Animal Equality Review

This comprehensive review was originally written in December 2014, and has been updated to reflect our latest observations. All past reviews are available in our Reviews Archives. Animal Equality has been one of our top charities since December 2014.

Overview

What does Animal Equality do?

Animal Equality advocates for animals by conducting undercover investigations and promoting them through media outlets. They also conduct grassroots outreach including demonstrations, protests, leafleting, and video showings. Related to their undercover investigations, they also conduct some legal and corporate outreach efforts. (Read more.)

What are their strengths?

Animal Equality achieves significant successes with very small amounts of money; in particular, they have conducted undercover investigations for a fraction of the cost of other organizations. (Read more.) They have a robust understanding of success and failure, and are continually setting goals and performance improvement plans to increase their impact. (Read more.) They have a sound strategy for increasing their reach, reasonable expansion plans, and significant room for more funding. (Read more.)

What are their weaknesses?

Animal Equality is spread out among eight different countries. While this allows them to have a larger reach, it also means that they have significantly fewer resources to work with in each country. In our last review, this led to concerns about sustainability, but given their success in the past year, we are now significantly less concerned. We are uncertain about how much the effects of animal advocacy work differ across various countries, given differences in receptiveness and cultural influence, which might make work in certain countries like the US more impactful than others. However we are not confident enough in this for it to be a major concern. (Read more.)

Why do we recommend them?

We think Animal Equality does an exceptional job given the resources they possess. They are able to produce and market undercover investigation videos at a low cost relative to other organizations, and their efforts to evaluate and improve their work are strong. They exhibit high levels of transparency and work with many other groups to achieve their goals. Their leadership shows a strong understanding of strategy.

How much money could they use?

We think Animal Equality could use up to $315,000-$390,000 in increased funding this year. They want to build an investigations department in the US, develop their 360° investigations program, expand educational outreach programs (both online and in person) in England, India, Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, Germany, and Italy, and hire fundraisers in the US and Spain. (Read more.)

What do you get for your donation?

From an average donation of $1,000, we think Animal Equality would use about $460 towards investigations of the conditions of animals on farms, paying for a tiny fraction of an investigation but reaching hundreds of thousands of people through media coverage. They would use about $140 to support grassroots outreach, funding the distribution of about 370 leaflets and reaching 5 people with pay-per-view video. They would use about $300 on social media and online outreach, and about $20 on bigger protests. Finally, they would spend about $40 on legal advocacy, mostly related to their investigations and protests, and about $40 on corporate outreach related to their investigations. Our rough estimate is that these combined activities would spare about 13,200 animals from life in industrial agriculture. (Read more.)


How Animal Equality Performs on Our Criteria

Criterion #1: The Organization Has Concrete Room for More Funding and Plans for Growth

In 2014, we concluded that Animal Equality had substantial room for more funding, about enough to double their budget from 2014 to 2015.1 In practice Animal Equality actually did raise that additional funding: when we reviewed them in 2014, their income through August had been around $340,000; in the last four months of 2014 they raised an additional $290,000.2 Their income for 2015 is around $720,000 as of the end of August.3 At the end of 2014, their assets/expenditures ratio was about 0.12.4 This is a low assets to expenditures ratio, consistent with our impression that they are currently working towards organizational stability and constrained largely by funding issues.

Given this increase in funding, we should expect that they have expanded their programs as well, in largely the ways they described as possibilities. This does seem to have come to pass. Animal Equality provided a detailed list of hires that they hoped to make if they received additional funding in the amounts they actually have.5 Of ten areas they hoped to hire in, they have hired in seven; in one of these, they are still trying to hire in an area where they had made some hires which did not work out.6 We listed their priority hires in the 2014 review, which were: fundraisers in Spain, Italy, England, and Germany, a graphic designer and video editor, and country coordinators in Venezuela and Mexico.7 Of these, they currently have a trainee fundraiser in Germany and are working with companies to develop fundraising strategies in Spain and Italy, have successfully hired a graphic designer and a video editor, and have hired country coordinators in both Mexico and Venezuela.8,9

We think these are reasonably strong results for the level of growth that we, and Animal Equality, had predicted. Some of the hiring plans, in particular fundraising, were in areas that Animal Equality had little experience in, and it is not surprising that there were difficulties in expanding their organization as quickly as they have.10 We’ve talked with them about what they learned from this process, and their conclusion that they need to interview more thoroughly seems reasonable.11

This year, Animal Equality again has substantial plans for expansion. While some of these still address their goal from last year of becoming a more professional organization, more focus on expanding existing programs and creating new ones. They want to build an investigations department in the US,12 develop the 360° investigations program13,14 expand educational outreach programs (both online and in person) in England, India, Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, Germany, and Italy,15 and hire fundraisers in the US and in Spain.16,17 They provided a list of positions they’d like to fund and additional material expenses they would like to take on which totaled around $780,000.18

Of the activities they describe, we are most skeptical of the need for Animal Equality to develop an investigations department based in the US. They have so far run extremely cost-effective investigations partially because they have avoided the legal and social climate of the US, which makes investigations difficult to conduct compared to some other countries.19 Animal Equality is well-positioned to share investigations from the US in other countries around the world where US companies do business.20 However, there are already several groups conducting investigations of farms in the US, and it’s possible Animal Equality would do better to work with them to distribute their investigations internationally, as they have in the past, rather than also conducting and publicizing investigations into US farms.21 Creating a US investigations program accounts for about $150,000 of the proposed increase in budget.22

