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Animal suffering may be one of the greatest problems in the world today. From the meat and dairy industry to human causes of wild animal suffering, this problem seems to be incredibly neglected. Many experts now believe that non-human animals have conscious experiences and the capacity for pain. Therefore, a significant number of effective altrusits believe that we should give equal moral weight and value to all animal species, whether human or not. Animal advocacy can be divided into varying levels and types of intervention, including efforts to persuade people to convert to plant-based diets, lobby for better welfare standards, and develop alternatives to animal products. Animal welfare is a large-scale issue which a number of groups and organisations are working the solutions to overcome this problem become increasingly tractable and the philosophical underpinnings more accepted in society.


In 2020, an estimated 9.7 million land animals were slaughtered in the United States alone.

(Humane Society of the United States, 2020)


The work of The Humane League and other animal welfare activists led 161 new organisations to commit to using cage-free products, helping free millions of chickens from cruel battery cages. 

(Chicken Watch, 2022)


One economics study suggests that a single consumer's choice to decline buying an animal product can have an impact on total production: egg production falls by 0.91 eggs for every 1 egg you give up; 0.56 gallons for every 1 gallon of milk; 0.68lb for every pound of beef; 0.74lb for every pound of pork; and 0.76lb for every of chicken.

F. Bailey Norwood and Jayson L. Lusk, Compassion, by the Pound: The Economics of Farm Animal Welfare (2011).


In 2017, only 0.03% of total US philanthropic funding went towards farm animal causes; of this amount, just 0.8% of donations go specifically to farmed animal organizations.

(Founders Pledge, 2020)


Wild animal suffering is even more neglected, with very few organisations specifically focusing on improving the welfare of wild animals and probably less than $10 million USD per year being spent on addressing this problem.

(Giving What We Can, 2021)

Below are links to a number of resources to help you explore issues in GH&D and learn about how we can contribute to understanding and managing it as a cause area for concern.


Here are some popular introductions to animal advocacy which discuss the philosophical and moral arguments for improving the wellbeing of non-human animals.

Interventions & Solutions

Criticisms & Uncertainty

There is a degree of uncertainty when it comes to animal wellbeing. With many unknowns left to be resolved, some people have expressed specticisms over if, and to what extent, we need to focus on animal welfare.


Foreign aid


GH&D and longtermism​



Charities & Organisations

There are a number of organisations and groups which research and advocate for improved animal welfare.

Careers & Opportunities

Think that animal advocacy is important and something you would be interested in working on? Here you can find out more about how you can pursue a career in the field, or test your potential to have an impact in it.

Introduction and Theory
Interventions & Solutions
Criticisms & Uncertainty
Charities & Organisations

General Reading:

  • 'Global Health and Development' — Effective Altruism's cause profile on issues around global poverty, preventable disease and the evidence for foreign aid, interventions and systemic change.

Research & Analysis

GH&D is a cause area with a huge scope for exploration into potential problems and cost-effective policies and actions to take in order to address them. As a result, there are a number of research projects which seek to find the best ways to improve standards of physical and mental health across the globe. Often, this begins with shallow investigations, or 

Careers & Opportunities
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