We are excited to announce the grantees of the fifth round of ACE Movement Grants.1 The goal of this program is to support a diverse group of projects. This round, we had $1.09 million available for disbursement, and we reviewed 146 applications. We are thrilled to present the 34 projects we selected for a grant. Of the grants, the median size is $25,000, and 16 of the projects are to first-time recipients. We want to thank everyone involved, and congratulations to the successful applicants!
- ACTAsia ($50,000)
- Agriculture Fairness Alliance ($25,000)
- Animal Ask ($40,000)
- Animal Law Europe ($20,000)
- Asociación para el Rescate y Bienestar de Los Animales ($10,000)
- Asociația de Conștientizare a Industriei Agricole ($10,000)
- Associação Vegetariana Portuguesa ($22,000)
- Cellular Agriculture Australia ($20,000)
- Christopher Sebastian ($35,000)
- Çiftlik Hayvanlarını Koruma Derneği ($25,000)
- Česká Veganská Společnost ($25,000)
- Demissew Bekele ($10,000)
- Dharma Voices for Animals ($40,000)
- Encompass ($60,000)
- Equalia ($40,000)
- Factory Farming Law & Policy Fellowship Program ($75,000)
- Food Empowerment Project ($60,000)
- Grassroots Artists Movement Inc. ($50,000)
- Institute of Animal Law of Asia ($38,000)
- Menú por el Planeta ($18,000)
- Peace Advocacy Network ($20,000)
- Perkumpulan Sahabat Satwa Jogja ($30,000)
- Rostlinně ($10,000)
- Sentient ($30,000)
- Sentient Media ($60,000)
- Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy ($4,000)
- Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Selangor ($50,000)
- Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute ($25,000)
- UK Centre for Animal Law ($23,000)
- Vegan Caribbean Kickstart ($15,000)
- Veg Student Alliance ($24,000)
- We Animals Media ($31,000)
- World Day for the End of Fishing ($24,000)
- xiaobuVEGAN ($40,000)
Description of Grants
Established in 2006, ACTAsia aims to promote compassion, kindness, and respect for humans, nonhuman animals, and the environment. They have multiple programs including humane education and a fur-free campaign. Based in China, ACTAsia identified a need for more Asia-centered community building, noting that much of the communication around animal advocacy in Asia has a strong Western focus, which can be alienating to Asian animal advocates and encourages approaches that don’t apply to the Asian context. This grant goes toward the development of a platform for Asian animal advocacy and consumer choice organizations from various countries to share resources and achievements. Through this platform, ACTAsia aims to inspire and support the Asian movement as a whole.
Agriculture Fairness Alliance ($25,000)
The Agriculture Fairness Alliance (AFA) aims to level the playing field in the United States’ federal farm policy so that sustainable and alternative proteins can compete fairly in the free market, for example by fighting and shifting subsidies and bailouts that primarily benefit animal agriculture. This grant goes toward research into the feasibility and environmental impact of transitioning a particular Wisconsin dairy farm to a hazelnut farm. The research includes but is not limited to soil and water samples, as well as social cost evaluations. The aim of the research is to develop and demonstrate methods that can be applied on a larger scale. Having completed a case study on the feasibility of transitioning a particular farm will also bolster AFA’s message to lawmakers. We are enthusiastic about the potential of supporting animal farmers in their transition to plant-based agriculture and are excited to support this project.
Animal Ask ($40,000)
Animal Ask is a new organization that aims to optimize and prioritize animal welfare asks, i.e., specific requests that animal advocacy organizations make to industry, food companies, or governments to improve the welfare of animals. An example of an ask is a request to the U.K. government to ban cages for laying hens. Animal Ask provides services such as research and consultation targeted at key decisions between different interventions, identifying the most impactful animal asks. Their services aim to support animal charities, donors, policymakers, and governments so that they may do more good in the long term toward the advancement of animal welfare. We appreciate that Animal Ask works closely with other animal organizations, which makes it more likely that their research findings will be implemented. This grant goes toward the salary of a new researcher to free up the capacity of the leadership team.