We think Animal Equality’s other proposed expansions are within their capabilities and would mostly use money about as effectively as their current programs. (In many cases, they would be hiring in one country for a local position which already exists in another country, or expanding a program to cover more of the countries they already work in.)23 This means that, depending on whether the US investigations department would be as effective as their other work, they could use a funding increase of $630,000-$780,000. A substantial amount of their increase in funding from late 2014 to mid 2015 was traceable at least in part to ACE’s recommendation,24 so although this represents similar percentage growth to their growth in recent years, we think at least half ($315,000 - $390,000) of this could be treated as a funding gap for ACE-directed donors.25 Since we can’t predict exactly how any organization will respond upon receiving more funds than they have planned for, this estimate is speculative, not definitive. We could imagine a group running out of room for funding more quickly than we expect, or coming up with good ways to use funding beyond what we have suggested. Our estimates are indicators of the point at which we would want to check in with a group to ensure that they have used the funds they’ve received and are still able to absorb additional funding.

Criterion #2: A Back-of-the-Envelope Calculation Finds the Organization is Cost-Effective
AE Pie Chart

Animal Equality Budget Allocation

Animal Equality runs several programs; we estimate cost-effectiveness separately for each program, then combine our estimates to give a composite estimate of their overall impact. Note that all estimates factor in associated supporting costs including administrative and fundraising costs. We think this quantitative perspective is a useful component of our overall evaluation, but the estimates of equivalent animals spared per dollar should not be taken as our overall opinion of the organization’s effectiveness, especially given that we choose not to account for some less easily quantified forms of impact in this section, leaving them for our qualitative evaluation.

Investigations

Animal Equality spent about 46% of their 2014-15 budget, or $230,969, on investigations documenting the conditions in which animals live.26 In 2015 they conducted and publicized 10 investigations, which they estimate about 180,000,000 people were exposed to through media coverage.27 The videos of the investigations also got about 2,000,000 views where they were hosted online.28 On average, one view of a media story about the investigations cost about $0.001, or one view of a video online cost about $0.12.29

Bigger Protests

Animal Equality also spent about 2% of their 2014-15 budget, or $12,121, on large protests intended to draw media attention.30 They estimate that media coverage of their protests reached around 900,000 people, while videos of the protests were viewed online about 6,600 times.31 On average, one view of a media story about the protests costs about $0.01, or one view of a video online cost about $1.82.32

Grassroots Outreach

Animal Equality spent about 14% of their 2014-15 budget, or $71,426, on grassroots outreach.33 They held 150 info stalls in 21 cities, generating 20 news stories, handing out 188,400 pieces of literature, and showing video to 2,400 people.34 They spent an average of $3,401 per city reached.35 In each city they handed out an average of about 9,000 pieces of literature and an average of 114 people watched their video.36

Social Media

Animal Equality spent about 30% of their 2014-15 budget, or $149,036, on social media outreach.37 We think the most interesting measure of the success of this outreach is the number of shares their posts had; numbers of views can be confusing, since one follower who reads every post will count as many views. Shares are more likely to present the information to people who are not already involved in animal advocacy and present that information particularly credibly because it is being recommended by a friend. Their content was shared about 14,056,840 times throughout the year, for an average cost of about $0.01 per share.38

All Activities Combined

To combine these estimates into one overall cost-effectiveness estimate, we need to translate them into comparable units. This will introduce several sources for errors and imprecision, so the resulting estimate should not be taken literally.39 However, it will allow us to judge whether Animal Equality’s efforts are comparable in efficiency to other groups’.40

Some of Animal Equality’s activities involve showing video footage of animal agriculture or other situations dramatizing the treatment animals endure.41 To estimate the cost-efficiency of these activities, we use our Online Ads Impact Calculator, together with the number of views per dollar calculated above. For the efficiency of undercover investigations, we assume that one view online is equivalent to a click on an online ad in ultimate effect. We do not assign a quantitative estimate to the impact of media views, even though we expect they are a significant portion of the impact of undercover investigations.42 Animal Equality’s investigations result in about 8.5 online views per dollar spent, so we estimate about 23.5 animals are spared per dollar spent on investigations.43 We estimate the cost-efficiency of protests similarly, but because we think seeing a video of a protest is less likely to inspire behavior change than seeing a video of an investigation, we multiply the result by a factor of ⅓44 to reflect this decrease in expected impact. Since about 1 person sees the videos online for every $2.00 Animal Equality spends on large protests, this results in an estimate of 0.5 animals spared per dollar spent.45 However, Animal Equality’s large protests could have other important impacts, such as building their community and inspiring new activists.

Animal Equality’s grassroots outreach involves video (for which we again treat one viewer as equivalent to one viewer of an online ad) and the distribution of literature. We estimate the effects of distributing literature using our Leafleting Impact Calculator. For every dollar Animal Equality spent on grassroots outreach for 2015, we estimate that 3.8 animals were spared.46 Finally we consider Animal Equality’s social media outreach. This is harder to liken to efforts we have seen studied, but we attempt to compare its impact to that of online ad views using several discount rates. We consider that (i) much of the social media content of animal advocacy groups is less optimized for dietary change than leaflets or online ads (10%), (ii) many of the social media users animal advocacy groups engage with are already vegetarian/vegan or have already been exposed to quite a bit of animal advocacy content (50%), and (iii) users on Facebook have numerous distractions and are probably less engaged with the content (50%). This gives an efficiency of about 6.5 animals spared per dollar.47

Weighting each of these effects by the proportion of Animal Equality’s budget they required, we find an overall effectiveness of about 13.2 animals spared per dollar.48 This is at the high end of the range of estimates for other groups we have reviewed at this depth.49 Because of extreme uncertainty even about the strongest parts of our calculations, there is currently limited value in further elaborating this estimate. Instead, we give weight to our other criteria.

