but here's my list: * Mission constraints: Do I generally expect this charity to do high-impact work? If I'm only excited about a few of their projects, then it's less likely that marginal donations will counterfactually increase those projects. * Note that questions of program constraints (e.g., "no more states they could run ballot measures in") often reduce to questions of mission constraints (e.g., "if they run out of states to do ballot measures in, will they identify another high-impact program to launch?"). * Talent constraints: Is the charity able to hire people good enough to continue their high-impact work? * Operational constraints: Does the charity have enough administrative bandwidth to hire staff or expand programs without straining their systems so much that their effectiveness suffers? * Relative timing constraints: Are there comparably cost-effective charities with much more urgent and important funding ne
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Yeah, I feel uncertain about how to weigh these. Here are some things that feel important: 

  • What feels like one of the stronger considerations for me, is I am generally more excited about the EA AWF taking on some of the more high-risk stuff given that it's easier for Open Phil and others to pick up the proven stuff. It’s also easier for the more proven stuff to fundraise from non-EA sources. E.g., with a group like Crustacean Compassion we gave them a few smaller grants, prior to them getting significant Open Phil funding. 
  • All else equal, we look
... (read more)
3Cameron_Meyer_Shorb1y
Because Lewis Bollard is both a manager of the EA AWF and a program officer at Open Philanthropy, does his involvement reduce the likelihood of funging with Open Phil?
Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Ha! Excellent question and should be raised in every AMA :) 

100 hundred duck-sized horses!

Hard to improve on Will's answer here

> I’d certainly rather save a hundred duck-sized horses. It’s hard to know how to compare the moral importance of different creatures’ experiences. How many happy chicken-days is as good as a happy chimp-day? The best guess I currently have is to use the logarithm of neural mass. And I think that the total log(neural mass) of a hundred duck-sized horses is much greater than that of one horse-sized duck. There’s just ... (read more)

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Some differences here:

  • For the counterfactual that someone unknown to me dropped ~$17.5M in the fund only a few weeks out from the payout, I think this round we would have perhaps would have given something like $3M-$4M out. This is because due diligence for larger grants takes longer than only a few weeks for us to do. However, in the round following we would look to do ~2.5-3.5X that $3-4M for something like $7M-$14M next round. 
  • Alternatively, if, instead, we knew that 6 months in advance there would be a sum like that (~$20M), then I would imagine w
... (read more)
Retention in EA - Part III: Retention Comparisons

Thanks, Ben! That all seems fair enough for these purposes. 

Fwiw, I think that number might be more the arithmetic mean of some observations. Interpreting it as a geometric mean seems like it doesn’t strongly violate much, but I think the geometric mean is going to be a little bit lower. 

But yeah, I doubt it makes much of a difference in the scheme of things! 

Thanks again for sharing all this :)  

Retention in EA - Part III: Retention Comparisons

Thanks for writing this! I found it a really interesting series and kudos to you for sharing earlier-stage thinking publicly. I definitely know that I can find sharing such thinking pretty daunting! 

Small point:

>ACE estimates that the average vegetarian stays vegetarian for 3.9-7.2 years, implying a five-year dropout rate of 53%-77%. 

I think that 3.9-7.2 is their estimate for (i) the average vegetarian adherence length, but you might be interpreting that here as more like (ii) the median length of vegetarian adherence? 

From that ACE repor... (read more)

4Ben_West1y
Thanks Kieren! I was interpreting it to be the expectation of a geometric distribution (i.e. mean length assuming a constant annual probability of leaving), which I think is the correct way to interpret that number? Let me know if that’s wrong though! The assumption that length is geometrically distributed might not be warranted, I'm not sure.
AGB's Shortform

Here’s a relevant thread from ~5 years ago(!) when some people were briefly discussing points along these lines. I think it illustrates both some similar points and also offers some quick responses to them. 

Please do hit see in context to see some further responses there!

