Animal welfare
Animal welfare
Reducing suffering experienced by farmed animals and wild animals

Quick takes

FAW#3 An interesting idea (no evidence that it would work) - just putting it here for preservation more than anything else: Insects are haraam to eat. This is obviously good news in that it means at least 20% of the global population is unlikely to contribute to the demand for insects as food. However it doesn't automatically rule-out that muslims will contribute to the demand for insects through the consumption of farmed-animals who we might use insects to feed - e.g. Chickens and Fish. It might be worth finding out if muslims would care if their chicken or fish was unnecessarily fead exclusively haraam food instead of plant-based feed. My experience as a muslim makes me feel like a lot of people would much rather prefer the animals they consume to not be fead on things which they themselves wouldn't consider halaal.
For those voting in the EU election and general elections in Belgium, here's an overview of the party positions when it comes to animal welfare: (For more details, click this link) ✅ means more in favor    ❌ means more against Federal election (Flanders): policy proposal PVDA 🔴 GROEN ❇️ VOORUIT 🔺 Open-VLD 🔵 CD&V 🔶 N-VA 🔆 VB ⬛️ VAT rate reduction on veterinary care and pet food✅✅❌❌❌❌✅A ban on traditional fireworks✅✅✅❌❌✅✅ Federal election (Walloon): policy proposal PTB 🔴 ECOLO ❇️ PS 🔺 LE 🐬 Défi 🌸 MR 🔵 VAT rate reduction on veterinary care and pet food✅❌✅❌❌✅A ban on traditional fireworks✅❌✅❌❌✅ Flanders election: policy proposal PVDA 🔴 GROEN ❇️ VOORUIT 🔺 Open-VLD 🔵 CD&V 🔶 N-VA 🔆 VB ⬛️ Better living conditions for broiler chickens in Flanders✅✅✅❌❌✅✅A ban on live cooking and cutting lobsters in half✅✅❌❌❌❌❌A phasing out plan of Boudewijn Seapark✅✅✅❌❌✅✅A ban on the painful surgical castration of piglets✅✅✅❌❌✅❌A ban on chick killing✅✅✅✅❌✅✅Stricter legislation around the dog and cat trade✅✅✅❌❌✅✅A duty of care for horses, dogs, cats and rabbits✅✅❌❌❌✅✅The development of cultured meat in Flanders✅✅✅✅❌✅❌Animal testing: for an animal-free strategy in Flanders✅✅✅✅❌✅✅A Flemish ban on the sale of products that harm animal welfare✅✅✅❌❌✅❌Animal welfare as a criterion in environmental permit procedure✅✅❌❌❌✅❌A punishment of animal abuse through GAS fines ❌✅❌❌❌✅✅total score11/1212/128/123/120/1211/127/12Highest score ✅      Walloon election:   PTB 🔴 ECOLO ❇️ PS 🔺 LE 🐬 Défi 🌸 MR 🔵 Total score12/1311/138/1310/136/135/13Highest score✅      EU election (Flanders):   PVDA 🔴 GROEN ❇️ VOORUIT 🔺 Open-VLD 🔵 CD&V 🔶 N-VA 🔆 VB ⬛️ Total score9/1010/1010/108/100/1010/100/10Highest score ✅✅  ✅  EU election (Walloon):   PTB 🔴 ECOLO ❇️ PS 🔺 LE 🐬 Défi 🌸 MR 🔵 Total score9/109/107/109/106/107/10Highest score✅✅ ✅   Brussels election:   PVDA 🔴 ECOLO ❇️ GROEN ❇️ PS 🔺 VOORU
Animal Justice Appreciation Note Animal Justice et al. v A.G of Ontario 2024 was recently decided and struck down large portions of Ontario's ag-gag law. A blog post is here. The suit was partially funded by ACE, which presumably means that many of the people reading this deserve partial credit for donating to support it. Thanks to Animal Justice (Andrea Gonsalves, Fredrick Schumann, Kaitlyn Mitchell, Scott Tinney), co-applicants Jessica Scott-Reid and Louise Jorgensen, and everyone who supported this work!
If you believe that: - ASI might come fairly soon - ASI will either fix most of the easy problems quickly, or wipe us out - You have no plausible way of robustly shaping the outcome of the arrival of ASI for the better does it follow that you should spend a lot more on near-term cause areas now? Are people doing this? I see some people argue for increasing consumption now, but surely this would apply even more so to donations to near-term cause areas?
First in-ovo sexing in the US Egg Innovations announced that they are "on track to adopt the technology in early 2025." Approximately 300 million male chicks are ground up alive in the US each year (since only female chicks are valuable) and in-ovo sexing would prevent this.  UEP originally promised to eliminate male chick culling by 2020; needless to say, they didn't keep that commitment. But better late than never!  Congrats to everyone working on this, including @Robert - Innovate Animal Ag, who founded an organization devoted to pushing this technology.[1] 1. ^ Egg Innovations says they can't disclose details about who they are working with for NDA reasons; if anyone has more information about who deserves credit for this, please comment!
The Belgian senate votes to add animal welfare to the constitution. It's been a journey. I work for GAIA, a Belgian animal advocacy group that for years has tried to get animal welfare added to the constitution. Today we were present as a supermajority of the senate came out in favor of our proposed constitutional amendment. The relevant section reads: It's a very good day for Belgian animals but I do want to note that: 1. This does not mean an effective shutdown of the meat industry, merely that all future pro-animal welfare laws and lawsuits will have an easier time.  And, 2. It still needs to pass the Chamber of Representatives. If there's interest I will make a full post about it if once it passes the Chamber. EDIT: Translated the linked article on our site into English.
The meat-eater problem is under-discussed. I've spent more than 500 hours consuming EA content and I had never encountered the meat-eater problem until today. (I had sometimes thought about the problem, but I didn't even know it had a name)
EDIT 2024-06-10: We are no longer accepting applications. Thank you to all who got in touch. The Animal Welfare Department at Rethink Priorities is recruiting volunteer researchers to support on a high-impact project! We’re conducting a review on interventions to reduce meat consumption, and we’re seeking help checking whether academic studies meet our eligibility criteria. This will involve reviewing the full text of studies, especially methodology sections. We’re interested in volunteers who have some experience reading empirical academic literature, especially postgraduates. The role is an unpaid volunteer opportunity. We expect this to be a ten week project, requiring approximately five hours per week. But your time commitment can be flexible, depending on your availability. This is an exciting opportunity for graduate students and early career researchers to gain research experience, learn about an interesting topic, and directly participate in an impactful project. The Animal Welfare Department will provide support and, if desired, letters of experience for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with us, contact Ben Stevenson at Please share either your CV, or a short statement (~4 sentences) about your experience engaging with empirical academic literature. Candidates will be invited to complete a skills assessment. We are accepting applications on a rolling basis, and will update this listing when we are no longer accepting applications. Please reach out to Ben if you have any questions. If you know anybody who might be interested, please forward this opportunity to them!
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