In January, thanks to the generous support of donors to ACE’s Recommended Charity Fund, we distributed $90,754.64 to our 2018 Top Charities and Standout Charities. Each charity has provided us with an update on how they’ve used their grants to help animals over the past six months, and we’re excited to share their achievements. By making a single gift to our Recommended Charity Fund, you can support multiple highly effective charities working hard to reduce animal suffering around the world.
2018 Top Charity Updates
Albert Schweitzer Foundation
The Albert Schweitzer Foundation (ASF) greatly increased their campaigning capacities in the last six months. They coordinated a broiler campaign with ten organizations against Europe’s largest caterer, Sodexo. The campaign succeeded in only four days, bringing ASF’s broiler victory count to seven for just this year.
ASF is also continuing to invest in their legal work on behalf of animals. They are currently working on a case in which a German investigator was convicted for unlawful entry onto an industrial farm in an attempt to prove violations against the animal welfare law. The judge ruled that factory farming naturally breaks the animal welfare law, and that the law cannot be applied to animals on industrial farms. ASF is currently helping the investigator to get this decision overruled by a constitutional court.
Last but not least, Mahi Klosterhalfen, CEO & President of ASF, was just awarded the “Peter Singer Prize for Strategies to Reduce the Suffering of Animals.” These accomplishments were made possible in part with the support from ACE’s Recommended Charity Fund.
Animal Equality made significant progress on behalf of farmed animals due to the support from the Recommended Charity Fund.
Animal Equality released five investigations exposing cruelty and abuse on factory farms. Their extensive investigations and legislative advocacy in Mexico led to a historic victory for farmed animals in the state of Jalisco. The state overwhelmingly approved a landmark reform criminalizing farmed animal cruelty in Jalisco, which will directly affect over 211 million animals annually.
Animal Equality also engaged in litigation in the U.S. for the first time in the organization’s history. Alongside Richman Law Group, they are representing Food & Water Watch and Organic Consumers Association in a suit against Pilgrim’s Pride for deceptive marketing and advertising of their chicken products. Animal Equality also worked alongside numerous public interest groups to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arkansas’ “ag-gag” law.
Animal Equality’s corporate outreach team successfully helped to convince 23 companies worldwide to adopt animal protection policies that will impact over 8.6 million animals. Their McDonald’s campaign recently included a demonstration at the McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting, as well as advertisements and demonstrations at McDonald’s locations across the country.
The Good Food Institute
The Good Food Institute (GFI) opposed label censorship bills in 25 states by hiring contract lobbyists, sending staff to lobby, submitting 30+ letters to 600+ legislative offices, and leading a coalition of other organizations that opposed the bills. GFI played a key role in killing a rider in the House spending bill that would have delayed the regulatory process for cell-cultured meat, and they helped ensure that the FDA/USDA oversight plan they support was codified by the agencies. They also successfully lobbied for language promoting federal grant money for plant-based meat in the House spending bill report.
GFI authored an article in the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) member magazine about plant-based alternatives to animal products. They also published the first-ever comprehensive reports on the plant-based and cellular agriculture industries.
In the last six months, GFI helped secure a $640,000 grant from the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology for cultured meat research, and they convinced MorningStar Farms to transition to 100% plant-based products by 2021.
Finally, GFI’s Executive Director took to the TED stage; nearly 1.4 million people have viewed the talk since it went live six weeks ago, and it has been translated into 15 languages. He was also featured on the TED Radio Hour, the 7th most popular podcast in the U.S., which airs on more than 600 radio stations.
The Humane League
Thanks to ACE’s Recommended Charity Fund, The Humane League (THL) invested in international efforts to reduce the suffering of factory farmed chickens. Over the past six months, they continued influencing the world’s biggest companies to create and implement policies that abolish the worst forms of abuse faced by billions of animals. THL secured 35 progressive animal welfare commitments: They won eight U.S. commitments for chickens raised for meat (broiler chickens); THL Japan secured 22 cage-free commitments for egg-laying hens; and THL U.K. won four global and regional cage-free commitments and a broiler chicken commitment from Wagamama.
In May, the Open Wing Alliance (OWA) hosted its Global Summit to End Cages, convening 140 activists from 40 countries. Activists received training in high-impact campaigning aligned around THL’s global strategy, and launched campaigns against Hilton Hotels and Best Western. In less than 24 hours, Hilton committed to a global cage-free policy, and after a month of high-intensity campaigning, Best Western followed suit.
THL has continued their I’m Not Lovin’ It campaign against McDonald’s. Their Shareholder Shake-Up engaged top investors in pushing McDonald’s to adopt a meaningful chicken welfare standard. Since McDonald’s continues to neglect its responsibility to animals, THL launched the #McGhoster campaign which has generated dozens of international media hits.
2018 Standout Charity Updates
Compassion In World Farming USA
Compassion In World Farming USA (Compassion USA) accomplished a great deal in six months, with a specific focus on compliance.
They began corporate outreach for EggTrack, an annual progress report that ensures companies can and will stick to their cage-free egg commitments on schedule. Following engagement with Compassion USA, market leaders Walmart and McDonald’s reported cage-free egg progress for the first time. These disclosures illustrate Compassion USA’s role as a catalyst and a critical policer of welfare commitment implementation.
Compassion USA worked closely with Hello Fresh and B. Good on their commitments to reduce chicken suffering, and with Subway on a global animal welfare policy. Testimony to ban the sale of foie gras was presented at a hearing in NYC.
In-person meetings were held with McDonald’s, Subway, Tyson, Perdue, Nestlé, and more regarding welfare policies and plant-based investments. Three major companies are finalizing Friendly Food Alliance pilot projects to reduce the number of animals in supply chains.