And agree, I would also like to further understand the arguments here :)

4AGB1y
Thanks for the link. I did actually comment on that thread, and while I didn't have it specifically in mind it was probably close to the start of me asking questions along these lines.
Animal Welfare Fund Grants – August 2020

Yeah, good point. I think I was counting that within 6. Thanks for drawing attention to that factor specifically!

Animal Welfare Fund Grants – August 2020

Sure! Here are some of my quick(ish) thoughts that don’t necessarily represent those of others on the fund:

  1. Generally not wanting the fund to be more than ~50% of any group's budget. That could cause over-reliance on the fund, hurt their fundraising efforts with other funders, and possibly disincentivize other funders from contributing to promising groups.
  2. Larger groups often do a variety of programs, some of which may be much less impactful. There’s some reason to be wary of funging less impactful programs and that may generally lean on
... (read more)
5Jamie_Harris2y
Good to see this reasoning! I had assumed that another reason was essentially that it enables lower-cost tests of the promise of particular ideas? I.e. EA Funds can support a number of small organisations to scale up slightly; if it goes well, then they might be candidates for funding from Open Philanthropy or other sources of larger grants.
Estimates of global captive vertebrate numbers

Thanks for writing this up Saulius! I think it is a really useful addition to the literature on EAA and I could see myself returning to it multiple times in future. You seem good at writing such content! :)

Some thoughts that I had after reading this piece:

- I think there’s a decent chance that if one were to dive deeper into captive invertebrates then this could lead to discoveries of tens of billions of animals that are in captivity that the movement currently largely neglects

- One important point I think worth highlighting about the numbers is th... (read more)

3MichaelStJules2y
Agreed that this is very important. The scale of a problem should be defined to include (your projections for) its total over time that you think your actions could influence. Relatively few animals could be used in a given country now, but because of expected growth, the scale could actually be huge, and our cost-effectiveness estimates should take such projections into account.
Farmed Animal Funders Custom Shallow Review: On Selecting Funding Strategies In General And On Focusing Funding On Open-Access Scientific Research For Plant-Based Alternatives

Sorry for my slow reply! I think that I missed the notification for this.

You’re right I accidentally linked the wrong article. IIRC, this was the article that I should have linked. I believe that it outlines the high-moisture twin-screw extrusion method, a method which decades later proved important for the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger.

I hope this helps! Would be curious about any takes you have in this area.

How frequently do ACE and Open Phil agree about animal charities?

[Fwiw: I previously worked at ACE and now work at Farmed Animal Funders. I'm also on the committee for EA Animal Welfare Fund]

Thanks for writing this, Ben! It is an interesting analysis. Here are some thoughts that I had while reading:

  • What could also be interesting would be looking at the concordance/ disconcordance between some of the regranting funds in this area (e.g., EAA fund, EA Animal Welfare Fund, and OWA.)
  • What could also be interesting for Open Phil and ACE is comparing and contrasting the funding allocations across the concordant groups.
  • S
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3Ben_West2y
Thanks Kieran! Good catch, SVB was the one who did not receive an OP grant (AFAICT) but did get one from the Fund. The text has been updated. Interesting, thanks! You're right – I will look more into what happened here. It could be that my script got confused about the difference between the domestic and international version of CIWF.
The ITN framework, cost-effectiveness, and cause prioritisation

Thanks for completing this analysis on the advantages and disadvantages of the INT framework! I particularly like you clearly enumerating your points.

I think there are some important points not adequately covered in the alternative INT framework and discussion of cost-effectiveness estimates. Namely:

(1) To a significant extent cause prioritization involves estimating long-term counterfactual impacts

(2) Neglectedness could be instrumental to estimating long-term counterfactual impacts because the more neglected a cause the more potential to translate to greater far future trajectory changes, as opposed to accelerating proximate changes

Insect herbivores, life history and wild animal welfare

Really interesting article!

Various approximations of the total number of insect individuals range between 1017-1019 (Williams 1960 , Hölldobler & Wilson (1990), Bar-On et al. (2018)).

I think that 17 and 19 should be exponents :)

6kcudding3y
Indeed! If anyone has a way to do add superscript in this version of markdown, I would be grateful to know!!
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