Criterion #3: The Organization is Working on Things That Seem to Have High Mission Effectiveness
Investigations

Animal Equality works to expose the suffering of animals in factory farms through undercover and open investigations. These investigations are then made public, and they make an effort to get as much exposure from these as possible.

We believe that there is great value in these efforts. These investigations generate a large amount of public discussion about the treatment of animals in farms.50 It has been shown that meat consumption declines when these stories are in the media,51 and social media now provides a platform for free widespread sharing of the footage.52 This means that an extremely large number of individuals are exposed to their work.53 Additionally, the evidence of abuses provides materials for leaflets and videos, which can also be promoted publicly and result in increased exposure.54 Lastly, these efforts provide the background information on farms that is necessary for legal and corporate reform.55

Online and Grassroots Outreach

Online and grassroots outreach about factory farming to individuals seems highly effective because it is focused on changing the culture of animal use for food. This culture must ultimately be changed if conditions are to improve significantly for animals, as it is not possible that animal agriculture can continue to grow at its present rate in a way that is respectful of animals’ interests.56 The effectiveness of this type of outreach is somewhat limited when compared to some other forms because viewers and readers are encouraged to make small-scale individual changes and may not influence others the way a change in law or corporate policy influences many people.

Animal Equality also does a limited amount of outreach on other issues such as animals used in entertainment.57 This outreach likely has smaller direct effects than outreach on behalf of farmed animals.58 However, because it brings Animal Equality increased reach, credibility, and membership, it may have substantial indirect effects by increasing the effectiveness of their work on animal agriculture, which constitutes the majority of their operations.59

Corporate Outreach

Corporate outreach seems to have high mission effectiveness because it involves convincing a few powerful people60 to make decisions which influence the lives of millions of animals. This seems likely to be easier than reaching and persuading millions of consumers in order to accomplish the same goal. However, corporate outreach often deals with small welfare improvements.61 It’s not clear whether such improvements, even if very easy to achieve, are highly effective in the long term. This is because in addition to changing conditions for animals, they may also influence public opinion, either towards concern for farmed animals or towards complacency with regard to industrial agriculture.62

Legal Outreach

While it is important to create a public demand for change by conducting undercover investigations and grassroots outreach, it is also necessary to pair those efforts with attempts to discuss reform measures with legislative bodies in order to create lasting improvements in laws regarding animals. Reaching out to local governments can therefore be a necessary step in creating new and/or improved animal welfare laws.

Cultural Influence

Animal Equality has been translating and publishing works relevant to animal advocacy for new markets.63 Artistic and cultural materials such as books and films can affect people’s perceptions of animals.64 Books and documentaries may be perceived as more mainstream sources of information than materials that are clearly distributed by animal advocates. Organizations can have an impact on people’s relationship to animals by producing high quality cultural works which people choose to view, read, and share with others.65

Studies and Evaluation

Studies specifically designed to be applicable to the work of Animal Equality and other similar organizations have the possibility to increase the effectiveness of campaigns by better understanding what makes a video, leaflet, or other persuasive material more influential.66 If some of these studies are able to improve upon the effectiveness of the materials currently being used, a group could increase not only their own effectiveness, but also that of many other organizations, by making the study results freely available.67 Over several years, this could lead to a very high impact for a low price.68

Criterion #4: The Organization Possesses A Robust and Agile Understanding of Success and Failure

Animal Equality has a solid understanding of success and failure. They have an extensive set of goals that they observe and track throughout the process for each of their campaigns.69 Their organization in this area shows their commitment to finding the best possible ways to advocate for animals.

They frequently run undercover investigations, but originally did not press charges on them.70 However, once they learned of the benefits of pressing charges,71 such as prosecution of abusers and those who break the law, as well as the side effects of media coverage, they began doing so for investigations in which they saw that laws had been broken.

Based on the impact they’ve seen from their investigations, and the repercussions of some of their other outreach tactics (such as civil disobedience), Animal Equality has decided to focus mainly on factory farming and investigations.72 However, they will continue mentioning other issues on their website and social media, primarily for the fundraising and new contacts that result from their work.73

They are also actively working to evaluate the quality of their materials and programs. They conducted three studies in 2014, two on vegan guides and one on Facebook messaging, which they have not yet publicly released.74 They are currently conducting a study on The 360° Project, and their findings from similar previous studies are influencing their decisions moving forward.75

They have learned several important lessons in the past years regarding hiring and internal processes. They are now giving new employees a six month probationary period, increasing communications between offices in different countries, and using their own time management tool due to lessons learned in the past year.76

Animal Equality has grown significantly in the past few years, but they still have a small budget relative to the quantity of their work. After failing to raise the funds they need to fully carry out all of their programs, they have been working to hire professional fundraisers. They have made some progress in this area but are still seeking to expand.77

