Charity Entrepreneurship is a research and training program that incubates multiple high-impact charities annually. Founded in June 2018 by Joey Savoie and myself, Karolina Sarek, it builds on our experience in research and direct work on global health, animal advocacy, and other causes, including founding and incubating two GiveWell-incubated charities, Charity Science Health and Fortify Health. In this post, I summarize the results of the research we conducted in 2019 and our plans for 2020.
This report considers how food technology can help animals by reducing the demand for conventional animal products and increasing the demand for plant-based and cell-based alternatives. We considered eight possible interventions, and cursory research on these ideas suggests that the most promising option is to create a plant-based seafood product. Therefore, this report provides an in-depth look into this specific intervention.
Our deeper research suggests that while product creation is the most promising intervention within food technology in terms of impact on animals, it is not the most promising intervention for Charity Entrepreneurship to focus on. This is for several reasons:
1) there is already a lot of work being done in this area by other organizations;
2) letting the market fund this start-up would be better than us starting this organization as the costs of production are very high;
3) as plant-based foods become more popular, the market will be incentivized to create plant-based seafood, and it will be better for this intervention to come from non-mission aligned private capital than philanthropic dollars; and
4) when comparing this approach with alternative approaches we might recommend, such as corporate and government outreach, our research suggests it is less cost-effective.
Are China and India the most promising countries for animal advocacy? A systematic country comparison
When considering starting a new charity, the question of which country to target is an important one. This post explains the process for prioritizing countries and how this system can be applied to different countries.
In recent years, there has been an observable shift in the animal advocacy movement towards institutional change. Corporate outreach is an institutional strategy that seems widely used to achieve positive change for animals. Corporate outreach involves designated campaigns aiming to influence the behaviour of corporations
Decision-making on which charities to establish involves certain complex processes. Part of this analysis is looking at the effectiveness of different approaches. Currently at Charity Entrepreneurship, I am analysing how promising the corporate outreach campaigns are in implementing the most promising asks. Coming from a cluster approach perspective, I analyse multiple groups of evidence, one of which is historical case studies. This post explains an analysis about the counterfactual impact of cage-free corporate campaigns in the US.
The following report is a part of ongoing research by Charity Entrepreneurship looking into corporate outreach as a potential approach used to implement asks.
You can download the full report here:
When recommending different charities to start in the field of animal advocacy, a crucial question to consider first is which ask should be prioritized? Regardless of the approach - corporate outreach, governmental intervention or individuals focus intervention - we need to decide what we are going to ask them for in the first place.
This report considers gene modification for farmed animals with a focus on improving their welfare
This ask report considers interventions to aid fish used for fish stocking and bait.
Fish stocking is the practice of raising fish to be put into wild areas, such as rivers, to supplement the natural population. Baitfish are those caught to be used as bait for other fish. These two practices are commonly neglected within the animal ethics movement. However, the number of animals these two industries affect is potentially comparable to or even greater than the number of animals affected by other animal-based industries that we have considered in previous research. Furthermore, we have identified fish as one of our priority animals. Our speculative estimates suggest that a successful intervention for baitfish could save ~25 welfare points per animal, and for fish stocking could save ~23 welfare points per animal.
This ask report considers humane slaughter and transportation methods with the aim of reducing suffering during particularly stressful events in animals’ lives.
This ask report considers the impact of increasing the price of meat products to reduce demand.
For each salmon produced, it takes ~5 other fish to be caught in order to feed it. Great numbers of fish killed every year are not used directly for human consumption, but for the purpose of being fed to other farmed fish. The amount of fish fed to other fish exceeds the number of fish sold to consumers by an order of magnitude: around 0.45 to 1.2 trillion annually compared to 48 to 160 billion slaughtered for food globally in 2015.
This ask report considers switching people’s consumption of chicken to beef.
This ask report considers preventing practices of mutilation on factory farms.
This ask report focuses on improving the environmental conditions of factory farmed animals. Specifically, it focuses on improving management of dissolved oxygen levels for fish.
Ethical pest control
This ask report is focused on considering more humane pest killing and controlling mechanisms. There are possibly billions of rats and pest birds, as well as many other species of mammals and insects which are counted as pests. These animals are often killed non-humanely, and yet the animal advocacy movement has been relatively inactive within this problem. Few organisations have attempted to reduce the suffering of pests, and those that have did not scale up. Overall, a charity built around ethical pesticides seems moderately promising. This report considers various possible interventions and the crucial considerations involved.
High welfare meat
This ask report is focused on meat certified in programs that can make meaningful differences in animals’ lives. Having meat consumption switch to higher welfare meat could be more tractable than having people switch directly to veganism and, depending on your ethics, more important. This intervention can make animals go from net negative lives to lives worth living but it also brings a large number of crucial ethical and logistical considerations. We cover some of them in this summary report.
This ask report is focused on the food fortification of factory farmed animals’ feed. Micronutrient fortification is one of the most well established and cost effective interventions in global health, and all beings, including both humans and factory farmed animals, can benefit greatly from the right levels of micronutrients. Food fortification is an unusually direct and cost-effective way of addressing major sources of suffering (e.g. bone breaks in egg laying hens) and, overall, looks moderately promising. This report considers multiple micronutrients and supplements that could be added to an animal’s feed to increase its welfare.