Faunalytics completed four major studies in the first half of 2019, including research on donor behavior and preferences, opinions of corporate animal welfare commitments, effective plant-based terminology, and long-term attitude tracking. They used their Recommended Charity Fund grant to increase their research program capacity by adding a research assistant and a new full-time Researcher, effectively doubling their research staff.
This increased capacity has also allowed Faunalytics to make substantial progress on their upcoming studies, including research on using social norms for vegan and vegetarian advocacy, as well as research examining why some advocates become inactive and how to support them. They’re also making progress on their longitudinal study with new vegans and vegetarians and their experimental research with donors. Faunalytics tracks their completed, in-progress, and planned studies on their website.
With the help of the Recommended Charity Fund, L214 focused on obtaining a cage-free commitment from the Avril group, France’s biggest egg producer. L214 released an investigation with their partner, the Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis. Avril then declared it was out of the question for them to make a firm commitment. Ten days later, L214 revealed footage of fistulated cows in a private experimental farm belonging to this group. The next day, the Avril group committed to end the breeding of caged laying hens for all its activities by 2025.
L214 also secured cage-free commitments from eleven other companies, including Terrena (Avril’s direct competitor), McDonald’s France, Carrefour (which extended its commitment to its retailer brand products), and the Soufflet group (a leader in the industrial bakery sector).
Geslin, Terrena, and Avril account for one third of France’s egg production, or 16.6 million laying hens. These commitments, alongside the other commitments made in 2017 and 2018, will lead to two thirds of France’s egg-laying hens being cage free by 2025.
Nonhuman Rights Project
With the support of ACE’s Recommended Charity Fund, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) focused on its mission to secure fundamental rights for nonhuman animals through legislation. In April, the NhRP announced its first-ever legislative plans to the Los Angeles City Council. Founding NhRP Board Member Dr. Jane Goodall was there to endorse the work and LA Councilmember Paul Koretz publicized that he would hold a hearing later in the year on whether nonhuman animals should have rights within the City of LA.
The NhRP also organized grassroot campaigns to support future legislative initiatives in other cities. In February, the organization held its first-ever rally in Worcester, Massachusetts, to call for elephants Beulah, Karen, and Minnie to be freed from imprisonment and exploitation at the hands of the Commerford Zoo. An online petition, signed by over 320,000 people since November 2018, was hand-delivered to the Zoo. The NhRP’s second rally was in June, this time at the Bronx Zoo for elephant Happy. The NhRP was joined by over 100 activists and representatives from local animal advocacy organizations. The rally caught the attention of national and international media outlets and several influencers, including Twitter journalist Yashar Ali, who made Happy’s plight viral, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Coretz, who stated that her team would look into Happy’s situation.
Open Cages used their Recommended Charity Fund grant to support the work of their corporate outreach team in Eastern Europe. During the last six months, they have convinced subsequent retailers to announce policies aimed to improve hen welfare and have published a report about the progress of cage-free campaigns in Poland. Open Cages also released investigations from factory farms in Ukraine, bringing the issue into the public spotlight in this neglected region.
Following their prior work on raising awareness of broiler chicken welfare, Open Cages (as a part of the Open Wing Alliance) started the international campaign against Sodexo. They successfully convinced the company of the importance of broiler chicken welfare and the need for higher welfare requirements for its suppliers.
In addition to their work on hen and chicken welfare, Open Cages has started raising awareness about fish welfare by publishing a comprehensive report on fish farming in Poland.
ProVeg International is using their Recommended Charity Fund grant to further improve their infrastructure. Specifically, they intend to implement systematic and reliable monitoring of activities and outcomes, and to improve their capacity to evaluate and measure impact. They are currently looking into software solutions for monitoring the whole chain from data collection through forms, storage in a SQL database, and dissemination through dashboards. They also aim to subscribe to an SPSS license in order to analyse all user surveys and other data they collect in more detail.
With support from the Recommended Charity Fund, Sinergia Animal used paid advertisements and worked with specialized public relations agencies to strengthen their media and social media campaigns.
In the last six months, Sinergia Animal has worked substantially on their corporate campaigns: They carried out 18 direct actions, gathered about 160,000 new petition signatures, and obtained more than 30 media hits. They helped convince four major Latin American companies—Colombina, Juan Valdez, Los Saldes and Unifood—to adopt cage-free egg policies. They also helped persuade one of the largest pig producers in Brazil, Pamplona, to phase out gestation crates.
Sinergia Animal’s first investigation into egg farms was launched in Argentina. It was narrated by the artist Nicolas Pauls and was featured in 20 different media outlets.
They also launched a 21-Day Vegan Challenge for consumers in Argentina, Chile, and Colombia. In its first three months, it was joined by around 5,000 consumers, supported by three celebrities, and covered by 12 media outlets.
Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira
In the first half of 2019, Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira used their Recommended Charity Fund grant to help cover expenditures for several strategic activities. They launched a vegetarian nutrition guide for children under two years old, organized a free training for approximately 200 health professionals about the possibilities and benefits of vegan eating, and coordinated a Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy training for 500 activists.
Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira also worked with restaurant chains to launch vegan options on their menus, including Starbucks, Pizza Prime, Makis Place, and Julietto. Additionally, in partnership with Greenpeace Brasil and Mercy for Animals Brasil, they put together a series of activities for the World Meat Free Week. Finally, they participated in strategic events targeting institutional decision makers, such as Natural Tech/Bio Brazil (natural & healthy products), Fispal Food Service (food service sector), and Fispal Tecnologia (food processing sector). These activities were made possible by several sources of funding, including ACE’s Recommended Charity Fund.