Criterion #5: The Organization Possesses a Strong Track Record of Success
Successfully carrying out planned programs

Animal Equality has a strong track record of conducting undercover investigations. Following investigations in Italy (lamb, 2013-2014), Spain (rabbit, 2014), France (duck, 2012), and the UK (pig, 2012), they succeeded in garnering a variety of actions including signed petitions to reduce or eliminate meat consumption, widespread media coverage, sanctions against offenders, boycotts on animal products from certain producers, and prison sentences for animal cruelty.78 This work continues; they’ve conducted 8 investigations in 5 countries in the first ⅔ of 2015.79

They have engaged in a variety of grassroots outreach events as well, including setting up more than 300 informative booths during 2013 and passing out more than 180,000 leaflets, with slight increases in both activities in 2014.80 They organized several protests over the past few years, including a "corpse silent protest" featuring 400 activists from around the country81 and several bull-fighting protests in Spain. When promoted professionally, these events can produce large amounts of media attention and grow an organization’s supporter base.

They have had a number of rescue campaigns involving animals from a variety of abuse situations, but those campaigns do not typically involve a large number of rescued animals. (Some examples include rescuing six animals used in circuses in Mexico and an open rescue of 6 hens in Germany.)82,83 Instead, the greatest value comes from the exposure in the media and garnering of public support,84 and Animal Equality makes sure to capitalize on the opportunity by gathering large amounts of petition signatures.85

Animal Equality is beginning to perform online outreach, but has a limited amount of experience in this area. However, when developing this program, they already had a strong social media outreach program for their supporters. In 2014, they reached over 1 million followers and became the most followed non-governmental organization in Spain.86

Programs leading to change for animals

In addition to considering their track record of successfully carrying out their intended actions, we consider whether these actions give them a strong record of making a positive difference for animals.

Animal Equality’s efforts to help farmed animals have primarily tried to affect animals through influencing individual consumers to avoid certain products or give up meat or animal products entirely.87 They have prosecuted cruelty charges as a result of certain investigations,88 but do not have an extensive record of inspiring legal or corporate policy changes.89 This means that evidence that their programs help animals is somewhat limited, because it is difficult to track the behavior of individual consumers and to understand the motivations for any changes.

One of Animal Equality’s strengths is that they are very good at getting media coverage of their activities, including both protests and undercover investigations. Media coverage of the treatment of farmed animals has been shown to decrease demand for animal products in the United States.90 If this is also true in Europe, and we would expect it to be, Animal Equality’s undercover investigations, particularly of farm conditions, help animals on a large scale by reducing demand for meat and other animal products.91 Animal Equality has also gathered some other evidence of the effects of their operations; they claim responsibility, for instance, for a surprisingly large reduction in lamb consumption at Easter in Italy, after they released an investigation dealing with the treatment of lambs on farms.92 Because of surrounding circumstantial evidence,93 We think that investigation likely did have some responsibility for the large change reported, although other factors may also have contributed.

Criterion #6: The Organization Has Strong Organizational Leadership and Structure

Animal Equality has a strong leadership structure, with their three main international directors each with over 15 years of activism experience.94 They are supported by 9 country directors working in 7 countries.95 In the past year, Animal Equality has had some learning experiences regarding internal structure.96 They’ve responded by providing greater support to country directors (in the form of additional meetings with each other and the international directors and professional development time), as well as greater formalization of internal structures and protocols, including for hiring.97

We would expect organizations undergoing as much growth as Animal Equality has to experience some difficulties similar to those Animal Equality encountered during the past year. This is a consideration that informs the amount of growth we think any organization should undergo in a short time period.98 However, it is not particularly strong in the case of Animal Equality as compared to other organizations; Animal Equality did not experience especially critical problems, and did respond to them well. We think they’re in a stronger position regarding organizational stability now than they were a year ago.

Animal Equality has or is developing standard protocols for many of their project areas,99 so new staff and volunteers have guidelines to ensure consistency in their work, which is especially important given their vast network spanning many countries.

Criterion #7: The Organization is Transparent

Animal Equality openly shares the product of much of their work (such as undercover investigation videos) with a variety of organizations.100 They hold discussions with related organizations and collaborate on strategic campaigns.101 While some of these relationships are not disclosed publicly, that is due to concerns about possibly compromising the effectiveness of their campaigns, which we view as a reasonable decision. They also proactively share with other European and American organizations. Animal Equality was open in their discussions with ACE and provided all information that we requested.

One minor concern we have relates to Animal Equality’s transparency with the studies they conduct on their advocacy programs. They conducted some studies during 2014, and they have shared the results with some animal advocates, but have not yet published the results of any of the studies.102 We think these delays are due to honest concerns about how best to present the results, but we also think that such studies are much more valuable when reliably published in a timely manner.