Animal Law Europe ($20,000)
Animal Law Europe is a consultancy in Brussels, Belgium that assists private actors and public administration in achieving a more just and humane world for human and nonhuman animals. It supports and promotes the development of animal law as an autonomous discipline, which places nonhuman animals as sentient beings at its core. We are providing funding for the completion, publication, and presentation of their report on EU Farm Animal Welfare Legislation (EU FAWL). As part of the EU Green Deal, the EU executive announced that it would revise EU FAWL. Animal Law Europe reports they will be the first to produce a comprehensive review of the five pieces composing EU FAWL with recommendations for reform.
Asociación para el Rescate y Bienestar de Los Animales ($10,000)
Among other activities, Peruvian organization Asociación para el Rescate y Bienestar de Los Animales (ARBA) advocates for the welfare of laying hens in Peru. They conduct this work through agreements with restaurants and hotels to only purchase eggs from free-range systems. With the help of a market research company, they plan to implement a nationwide survey that will inquire about consumers’ willingness to pay more for certain attributes of eggs, including quality, color, and whether or not the chickens were confined in cage-free systems. We believe that research on willingness to pay will be valuable for the movement in Peru and perhaps for the movement in Latin America more generally.
Asociația de Conștientizare a Industriei Agricole ($10,000)
Asociația de Conștientizare a Industriei Agricole (ACIA) aims to educate young people in Romania about the impact of their food choices on the environment and their health. Through humane education, they aim to reach over three thousand people between 16 and 26 years of age. They focus on students from institutions that teach subjects around environmental and agricultural topics. We appreciate that ACIA follows up the humane education with a call to sign up for Start22, a Romanian vegan pledge which is designed to be followed easily by making use of Facebook groups. ACIA also offers samples of plant-based foods after their presentations to allow students to try vegan food. We would like to see more animal advocacy work in Romania and are excited to support ACIA.
Associação Vegetariana Portuguesa ($22,000)
Associação Vegetariana Portuguesa (AVP) is a nonprofit organization that advocates for a plant-based diet via education, corporate advocacy, capacity building, and political lobbying. They work both in Portugal and at the European Union level. This grant will support AVP’s Prato Sustentável project whose goal is to increase the availability and quality of plant-based options in school cafeterias. The first stage of this project included training sessions with large Portuguese catering companies and the creation of an e-learning course for caterers and school canteen staff. This grant goes toward the second stage of the project, in which AVP plans to pilot work with one large municipality’s school network, and eventually scale up in the future. If successful, the schools in the municipality will adhere to a weekly or monthly day during which plant-based meals will be the default, and AVP will offer training to students, teachers, and parents.
Associação Vegetariana Portuguesa received a previous Movement Grant in the summer of 2020.
Cellular Agriculture Australia ($20,000)
The main goal of Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA) is to increase the supply of commercially competitive, sustainable, and ethical cell-cultured products and to reduce demand for animal products. Their work focuses on education as well as outreach events, both of which this grant will support. CAA’s upcoming events include organizing a citizen science event aimed at potential future consumers of cell-cultured products and attending an existing nationwide scientific and industry conference where they will represent cellular agriculture. One of CAA’s aims with this grant is to create and implement a course on cellular agriculture targeting undergraduate students in at least one Australian university.
Christopher Sebastian ($35,000)
Christopher Sebastian is an author, researcher, and lecturer. He is involved with various animal advocacy initiatives and is a guest lecturer at Columbia University. In his work, he focuses on animal rights and its connections to other forms of anti-oppression. We believe Sebastian’s thoughtful, critical, and engaging approach makes him especially well-suited to help animal advocates better understand these connections. This grant will allow Sebastian to support smaller, mission-aligned nonprofits with their social media strategy. We believe this work builds the capacity of organizations and increases skills in the movement. We are excited to support Sebastian again as we believe developing the skills of advocates is currently a neglected area of the movement.
Çiftlik Hayvanlarını Koruma Derneği ($25,000)
Çiftlik Hayvanlarını Koruma Derneği (CHKD) is an organization based in Turkey that works to end the use of battery cages for egg-laying hens. They use corporate outreach to secure commitments from companies to go cage-free, alongside an award program that builds positive relationships with companies that have made commitments. CHKD reports that the top five egg retailers in Turkey are locally owned, which is why they were not affected by global pledges for cage-free eggs. This grant will help CHKD hire a fundraiser to ensure they can maintain financial stability in their programs. We hope this funding will contribute to building the animal advocacy movement in Turkey.
