Animal suffering in our world is diverse and immense. However, farmed animals experience the most human-caused suffering compared to all other categories. In the U.S., for every single dog or cat euthanized in a shelter, about 13,952 farmed animals are slaughtered. In total, 12.8 billion farmed animals are killed every year in the U.S., including 9.7 billion land animals (mostly chickens)1 and 3.1 billion aquatic animals (mostly crustaceans).2 This amounts to about 295 chickens, 85 farmed crustaceans, 13 farmed fishes, seven turkeys, and four pigs killed every second.3) Similarly, at any point in time, there are about 2,920 times more animals on farms than animals in laboratories.4 All these numbers are for the U.S. alone.
Spending on animal advocacy is highly inconsistent with these patterns. As of 2023, we identified about 370 U.S. companion animal organizations listed on GuideStar and Charity Navigator with annual revenue or gross receipts over two million USD. The annual revenue of all these organizations together amounts to $2.57 billion. By contrast, the annual funding going toward U.S. farmed animal advocacy is estimated at around $91 million.5 Among the organizations we identified that are specifically focused on animals used for research, annual revenue amounted to around $41 million.
Of domesticated and captive animals killed by humans in the U.S., about 99.987% are farmed animals, 0.007% are euthanized in companion animal shelters, and 0.006% are animals used in laboratories. However, about 95% of donations to animal charities in the U.S. go to companion animal organizations, 2% go to laboratory animal organizations, and 3% go specifically to farmed animal organizations.6
This indicates that the funding going to farmed animal organizations amounts to around 3.5% of the funding to companion animal organizations and only 2.2 times as much as the funding to organizations specifically focused on animals used for research, despite the fact that thousands of times more animals are affected.
For more details on the data we used, please see this spreadsheet.
While these figures are highly approximate and should be interpreted as broad indicators rather than precise statistics, they indicate a significant imbalance in the current distribution of animal advocacy funding. To help address this imbalance, we encourage donors and volunteers to concentrate their efforts on helping farmed animals.
ACE currently recommends several charities that focus on reducing farmed animal suffering through a variety of impactful interventions. Please consider donating to one or more of these Recommended Charities. Thank you!
ÇIFTLIK HAYVANLARINI KORUMA DERNEĞI
DANSK VEGETARISK FORENING
FISH WELFARE INITIATIVE
LEGAL IMPACT FOR CHICKENS
NEW ROOTS INSTITUTE
SHRIMP WELFARE PROJECT
THE GOOD FOOD INSTITUTE
THE HUMANE LEAGUE
These figures do not include the millions of animals who die from injuries or health problems before they are slaughtered (Animal Clock, 2020