Resources

September 2015 Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet
Cost effectiveness calculations as a spreadsheet
AE Budget and Outcomes by Country 2015
Additional Information for ACE 2015 Assessment
October 2014 Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough
August 2014 Conversation with Thomas Hecquet
Additional Information about Animal Equality
Animal Equality's Overall Finances
AE Budget and Outcomes by Country 2014
Further Information for ACE 2014 Assessment: Achievements


  1. "We are setting a target amount of $50,000, but think Animal Equality could use up to $200,000 in increased funding this year. This increase seems substantial, given their current budget, but Animal Equality is currently in the process of shifting from an entirely volunteer run organization to one which pays its staff."—ACE. December 2014 Animal Equality Review

  2. See Animal Equality’s partial and complete 2014 budgets provided to ACE. 

  3. AE Budget and Outcomes by Country 2015. This spreadsheet was provided to us by Animal Equality. 

  4. We calculated this using an overview of Animal Equality’s finances that they provided in mid 2014 and their final 2014 budget

  5. Parts of this list are available in the Additional information about Animal Equality Animal Equality sent us for publication in 2014. We have also reviewed a more detailed list that was not appropriate for publication. 

  6. "Most of the hires mentioned in the 2014 conversation have been implemented.."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015).
    We also saw a list of hires they had made as related to the list Animal Equality showed us last year of hires they wanted to make. 

  7. "[T]hey would like to hire fundraisers in Spain, Italy, England, and Germany. They also want to invest in a graphic designer and video editor and employ the currently-volunteer coordinators in Venezuela and Mexico."—ACE. December 2014 Animal Equality Review

  8. "For example, they have taken on a graphic designer and video editor, and are very happy with their performance. They have hired a director and an educational outreach coordinator in Mexico, and they will soon hire a director in Venezuela."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  9. "We have also hired our directors in Mexico and Venezuela as has as a fundraiser a trainee in Germany. We are working with companies to help us develop our fundraising goals in Italy and Spain."—Additional Information for ACE 2015 Assessment

  10. "In their first five years of existence they didn’t have a proper fundraising strategy. They have always to have a sufficient amount of money, and as a result, in the last two years many of their objectives simply couldn’t take place because they couldn’t employ someone to carry it out."—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  11. "They have learned that they should discuss letting go of new employees who are not good fits sooner in the process, and more generally that they should have a much more thorough interview process. They are currently looking to follow the Google model of interviewing, and are giving all new employees a six month probationary period."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  12. "Additional funding in 2015 would have been directed to:...Starting our investigation department in the US"—Additional Information for ACE 2015 Assessment

  13. This program shows viewers a 360 degree immersive video of life inside a factory farm and slaughterhouse. 

  14. "The innovative 360 Project has huge potential. They want to present it in the media and use it to get the support of influential people from the worlds of entertainment, technology and politics."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  15. "In addition, they are working on a vegan website to help people reduce meat consumption. They are also working on a brand new website, and updating their landing page and videos project. They are developing this in Mexico with the help of a grant from Veg Fund. They already have a $4,000 monthly grant from Veg Fund, to publicise the landing page with the video. They are looking to launch the landing page and video project in eight countries and in four languages before the end of the year….They are also optimistic about showing footage to students in pay-per-view style outreach in Mexico, Venezuela, India, and other countries."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  16. "Additional funding in 2015 would have been directed to:...Hiring a fundraiser in Spain: Spain is growing considerably and is a well-known and considered organization with an excellent reputation among the media, public and some key spanish personalities. Hiring a fundraiser here would help develop an already strong organization and would impact the organization globally."—Additional Information for ACE 2015 Assessment 

  17. "Their priority is still to hire a fundraiser in the US."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  18. Parts of this list are available in the Additional Information for ACE 2015 Assessment Animal Equality sent us for publication. We have also reviewed a more detailed list that was not appropriate for publication. 

  19. We discussed this at length in a conversation with Jose Valle, one of Animal Equality’s International Directors, but have not yet received permission to publish the summary of that conversation. 

  20. Animal Equality already knows how to get international coverage for investigations carried out in particular countries. "Their investigations into rabbit farms in Spain received international coverage twice (England, Germany, USA, Spain and Italy)."—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  21. Recently, Animal Equality has collaborated significantly with Last Chance for Animals, but they have also worked collaboratively on investigation releases with other groups. "Animal Equality is open to all sorts of collaboration; as an example, Sharon and Jose have recently worked in leadership capacities in Last Chance for Animals and Animal Equality[.]"—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough (October 7, 2014). 

  22. Based on the list available in the Additional Information for ACE 2015 Assessment Animal Equality sent us for publication. We have also reviewed a more detailed list that was not appropriate for publication. 

  23. For instance, "In Mexico alone, thanks to the grant from Veg Fund, the landing page and video project is currently reaching 100,000 people per month. If Animal Equality actively pursues this project in other countries, and secures other grants, the project could reach half a million people every month internationally."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  24. "How much has ACE impacted the funding situation? Hugely. 20% of their funding is thanks to ACE."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  25. Since Animal Equality was one of ACE’s top charities last year, it’s particularly difficult to assess how much money they would raise in the coming year without ACE’s recommendation. We took into account the donations to Animal Equality that we knew ACE had influenced in the past year as money they might not have raised "on their own". We then attempted to project Animal Equality’s recent fundraising patterns into the future. For more on how we track donations influenced by ACE, see our Top Charity Donor Survey 2015

  26. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  27. AE Budget and Outcomes by Country 2015. This spreadsheet was provided to us by Animal Equality. 

  28. AE Budget and Outcomes by Country 2015. This spreadsheet was provided to us by Animal Equality. 

  29. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  30. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  31. AE Budget and Outcomes by Country 2015. This spreadsheet was provided to us by Animal Equality. 

  32. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  33. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  34. AE Budget and Outcomes by Country 2015. This spreadsheet was provided to us by Animal Equality. 