Česká Veganská Společnost ($25,000)
Česká Veganská Společnost (CVS), also called the Czech Vegan Society, works to increase the consumption of plant-based foods in the Czech Republic. Though they use various advocacy tactics, this grant is restricted to their program that supports the local alternative protein industry. CVS’s work in this area includes providing support for startups, entrepreneurs, and growth-stage companies that aim to transform the food system, as well as coordinating activities with food technology universities. This work includes overseeing grant possibilities for the research and development of new plant-based products. We appreciate that CVS has already built connections in the field of alternative proteins and created a startup manual for new companies and entrepreneurs.
Česká Veganská Společnost received a previous Movement Grant in the fall of 2019.
Demissew Bekele ($10,000)
This grant goes to research at the Ethiopian Addis Ababa Institute of Technology. The research will study the potential of faba beans, amaranth grains, and sunflower seed meals as potential raw materials for plant-based meat. These materials can be obtained locally in Ethiopia and therefore may be a more favorable basis for plant-based meat in Ethiopia than traditional materials such as soy. The research will be conducted in various research institutions in Ethiopia as well as abroad, to have access to the necessary equipment. We are excited to support plant-based meat research in Ethiopia as we believe there is a need for more animal advocacy in this region.
Dharma Voices for Animals ($40,000)
Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) is an international Buddhist animal advocacy group. They work to educate Buddhist communities on animal rights issues as they pertain to the Buddha’s teachings. They conduct institutional outreach at Buddhist centers to persuade them to shift to plant-based menus, and they give talks at Dhamma schools. They work in various countries, but this round we are providing funding for their outreach in Thailand, where they are advocating for monks to adopt plant-based diets. DVA hopes to reach two thousand monks through these means. They anticipate that creating dietary change in monks will influence the lay Buddhist population to also change their diets. We believe that advocacy toward Buddhist populations is neglected, and DVA’s approach seems promising given Buddhism’s focus on the reduction of suffering. We hope DVA’s approach will prove scalable and allow for effective targeting of the ~500 million Buddhists worldwide, as well as the many people who don’t self-identify with Buddhism but are influenced by its philosophy.
Dharma Voices for Animals received a previous Movement Grant in the spring of 2019.
The U.S.-based organization Encompass works to make the farmed animal advocacy movement more effective by fostering racial equity. This grant goes toward two of their programs: The first involves working with professional farmed animal protection groups to maximize impact by integrating racial equity principles throughout the organization, and the second is aimed at coaching and supporting animal advocates of the global majority2 via the Global Majority Caucus. The Global Majority Caucus is a collaborative space designed to empower advocates of the global majority by cultivating their leadership potential and providing the resources and support they need to thrive within the movement. Encompass hopes to support 10 organizations and 50 advocates of the global majority with this funding. We believe racial equity is key to making the animal advocacy movement more effective and better equipped to attract and maintain talent.
Based in Spain, Equalia is dedicated to improving the living conditions of farmed animals who are suffering under the lowest standards of animal welfare. They work with companies, institutions, and interest groups, with the intention of impacting the largest possible number of animals. Equalia’s methods include publishing investigative reports, negotiating with companies, educating political parties, and building alliances with stakeholders who are concerned with food safety and the sustainability of food systems. This grant will help increase Equalia’s internal and external capacity in the areas of video production, editing, and full-stack development to further aid the long-term sustainability of the organization.
Equalia received a previous Movement Grant in the fall of 2019.
Factory Farming Law & Policy Fellowship Program ($75,000)
The Factory Farming Law & Policy Fellowship Program places recent graduates in fellowship positions with Richman Law & Policy. We appreciate their novel approach of using false advertising claims—such as challenging claims that animals are raised humanely—to expose animal cruelty in industrial animal agribusinesses. They note that aside from favorable legal decisions, a potential outcome of these cases is increased public awareness of the inhumane practices used in factory farming. This grant goes toward hiring an additional attorney who will focus on aquaculture issues.
