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.
The Charity Entrepreneurship incubation program is built to to help new charity entrepreneurs start as high impact a charity as possible in as little time as possible. It will run for 2 months from June 17th to August 16th 2019. New organizations will be founded using seed grants at the end of the program.
Over the past few months, Charity Entrepreneurship has dedicated hours of work to researching ideas for potential animal charities that we believe could have uniquely high positive-impact. Our ask reports cover the impact of many different components of charitable interventions (for example, which animals to focus on). However, all of these reports are done only in the context of founding a new charity.
The following is a fictional story to illustrate a point.
The two interventions were both urgent. Animal Issues - Canada had been considering which of the two to pick for months. Jeremy thought that they should work on geese, as they had a significantly lower welfare standard than other in Canada. It looked clear to him that they should move the majority of their resources onto campaigns aimed at increasing the welfare of geese. However, his co-director disagreed. Jenny had been researching ducks and thought they were even more important than geese, since the ducks were slightly more numerous, although slightly better treated than the geese. It was a hard call, and so they chose to flip a coin. Both interventions were good, and flipping a coin seemed like a fair way of deciding, but both Executive Directors agreed that whatever the outcome, they would dedicate themselves to the issue.
But the coin betrayed them.
In this talk from EA Global 2018: London, Joey Savoie, Charity Entrepreneurship's director, discusses why charity entrepreneurship is one of the highest-impact things you can do. He also explains what we can do to help you start an effective organization.
Below you can find the full video and a transcript crossposted from effectivealtruism.org prepared and lightly edited by The Centre for Effective Altruism (huge thanks for their hard work).
You can share your thoughts about this talk on the EA Forum.
So, we are going to talk about charity entrepreneurship. But first, I'm going to take you to a slum of Lucknow.
Our charity incubation program is designed to teach you all the basics for starting a highly effective charity. For those who decide to start one of our incubated charities, there are many optional benefits after the program finishes. They aim to ease the transition into becoming a fully independent charity entrepreneur. Here are some of the benefits of starting an incubated charity:
This ask report considers switching people’s consumption of chicken to beef.
This ask report considers preventing practices of mutilation on factory farms.
Old post on scale (that people generally did not understand/disliked it).
Scale, or importance, is held as one of the 3 criteria to consider when evaluating an intervention for promisingness. With the idea being that large scale problems might suggest which area will be more effective to work on, assuming it also scores well on the other criteria. Some interventions are predicated on very strong scale arguments, such as far future or wild animal suffering. However, we have found that scale specifically is quite a poor indicator of the promisingness of an area.
Organizational self-confidence is seen as a very positive trait and is often embraced by new start-ups and nonprofits. The concept of self-skepticism is arguably as important but is often neglected. Self-skepticism cautions us to clearly measure our impact before declaring ourselves effective or expanding our organization. We believe that if a healthy dose of this was applied to the charity sector, it would make the world a much better place much faster.
Below is an outline of our organizational self-skepticism checklist.
First published at Charityscience.com in 2014
Many charities claim to accept and even enjoy feedback (both positive and critical), but I find that charities have two kinds of set-ups for feedback:
First published at Charityscience.com in 2015
When a charity is created most people think about the altruistic intentions behind its creation. They think that the founder wanted to improve the world or wanted to further a specific cause. While I think that this is true in nearly every case, there are also other strong motivations and sometimes these can interfere with or even supersede the organisation’s stated mission.
In this post I am not going to argue that university is largely about signaling competence; Brian Caplan and many other writers have already provided a fairly in-depth look at that. What I am going to argue is that if your main reason for going to university is to signal competence, there are better ways to do it, particularly for EAs who have a lot of talent and dedication.
It was a tricky decision that Bill had been considering for months. He was an impact-focused EA, and although he thought his job was fairly high-impact he was pretty sure he was very replaceable. In fact, he was unsure he was even needed at the organization, since many of his tasks could have been done by a less experienced employee. And he was one of the five members of the senior team!
This ask report focuses on improving the environmental conditions of factory farmed animals. Specifically, it is focused on improving management of dissolved oxygen levels for fish.
There are billions of animals who live in extremely painful conditions, but there are also hundreds of ways to help them. From methods as direct as rescuing a single animal from a horrible life to means as wide-reaching as working with governments and corporations in order to set up long term policies for improving the lives of millions of animals. Given the ongoing suffering and all the possible ways to help, why would anyone concerned with animal issues choose to focus on something as abstract and long term as research?
This ask report focuses on providing free or discounted contraceptives. Contraceptives are a well-known global poverty intervention, but in so far as they affect human population they also have major effects on the environment and animals. This report primarily considers the effect that a contraceptive charity could have on animals, although more extensive reports would consider the full range of benefits, including its effects on humans. The intervention ended up looking surprisingly impactful for animals, particularly if conducted in countries with high need for contraceptives and high fish and poultry consumption.
Written by: Joey Savoie
Time capping can be defined as fixing the number of hours for a certain task, research project or decision and keeping our research within those bounds. Most tasks can be completed at different levels of depth and research itself is never-ending - a single topic could often be researched in an hour or could equally have an entire PhD made out of it. The same can apply for website design, outreach, polishing or many other tasks that an organization engages in. Given tasks that are not time capped, people will generally spend more time on doing what they find fun or what they get absorbed in instead of what is best to put hours into in the long run. By setting a time cap on a task we are pre-determining how important that task is relative to other counterfactual tasks. This approach often results in more getting done at some cost of depth, as often 90% of the value of tasks is captured by the first 10% of the effort.
The first thing to consider is whether you need a job to prepare yourself for charity entrepreneurship (CE). A number of people have been surprised at the impact they can have relatively early in their career. In fact, we generally think that having the right goals and personality is far more important for CE than specific background experience or degrees.
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.
Authors of the research: Joey Savoie, Karolina Sarek, David Moss
When recommending different charities to found in the field of animal advocacy, a unique question to consider is what animals should be prioritized.
From humans in Canada to battery caged chickens in the United States, which animals have the hardest lives: results
Authors of the research: Karolina Sarek, Joey Savoie, David Moss
After spending considerable time on creating the best system we could for evaluating animal welfare, we applied this system to 15 different animals/breeds. This included 6 types of wild animal and 7 types of farm animal environments, as well as 2 human conditions for baseline comparisons. This was far from a complete list, but it gave us enough information to get a sense of the different conditions. Each report was limited to 2-5 hours with pre-set evaluation criteria (as seen in this post), a 1-page summary, and a section of rough notes (generally in the 5-10 page range). Each summary report was read by 8 raters (3 from the internal CE research team, 5 external to the CE team). The average weightings and ranges in the spreadsheet below are generated by averaging the assessments of these raters.
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.