  35. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  36. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  37. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  38. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  39. In fact, there are already sources of error and imprecision in our estimates to this point, most notably in how many people actually watched or read media coverage of Animal Equality's activities. However, the amount of error in our following estimates can be expected to be considerably greater. 

  40. We use similar assumptions for each of the groups for which we perform such a calculation. This means all our results should be comparable to each other. Other estimates of the cost-effectiveness of charities may use different assumptions and may therefore not be comparable to ours. 

  41. Most obviously, these include investigations in which Animal Equality takes video footage of how animals are treated and the variety of materials which use footage of investigations. But Animal Equality's larger protests are also meant to dramatize animal treatment in visually compelling ways, such as in one demonstration where "Our team worked on this big demo in Barcelona with hundreds of crosses with photos of animals simulating a big graveyard to show how animal testing hurts animals."—Further Information for ACE 2014 Assessment: Achievements

  42. This is a simplified interpretation of the situation used solely for the purpose of calculating an estimate. We are confident that views in the media have some impact. We would expect views on Youtube to have less impact than views due to online ads, since undercover investigation videos are not edited with the same focus on promoting overall dietary change as the videos shown with the ads. Also, Youtube viewers are more likely to be concerned about factory farming than those who click on ads, as they sought out the material and understood what they would be viewing. 

  43. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  44. We acknowledge that this is a particularly rough estimate. 

  45. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  46. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  47. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  48. Animal Equality Cost-effectiveness Estimate. Our estimates in this spreadsheet were calculated using preliminary budget numbers provided by Animal Equality. 

  49. Our rough estimates, which should not be used to give a firm ranking for the groups, are:

     

  50. "Animal Equality has been featured several times in some of the most important international media outlets; BBC - 2012, The Sunday Times 2012, 2014, CNN - 2013, El País 2013, 2014, The Guardian - 2013, Il Corriere de la Sera - 2012, 2013, 2014"—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  51. "Media attention to animal welfare has statistically significant, but generally small effects in magnitude as compared with price and expenditure effects. While media attention elasticity estimates are small, it is important to not mistake this for evidence of demand being insensitive to animal welfare media attention." — Tonsor, G. T., Olynk, N. J., and Wolf, C. (2009). Media Coverage of Animal Handling and Welfare: Influence on Meat Demand. Presented at American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meetings. 

  52. "During 2014, the Spanish Facebook page of Animal Equality reaches 1 million followers, becoming the most popular NGO on Facebook of all the country in Spain. It got a lot of media attention because for the first time, an animal rights organization became the most followed one in Spain."—Further Information for ACE 2014 Assessment: Achievements

  53. For example, they reached 68 million people after releasing a 2014 investigation in Germany.—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  54. "They are very open with their work and offer informational materials from their undercover investigations at animal rights conferences in Europe. They are also trying to make presentations in the United States as well, and stay connected to the grassroots movement."—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  55. "[T]hese investigations helped generate corporate animal welfare victories and add pressure to corporate and legislative animal welfare campaigns."—MFA Time Allocations and Accomplishments

  56. We found only one study which considered both animal welfare and global food production needs at a whole system level. It concluded that the current style of industrial agriculture is not sustainable on a global level: "Global food security for all in 2050 is not feasible with a scenario of livestock intensification and a Western-style diet for all, even with unrealistically high yield scenarios." The study proposed dealing with this reality by encouraging humans in developed nations to eat more plant-based foods, and found no reason that producers could not better attend to animal welfare and meet production needs in such a scenario: "The additional feed required for livestock to be more active and the space needed for them to roam and perform natural behaviors is relatively small and does not affect the food security option space." We note that there are likely additional options involving further decreases in animal and environmental welfare as technologies are developed to provide more animal-derived foods with fewer resources, and that market structures may make such unpredictable developments more likely than the outcomes proposed by the study.—Compassion in World Farming. (2012). Food Security and Farm Animal Welfare

  57. "Animal Equality has increased its focus on farmed animals in 2015, and in the future plans mainly to do farmed animal campaigns and investigations, though some other issues may appear as news items on the website or social media."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  58. We think farmed animal advocacy is likely to be exceptionally effective both because of the large number of animals involved, and because of the unusually direct connections most people have to animals suffering because of how humans treat them. 

  59. "Though farmed animal work is what they mainly focus on, they also choose to do campaigns (such as the campaign against the dog meat industry in China) because they think it allows them greater access to resources and media coverage that they wouldn’t necessarily get if they only focused on farmed animals. Through this type of campaigning, they have been able to hire people that have been instrumental and tremendously beneficial to the organization."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough (October 7, 2014). 

  60. "The vast majority of the victories HSUS has gotten in corporate outreach have been the results of friendly negotiation with executives, shareholder resolutions, and working with investors." While campaigns by other organizations may involve public pressure more often than the HSUS campaigns do, they ultimately seek to persuade the same corporate decision makers.—Conversation with Josh Balk (June 24, 2014). 