The Factory Farming Law & Policy Fellowship Program received a previous Movement Grant in the spring of 2019.
Food Empowerment Project ($60,000)
Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) is a U.S.-based vegan food justice organization that works to reduce the injustices inflicted by the food system upon animals, humans, and the environment. This grant supports several of their programs including (i) their sixth annual Vallejo Healthy Food Festival, which will take place virtually later this year, (ii) their outreach on how the dairy industry harms nonhuman animals and disproportionately harms Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, and (iii) their four-part series “Eat Your Ethics.” We are excited to support F.E.P.’s holistic approach to addressing systemic issues and their work to empower those with the fewest resources.
Food Empowerment Project received a previous Movement Grant in the spring of 2019.
Grassroots Artists Movement Inc. ($50,000)
Based in New York, Grassroots Artists MovEment uses their Black VegFest program to address multiple issues, including but not limited to: the oppression of animals, farm laborers, and people who are Black, Indigenous, or otherwise of the global majority. They also work toward the decolonization of eating habits, as well as sustainability and conservation. They applied for funding for a spin-off project of Black VegFest—the Vegan Political Education Project—which includes a set of interviews with Black voices in the animal advocacy movement, a number of talks on political education, and a podcast series that will be run in schools with vegan content aimed at high school students.
Institute of Animal Law of Asia ($38,000)
The Institute of Animal Law of Asia is a U.S.-based organization which aims to raise awareness of animal law and policy issues across Asia and foster international cooperation toward securing legal change for animals. We are providing general funding for their organization, through which they will continue to produce research and other written work for their website. In the future, they plan to organize community events, produce educational materials, and collaborate with other organizations. We were impressed with what they have achieved given their short track record, and we think their work will build the animal advocacy movement in high-priority regions of Asia.
Menú por el Planeta ($18,000)
Menú por el Planeta aims to increase plant-based options in Spanish universities. They identified a lack of knowledge among chefs as a bottleneck in providing appealing plant-based meals at university canteens and because of this, they plan to offer free training for chefs. As university canteens and cafeterias in Spain have either closed or remained partially open since March 2020 due to the pandemic, Menú por el Planeta has pivoted to use this time to negotiate with universities focusing on improvements to their operations once these areas are reopened. We think these negotiations, paired with their own internal improvements, will be highly effective in pushing a campaign or project forward, and we are excited to support this initiative.
Menú por el Planeta received a previous Movement Grant in the summer of 2020.
Peace Advocacy Network ($20,000)
Founded in 2010, Peace Advocacy Network (PAN) is a grassroots group that strives for the absence of violence in the lives of humans and animals by eliminating oppression and inequity. We are providing this grant to help PAN develop a pipeline of animal activists. In addition to providing training in grassroots activism, event organizing, coalition building, media training, and program evaluation, PAN expects to train at least 30 activists in the basics of food politics, the creation and implemention of campaigns, and other activist endeavors. We think PAN’s approach to building activist skills is a novel addition to the animal activist training that already exists and seems to be a promising way to build the capacity of the movement.
Peace Advocacy Network received a previous Movement Grant in the spring of 2019.
Perkumpulan Sahabat Satwa Jogja ($30,000)
Perkumpulan Sahabat Satwa Jogja (PSSJ), also called Animal Friends Jogja, is an organization based in Indonesia that works in multiple different areas of animal advocacy including farmed animals, companion animals, and wild animals. We are providing funding toward a new program focused on reducing compassion fatigue and activist burnout. This will be a virtual project of workshops targeted toward activists in Asia, primarily in Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines. PSSJ has identified the need for mental health support as an area for improvement within their organization, and we think this project is a good opportunity to build the capacity of the movement more broadly.
Rostlinně promotes the consumption and availability of plant-based foods in the Czech Republic. Among other methods, they conduct restaurant outreach, which includes running workshops with companies to get more plant-based products on their menus. Rostlinně is a part of OBRAZ – Obránci zvířat, a Czech animal advocacy organization. We appreciate that OBRAZ collaborates with organizations in neighboring countries, which means that other groups can profit from their learning. We also admire the complementary relationship between Rostlinně’s focus on diet and OBRAZ’s focus on animals. This grant goes toward Rostlinně’s general operating costs.
