Holly Morgan

1570 karmaJoined Working (6-15 years)


Founded Giving What We Can Oxford (now EA Oxford) with Max D. (2010)
Founding team of CEA (now Effective Ventures) (2011)
Ran The Life You Can Save with Peter Singer (2012)
Graduated (2013)
Ventured out of the EA bubble (2014-2017)
Ran EA London with David Nash (2018)
Had fun with Daoism (2019-2020)
Supporting EAs in various ways (2021+)


I asked Google when chicken embryos start to feel pain and this was the first result (i.e. I didn't look hard and I didn't anchor on a figure):

A recent study by the Technical University of Munich in Germany measured chicken embryos' heart rate, brain activity, blood pressure and movements in response to potentially painful stimuli like heat and electricity and concluded that they didn't seem to feel them until at least day 13. (14 Oct 2023)

Egg Innovations, which sells 300 million free-range and pasture-raised eggs a year


This interview with the CEO suggests that Egg Innovations are just in the laying (not broiler) business and that each hen produces ~400 eggs over her lifetime. So this will save ~750,000 chicks a year?

Agreed. I've relied on this as my main source of EA news for the past 6 years.

Happy 10th Anniversary, Jo!! :)

A lot of pop, a lot of musicals... I'd like to say that my music taste has become a lot more sophisticated over the past 12 years, but that would be false.

And shout-out to this old favourite from @Raemon ✨.

Am I right in thinking that you are no longer EA-specific? Just a generic mental health website?

Yeah I was guessing more like 40:35:15:10 environment:health:welfare:other for UK in general, but that Veganuary had probably been pushing more welfare-heavy messaging so were getting a higher proportion of welfare folks, but still didn't expect twice environment/health :)

Found it! https://www.youtube.com/user/Kurzgesagt > click on "and 7 more links" in the little bio > click on "View email address" > do the CAPTCHA (I've also DM'd it to you)

Thanks for sharing!

Personal highlight: "When Veganuary asked participants about their number one motivation for taking part, 18% said the environment, and 21% said their health – but 40% said animal welfare." I think I would have estimated something more like 25% animal welfare.

Thank you so much for crossposting this!

1,157 corporate pledges are now fully implemented, 89% of the pledges that came due by last year.


So if:

  • Saulius' 2019 estimates were otherwise correct i.e. cage-free campaigns do in fact affect 75 chicken-years per dollar (updating 64%-->89% follow-through gives 54-->75 chicken-years)
  • A free-range egg costs 11 cents more than a caged egg
  • Modern commercial hens produce 300 eggs a year

Then: It's ~2,500 times more cost-effective to donate to a cage-free campaign than to buy cage-free eggs instead of caged eggs.[1]

While I agree that we shouldn't take expected value estimates too literally, that's one hell of a multiplier. And even if ethical offsetting is generally antithetical to EA values, if your goal is to get chickens out of cages, an estimated 2500x multiplier on the margin[2] is a powerful challenge to buying cage-free eggs yourself.

"You shouldn't be buying eggs at all!" I hear you cry. Why not? Because personally boycotting commercial egg production robustly makes you >2,500 times more persuasive as an animal welfare advocate? Because being free to consume egg-based products would make such a negligible difference to your productivity over the rest of your life, that it would never lead to you earning an additional $1.50?[3] Indeed you never spend more than $1.50 to give yourself the kind of benefits (yes, benefits) you'd get from being free to consume eggs for the rest of your life?

Epistemic status: Sitting in a cafe in a country with ~no cage-free eggs staring hungrily at a breakfast menu consisting entirely of egg-based options considering breaking my no-meat-or-caged-eggs diet while KC and the Sunshine Band sing Give It Up over the cafe speakers and wondering if the universe is telling me to give up rationalising eating tasty food or to give up rationalising looking more altruistic.

  1. ^


  2. ^

    Obviously if no one bought cage-free eggs, no one would produce them.

  3. ^

    Here, I'm assuming that cage-free campaigns affect 75 chicken-years per dollar (as above), that you'd otherwise eat 200 caged eggs a year, that commercial hens produce 300 eggs a year (as above), that you live another 75 years, that—very speculatively—going cage-free removes 50% of the suffering, and welfarism.

    Note that rather than exhibiting regression to the mean over time, this is remarkably ~15x larger than ACE's 2015 estimate for online ads.

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