  61. For instance: "They also point to the fact that some single investigations have caused significant policy changes, such as Tyson (the second largest pork producer in the U.S.) ending the practice of "thumping" piglets (slamming them headfirst into the ground to kill them), and pushing (not mandating) their suppliers to not castrate or tail dock without painkillers, or use gestation crates."—Conversation with Nick Cooney (March 20, 2014).
    But pigs in industrial agriculture are subject to many other stresses, including "poorly ventilated confines [that] have resulted in frequent lung damage and pneumonia among factory farmed pigs, with 40—80% of pigs showing lesions in the lungs at slaughter."—Grace Communications Foundation. Animal Welfare

  62. Animal welfare improvements on factory farms may, if publicized, promote a norm of caring for the welfare of animals, because people see that mainstream companies are concerned about the treatment of farmed animals. On the other hand, people who object to industrial agriculture only because of the worst abuses might become more supportive of it if the worst abuses cease, leading fewer people to be actively engaged in promoting animal welfare. 

  63. "They have translated Nick Cooney’s Veganomics into Spanish, are looking into having Melanie Joy’s Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism translated into Spanish, and before the end of the year they will translate and publish Jo-Anne McArthur’s We Animals."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  64. "Exposure to documentaries and books are two of the biggest catalysts inspiring people to reduce or eliminate animal product consumption."— Humane League Labs. (April 7, 2014). Report: Large Scale Survey of Vegans, Vegetarians, and Meat Reducers

  65. For instance, the documentary Blackfish made a dramatic effect on opinions of SeaWorld, while previous campaigns had not. "Longstanding criticism from animal rights activists found a whole new audience with the release of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which brought allegations of killer whale mistreatment to the mainstream."—Garrison, M. (November 5, 2015.) SeaWorld Faces a PR Challenge. Marketplace. 

  66. For online materials this is sometimes possible to do by split-testing, but for leaflets separate studies are necessary. "They also plan to continue expanding the online ads program; they’ve recently started doing overseas ads, which has an enormous amount of room for funding and a little split-testing has really increased the efficacy of the program."—Conversation with David Coman-Hidy (March 20, 2014). 

  67. "Animal Equality carried out three studies in 2014, two into vegan guides and one into messaging on Facebook. Carrying out these studies has been challenging. They will share the Facebook study once they have the requisite feedback on it."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  68. Other groups have cited studies run by or with THL as influences on their programs when we have spoken to them, and THL also sees this as a significant part of their impact. "[THL] is so small that the influence they’ve had on larger groups through [Humane League Labs and split-testing videos and ads] is probably their biggest contribution so far."—Conversation with David Coman-Hidy (March 20, 2014). 

  69. "The organization keeps track of the impact of its campaigns and investigations (media reach, social media reach) through KPI’s, implementing a time-tracker system (to track our time) with which we can monitor what campaigns are more effective."—Additional Information about Animal Equality

  70. "In the beginning, they did not press charges after finding cruelty on their investigations."—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  71. "Now they try to do it [press charges] when a law is being broken; as a side effect, this also tends to create media exposure."—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  72. "The organization has also decided that it will be mainly focused on factory farming after seeing the impact of our factory farming investigations, reading the Kansas study and having debates with key people in the movement."—Additional Information about Animal Equality

  73. "Though farmed animal work is what they mainly focus on, they also choose to do campaigns (such as the campaign against the dog meat industry in China) because they think it allows them greater access to resources and media coverage that they wouldn’t necessarily get if they only focused on farmed animals.—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough (October 7, 2014). 

  74. "Animal Equality carried out three studies in 2014, two into vegan guides and one into messaging on Facebook. Carrying out these studies has been challenging. They will share the Facebook study once they have the requisite feedback on it.
    With regard to the vegan guide studies, they have the data, but they are trying to figure out the best way to present their findings."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  75. "However, after Sharon, Thomas, Jose and Nick Cooney spent some time examining the data, they decided it was worthwhile to continuing leafleting. "—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  76. "They have learned that they should discuss letting go of new employees who are not good fits sooner in the process, and more generally that they should have a much more thorough interview process. They are currently looking to follow the Google model of interviewing, and are giving all new employees a six month probationary period."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  77. "Their priority is still to hire a fundraiser in the US. They believe that they could triple their income in less than a year if they hired a professional fundraiser."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  78. Page 5-6: Successful actions of Animal Equality.—Additional Information about Animal Equality

  79. AE Budget and Outcomes by Country 2015. This spreadsheet was provided to us by Animal Equality. 

  80. "During 2013, Animal Equality Spain worked in social education by more than 300 info stalls in Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Santiago de Compostela and Vigo. [...] Our team gave out more than 180,000 leaflets about different campaigns based on our investigation work and farmed animals situation."—Further Information for ACE 2014 Assessment: Achievements. For 2014 see AE Budget and Outcomes by Country 2015. This spreadsheet was provided to us by Animal Equality. 