Sentient is an organization based in Israel that specializes in conducting undercover investigations of animal farming operations. Activists at Sentient combine their expertise from a variety of fields, including journalism, technology, social media, and more. This grant will support Sentient’s undercover work. In general, the footage obtained by their undercover investigators shows how animals are treated behind closed doors and helps lay the groundwork for many forms of activism, such as raising general awareness and conducting corporate campaigns.
Sentient Media ($60,000)
U.S.-based Sentient Media is a journalistic nonprofit organization working to create transparency around the food system and its impacts on humans, the environment, and nonhuman animals. This grant goes toward their Writers’ Collective, a program to train animal advocates on writing and journalism skills. Training topics are set to include fact-checking, building investigative stories, working with whistleblowers, as well as lectures on topics such as racial justice in animal advocacy, climate change, reporting on aquatic life, and language and persuasion. We are excited to support this project because of its focus on building talent in the movement and because of Sentient Media’s thoughtful approach.
Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy ($4,000)
SHAMAYIM: Jewish Animal Advocacy is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that runs programs, campaigns, and educational opportunities to educate the Jewish community about animal advocacy and veganism. This grant will be directed toward their Shamayim Campus Fellowship, which aims to give Jewish college students the tools and support they need to educate their communities about animal advocacy. Fellows are expected to organize five campus events to teach other students about plant-based eating in connection with the Jewish faith, the climate, personal health, and animal welfare. This year, due to COVID-19, students will be creating either in-person or virtual learning opportunities, where they will orchestrate discussion groups, book clubs, film events, and vegan cooking workshops. We think that investing in young activists is a promising approach and that leveraging existing relationships is an effective way to spread pro-animal values.
Shamayim received a previous Movement Grant in the summer of 2020.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Selangor ($50,000)
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Selangor (SPCA Selangor) is based in Malaysia. They work in multiple different areas of animal advocacy including farmed animals and companion animals. We are providing funding to their plant-based campaign unit, which uses outreach toward the government, producers, corporations, and communities to reduce the consumption of animal products. We are particularly excited to fund their work on meat reduction campaigns for schools and to build the capacity of an organization working in Malaysia, a region where we’d like to see more animal advocacy.
Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute ($25,000)
Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI) is a multi-faith organization committed to supporting faith leaders and their communities in Southern Africa. Their work includes increasing awareness and action on environmental justice, sustainable living, and climate change. This grant will accelerate SAFCEI’s campaign for cage-free hens in Southern Africa by supporting their research and media outreach. The grant allows SAFCEI to commission research into regional egg procurement policies as well as into the wider societal impacts of caged systems.
UK Centre for Animal Law ($23,000)
The UK Centre for Animal Law (A-law) is a charity that provides legal expertise and educational resources to those interested in animal law. They publish an academic journal, The UK Journal of Animal Law, as well as a free online magazine, and they enable the networking of legal professionals and students. A-law also works with academics to promote the study of animal law in universities, and they provide consultation on U.K. government policies. The grant will permit the continued employment of A-law’s Legal Support Officer to help develop their legal education program and oversee student groups.
Vegan Caribbean Kickstart ($15,000)
Vegan Caribbean Kickstart (VCK) is a pledge program organized by Rethink Your Food Inc, a nonprofit based in South Florida. The main aim of VCK is to support people of Caribbean heritage while they transition to a plant-based diet. The program consists of a pledge to eat vegan meals for 21 days and a follow-up commitment to long-term reduced consumption of animal products. The VCK project will include content that resonates best with their target demographic, including recipes and meal plans. Rethink Your Food was founded by Liz Ross, who was born and raised in the Caribbean and has experience in the food justice and vegan movements. We believe her background puts Rethink Your Food in a good position to carry out the Vegan Caribbean Kickstart project. We appreciate that Rethink Your Food considers individual outreach as a way to build support for institutional outreach.
Rethink Your Food Inc received a previous Movement Grant in the fall of 2020.
