Project Launch: Effective Animal Activism

Last month we asked you, 80,000 hours members and readers: what questions do you have about making a difference? Over half of the responders on the thread noted a glaring lacuna in information available within the Effective Altruism movement – an evaluation of the best ways to do good within the cause of non-human animals.

Among the goals of 80,000 hours is to provide resources to our community on the issues that matter most to us. As a result, we took the initiative to launch a new web-page dedicated to Effective Animal Activism: http://effectiveanimalactivism.org/, as a part of 80,000 hours, for our members to research, share, and act upon the most effective forms of giving our time or money to help animals.

All 80,000 hours members have pledged to use the time or resources we give effectively to help others. In pursuit of this goal, members are involved in a variety of causes, such as raising money for malaria nets – a highly effective, evidence-based way to fight global poverty. Some of our members are interested in exploring other options for doing a lot of good. The animal cause is one such area, mostly because of the magnitudes involved. A staggering 60 billion non-human land animals (1) are killed every year for food alone. A large proportion of those animals are factory farmed, living in extreme suffering. Luckily, it turns out there are some very effective ways to reduce this suffering: for example, promoting reduction in animal-product consumption is a very cheap and highly-effective means of saving a large number of animals from suffering on factory farms. So we believe reducing animal suffering deserves further investigation as a cause for effective altruists.

EAA was launched for this purpose: investigate the best ways to help non-human animals and provide a forum for the community to discuss these issues with one another. And similarly to developing world charities, our research has found that by giving to some charities over others we can do hundreds or even thousands of times more good in reducing animal suffering.

Among the resources we offer are:

  • Charity evaluation, including top charity recommendations, and thorough analysis of other candidates.
  • Career Paths to help animals. Advice, information, and opportunities to network with and receive mentorship from other 80,000 hours members who are further along in their careers.
  • Optimal volunteering opportunities with top charities.
  • A blog featuring new Effective Altruism content relating to the animal cause.
  • Further resources and results of our original research on effective giving to animals.
  • A community forum to discuss all of the above.

We hope you visit the project and join our community!


(1) “The Meat Crisis: Developing More Sustainable Production and Consumption” Edited by Joyce D’Silva, John Webster, (2010) Routledge http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781844079032/

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