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Cor­po­rate an­i­mal welfare campaigns

TagLast edit: 17 Mar 2023 4:39 UTC by Pablo

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.[1]

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,[2][3] decreasing chicken suffering by an estimated 30%–60%.[4][5]

According to estimates by Šimčikas,[6] 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 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.”[7] As a result of such high apparent cost-effectiveness, such campaigns have received nearly 60% of disclosed donations from major animal welfare donors from the effective altruism community between 2019 and September 2021.[8]

Most of the organizations that pursue corporate campaigns are part of the Open Wing Alliance.[9]

Further reading

Bollard, Lewis (2016) Initial grants to support corporate cage-free reforms, Open Philanthropy, March 31.

Šimčikas, Saulius (2019) Corporate campaigns affect 9 to 120 years of chicken life per dollar spent, Effective Altruism Forum, July 8.

Related entries

effective animal advocacy | farmed animal welfare

  1. ^

    See the “Campaign or Dialogue?” column in this spreadsheet from Chicken Watch. The vast majority of commitments were won by dialogue.

  2. ^

    Schuck-Paim, Cynthia & Wladimir J. Alonso (2021) Quantifying the welfare impact of the transition to indoor cage-free housing systems, Welfare Footprint Project.

  3. ^
  4. ^

    Šimčikas, Saulius (2022) Comment on “EAA is relatively overinvesting in corporate welfare reforms”, Effective Altruism Forum, January 6.

  5. ^

    Indirect effects of welfare reforms have been overviewed in Anthis, Jacy Reese (2017) Momentum vs. complacency from welfare reforms, in ‘A summary of evidence for foundational questions in effective animal advocacy’, Sentience Institute, June 2 (updated 13 August 2020), and Šimčikas, Saulius (2019) Indirect effects, in ‘Corporate campaigns affect 9 to 120 years of chicken life per dollar spent’, Effective Altruism Forum, July 8.

  6. ^

    Šimčikas, Saulius (2019) Corporate campaigns affect 9 to 120 years of chicken life per dollar spent, Effective Altruism Forum, July 8.

  7. ^

    Capriati, Marinella (2018) Cause area report: Corporate campaigns for animal welfare, Founders Pledge.

  8. ^

    Ozden, James (2021) Analysis of EA funding within animal welfare from 2019-2021, Effective Altruism Forum, September 27.

  9. ^

    For a list of such organizations, see Open Wing Alliance (2022) Organizations, Open Wing Alliance.

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