Veg Student Alliance ($24,000)
Veg Student Alliance (VSA) is dedicated to empowering and supporting vegan and vegetarian teens. They do this by creating interactive, youth-centered learning experiences that equip middle and high school students in the U.S. and Canada with the skills needed to take initiative on behalf of climate change, the environment, animals, human health, and workers’ rights. As a new nonprofit, this grant will support the growth of VSA’s programs and initiatives by building on the success of their nine-week pilot program. This program engaged eight vegan and vegetarian teens by providing, among other things, a cooking lesson, a Q&A with a nutritionist, and a student-led initiative: a free, online movie screening including a Q&A with a film director and photojournalist. Over the next 12 months, VSA aims to engage 65 teenagers and reach over 1,300 people in total.
We Animals Media ($31,000)
We Animals Media is a nonprofit photojournalism organization based in Canada focused on documenting the lives of animals used by humans. They partner with organizations to conduct investigations and make their collection of images and videos available for use by animal advocacy organizations, media outlets, and anyone working to effect change for animals. Over 240 groups have used their visuals in over 133 countries. We Animals Media also runs a sister project, the Unbound Project, an online platform which celebrates women working in animal advocacy through interviews, films, and photographs. They aim to expand this project to include more global perspectives, more women of the global majority,3 and more women working in specialized careers that are not normally associated with animal advocacy. We are providing funding toward the hiring of a project coordinator and some of the production costs of this project.
World Day for the End of Fishing ($24,000)
Launched in 2017 in Switzerland, World Day for the End of Fishing (WoDEF) works toward the abolition of fishing and fish farming. Aside from fishes, WoDEF is concerned with other aquatic animals such as crustaceans and cephalopods. WoDEF works year-round with partner organizations to encourage aquatic animal advocacy, but they are best known for their event in March. During this dedicated day, they call for the end of human-caused harm to fishes and encourage a broad group of organizations to develop their own fish welfare projects. We believe that allowing organizations to learn more about fishes, even if only once per year, makes it more likely for fish campaigns to become prevalent in the animal advocacy movement. Fishes and other aquatic animals make up one of the largest groups of animals suffering at the hands of humans.
World Day for the End of Fishing received a previous Movement Grant in the summer of 2020.
Based in Mainland China, xiaobuVEGAN (previously named Vegans of Shanghai) is a vegan advocacy organization that aims to mainstream plant-based eating and popularize the term “vegan” to the country’s masses. xiaobuVEGAN runs a Vegan Challenge App—currently a miniprogram feature in WeChat—that can help users track their daily vegan food intake and collect points, which can then be converted to buy vegan products. xiaobuVEGAN also works with food and beverage companies to increase plant-based options on their menus. Plant-based advocacy work in China is complex and faces many roadblocks due to the current political context. We appreciate the strategic approach that xiaobuVEGAN takes by focusing on health and environmental arguments in favor of plant-based eating, an approach that we would be more hesitant to fund if executed in a different context. China has one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies, but plant-based advocacy initiatives in the region are scarce. xiaobuVEGAN is one of the few organizations working in the plant-based movement in China, which makes them an especially appealing funding opportunity.
To limit the potential influence of conflicts of interest (COIs) between members of the Movement Grants review committee, other staff members involved in the review process, and applicants, we took the following precautions:
- We considered that any serious COI (e.g., past employment, past or present involvement with the Board of Directors, intensive volunteer work, or close relationship with an employee) would disqualify a team member from being involved in evaluating the relevant application.
- Prior to any discussion of the applications, the team members involved in the decision-making process disclosed any COIs they had with any of the applicants.
- When the team discussed an application where a COI was identified for a particular team member, that team member would leave the meeting prior to the discussion and would not return until a decision had been made.
The general review committee this round consisted of Jamie Spurgeon, Director of Research; Cash Callaghan, Researcher; Sydne Daniels, Director of Communications; and Marianne van der Werf, Movement Grants Program Officer.
This round, we identified COIs between guest review committee member Leah Edgerton and xiaobuVEGAN and between board member Zach Freitas-Groff and Factory Farming Law and Policy Fellowship. These team members recused themselves from the decision-making process regarding those applications.
A couple of COIs were identified between members of the review committee and applicants who did not receive a grant. For confidentiality reasons, these applicants are not listed. All applicants are welcome to contact us to confirm which staff members were involved in the decision-making process pertaining to their application.