  81. "During 2013, Animal Equality Spain organized big protests as the corpse protest in Madrid with more than 400 activists from all over the country participating at it and also with the collaboration of author Melanie Joy."—Further Information for ACE 2014 Assessment: Achievements

  82. "6 Documentation and rescue animals in Circus Ixtlahuacán of Quinces, Jalisco (a lion, one tiger, a spider monkey, a horse, a buffalo and a boa.)"—Further Information for ACE 2014 Assessment: Achievements

  83. "Animal Equality activists in Germany have rescued 6 hens, from a free-range farm."—Further Information for ACE 2014 Assessment: Achievements

  84. "Animal Equality rescued Vita, a dog who was in a slaughterhouse minutes before she was going to be killed. She was brought to Spain where she already had a safe foster home. The story of Vita and the findings of the investigation reached millions of people through the most important media in the world, such as TG1, Telecinco, Cuatro, Diario Público, CNN and Sky News."—Further Information for ACE 2014 Assessment: Achievements

  85. "The campaign obtained more than 390,000 signatures to urge the authorities of the country to ban the dog and cat meat trade in China."—Further Information for ACE 2014 Assessment: Achievements

  86. "During 2014, the Spanish Facebook page of Animal Equality reaches 1 million followers, becoming the most popular NGO on Facebook of all the country in Spain. It got a lot of media attention because for the first time, an animal rights organization became the most followed one in Spain."—Further Information for ACE 2014 Assessment: Achievements

  87. "Outcomes are measured by the number of articles that they get in the press and the number of people that they reach with each article. They also look at analytics for their website to see how many people they reach online and at the number of investigations and articles that they post on their site, and number of people who visit through social media."—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  88. "Now they try to do it [press charges] when a law is being broken; as a side effect, this also tends to create media exposure."—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  89. They do have a record of instigating some policy changes, for example: "In May 2014 Animal Equality presented an extensive investigation into rabbit farms in Spain. ... Following the investigation several of the restaurants connected to the farms including the Terrace, at the National Theatre in London, Los Molinos, in Hammersmith, and the Queen’s Head and Artichoke, stopped dealing with their suppliers and serving rabbit meat."—Further Information for ACE 2014 Assessment: Achievements

  90. "Media attention to animal welfare has statistically significant, but generally small effects in magnitude as compared with price and expenditure effects.... [I]n most cases media attention to animal welfare is found to have impacts for up to 6 months. However, when only articles mentioning consumer groups are included in indices, demand impacts are found to last only 3 months." – Tonsor, G. T., Olynk, N. J., and Wolf, C. (2009). Media Coverage of Animal Handling and Welfare: Influence on Meat Demand. Presented at American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meetings. 

  91. Social science findings in one setting do not necessarily generalize, so it is possible that discussion of farm conditions reduces demand for animal products in the US but not in Europe. But we think that the relevant factors, including actual farming conditions and attitudes toward animals, are similar enough in the US and Europe that the general effect is likely the same, though the size of the effect might be larger or smaller. 

  92. "We presented an investigation into the lamb industry in Italy in the years 2013 and 2014. In the presentation in 2013 we reached millions of people as the investigation was shown in some of the most important Italian media, it led to a 40% lamb meat reduction during Easter 2013. That is a yearly reduction of 10%. Also, 4,430 people signed a pledge to not eat lamb meat in Easter.
    In 2014 we presented an update of the investigation which led to a 48% meat reduction during Easter 2014. That is a yearly reduction of 11-12%."—Additional Information about Animal Equality

  93. This includes high levels of media coverage, petition and pledge signatures, and attention from public figures: "In 2014 we presented an update of the investigation which led to a 48% meat reduction during Easter 2014. That is a yearly reduction of 11-12% Also a total of 13,519 people signed a pledge to not eat lamb meat or meat in Easter. Politician Paolo Bernini, of the political party "Movimiento 5 Estrellas (M5S)" talked extensively about the investigation in the Italian Parliament and ended up his speech talking about the necessity of considering a vegetarian diet."—Additional Information about Animal Equality

  94. "The three founders [...] have been activists for approximately 15 years."—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  95. 5. Who are the key persons of the organisation, the decision makers?—Additional Information for ACE 2015 Assessment

  96. "The main lessons Animal Equality have learned are associated with improving hiring and organisational structure. In 2014, they brought in some people who ended up leaving after a short period of time."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  97. "They have learned that they should discuss letting go of new employees who are not good fits sooner in the process, and more generally that they should have a much more thorough interview process. They are currently looking to follow the Google model of interviewing, and are giving all new employees a six month probationary period.
    They have also learned that there was not enough communication with offices in other countries, especially India, Mexico and Venezuela."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015). 

  98. See Criterion 1 for more detailed thoughts on this regarding Animal Equality in particular. 

  99. "Animal Equality has several protocols it shares internally that show how specific departments in the organization work."—Additional Information about Animal Equality

  100. "They are very open with their work and offer informational materials from their undercover investigations at animal rights conferences in Europe."—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  101. "They have contacts to Albert Schweitzer Foundation in Germany and have ongoing discussions with them. They are also helping a sanctuary in south Germany by giving advice and guidance. They have exchanges with Nick Cooney and brought him over to give presentations to gatherings. In Italy the organization has a good relationship with the main groups in the country. In Mexico the organization has been in contact and proactively working with 4 different organizations to get a ban in the use of animals in circuses in Guadalajara. In Spain the group has an excellent and collaborative relationship with PACMA (the animal rights political party). One of the roles of the general coordinators as well as the country coordinators is to maintain a good relationship with the different groups."—Conversation with Thomas Hecquet (August 27, 2014). 

  102. "Animal Equality carried out three studies in 2014, two into vegan guides and one into messaging on Facebook. Carrying out these studies has been challenging. They will share the Facebook study once they have the requisite feedback on it.
    With regard to the vegan guide studies, they have the data, but they are trying to figure out the best way to present their findings. Animal Equality have learned that in future, they must have a clearer idea of what they want from studies and must share the process and methodology of the study earlier."—Conversation with Sharon Nuñez Gough and Thomas Hecquet (September 4, 2015).