The best charities to help animals

The best charities to help animals

If you care about animals and want to reduce their suffering, but you’re not sure how exactly, Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) is an organization that could help. A California-based nonprofit publishes an annual guide to recommended animal charities and has just published it list for this year. (Disclosure: ACE helped fund some Future Perfect works in 2020 and 2021)

Two of the top three charities focus on improving conditions on factory farms – which makes sense, given that they are places of great suffering. It’s not just death that happens there – only in the USA, factory agriculture kills 10 billion land animals every year – but the suffering that animals are forced to suffer while they are alive. Chickens, calves and pigs are often confined in such small spaces they barely move, and the conditions are so bad that “ag-gag”Laws exist to hide cruelty from the public.

When we hear about some of these conditions – like the fact that chickens are forced to produce eggs at such a fast rate the intestines sometimes partially fall out under load – we might want to stop them. But it can be difficult to know which charities will make good use of our dollars.

ACE researches and promotes the most effective and efficient ways to help animals. Group uses three main criteria when deciding whether to recommend an organization, as my colleague Kelsey Piper used to do explained:

  • Charities must be “it is likely to produce the greatest benefits for the animals”- that is, they do a job with great influence and have evidence to support it.
  • Charities must “actively evaluate and improve their programs”- are constantly trying to find the most effective way to advocate for animals (which can change over time) and adjust their programs accordingly.
  • Charities must “have a proven need for more funding” – in fact, they need more money on hand to reach everyone they know how to reach (which is not the case with every charity).

With this in mind, ACE has selected its three best charities in 2021:

1) Faunalytics: This is based in the US non-profit is little target in its approach to animal advocacy: it conducts and publishes independent research, mostly related to animal husbandry, in an effort to make other animal advocates more effective and evidence-based.

For example, examines data from social psychology about how to influence public opinion about animals in a way that actually leads to behavior change. ACE notes that advocacy research is a neglected intervention, writing, “Faunalytics programs support the animal advocacy movement by examining effective advocacy strategies, problem areas, and tactics, and providing MPs with a curated database of academic research summaries.”

2) Human League: This was founded in 2005 organization currently operates in the US, Mexico, the UK and Japan. He runs successful campaigns urging corporations to adopt higher animal welfare standards. Work has been done to end the use of battery cages internationally and improve conditions for chickens raised for meat. It also conducts legislative advocacy at the local level. It is important that The Humane League has an evidence-based point of view, collecting and using data to guide its approach and testing new ways to improve its programs.

3) Wildlife Initiative: Like my colleague Dylan Matthews has documented, this group is doing something unique: researching and advocating ways to help wildlife. Instead of focusing on animal welfare on factory farms, it focuses on the welfare of free-range animals, from birds to raccoons to insects. That studies questions like: Which animals are capable of subjective experiences? What is the quality of their life in the wild? How can we help them safely and sustainably?

ACE has also named some prominent charities – organizations it says are doing a good job even though they didn’t make the top three – such as xiaobuVEGAN, a Chinese organization that aims to reduce the suffering of farmed animals and increase the availability of animal-free products in China, and Federation of Indian Animal Welfare Organizations, which has similar goals in India. It’s nice to see that such non-US-based groups stand out with that in mind, like Marc Gunther explained in Vox, the vast majority of farmed animals are outside the US and the EU.

If you donate to any of the above charities, you can be reasonably confident that your money will be used effectively to reduce animal suffering. And if you’re not sure which one you want to donate to, you can give them away Recommended charity fund and leave it to ACE to distribute the money based on what their research suggests is most effective at the time.

Is it wrong to take care of animals when so many people are suffering?

Americans are increasingly concerned about animal welfare. Incredibly fast acceptance of meat products of plant origin like Impossible burgers and more than meat can be attributed, in part, to a growing sense that we can and should inflict much less suffering on animals.

A 2015 Gallup poll they found that 62 percent of Americans say animals deserve some legal protection. Another 32 percent – almost one-third – expressed an even stronger stance on animals, saying they believed animals should have the same rights as humans. 2008 only 25 percent expressed that view.

More and more Americans seem to be coming to see animals as part of ours moral circle, the imaginary boundary we draw around those we deem worthy of ethical consideration.

Some people, however, react to this by attacking “what’s up with that”: What about urgent human problems like pandemics and poverty? At the heart of this objection is typically the feeling that we cannot afford to “seek” compassion for the suffering of animals, because every part of the care we devote to that goal means that we have less to devote to human suffering.

But like Ezra Klein wrote,, research from Harvard Yon Soo Park and Benjamin Valentino of Dartmouth have shown that caring for human suffering and caring for animal suffering is not zero – in fact, where you find one, you will usually find another:

In one half of the study, they used data from the General Social Survey to see if people who support animal rights are more likely to support different human rights, a test of whether abstract compassion is zero sum. They then compared how strong animal treatment laws are in individual states with how strong laws protect human beings, a test of whether political activism is a zero sum.

The answer, in both cases, is that compassion seems to give birth to compassion. People who strongly supported state aid for the sick “were over 80 percent more likely to support animal rights than those who strongly opposed it,” the authors to write. The finding persisted even after controlling factors such as political ideology. Support for animal rights was also correlated – although the magnitude of the effect was smaller – with support for LGBT individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, unauthorized immigrants, and low-income earners.

Similarly, the states that have done the most to protect animal rights have also done the most to protect and expand human rights. States with strong laws protecting LGBT residents, strong protection against hate crimes, and inclusive policies for undocumented immigrants were much more likely to have strong animal protection.

The question of why these correlations exist is a matter of debate, but the point is to hope that our society will take action against animal suffering: if it does, we are more likely to see it work on human suffering as well. .



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