UK opportunities for effective involvement in reducing animal suffering
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UK opportunities for effective involvement in reducing animal suffering
Ongoing / everyday
ActivityTime commitment and cost estimatesExplanation and comments on effectiveness
Donate to effective animal charitiesTime commitment can be from the 5 minutes it takes to read ACE’s current recommendations for their top charities and to set up a donation / standing order to them, through to almost limitless hours conducting your own research.

£ commitment up to you.
See and
If you give to effective charities, you can do a huge amount of good. For example, ACE estimates (roughly) that donating $100’s worth to Mercy For Animals would spare -1000 to 8000 animals from life in industrial agriculture.

Check here for Animal Charity Evaluators’ current advice on who to donate to to have the greatest impact you can on reducing animal suffering:

If you like, you can also carry out research yourself by following up the sources ACE uses in more detail, reflecting on their conclusions, and comparing to other information gathered by other evaluators (e.g. by GiveWell, Faunlytics or Humane League Labs) or by yourself.

I would recommend this to EVERYONE with any interest in helping to reduce animal suffering. Almost everybody can spare somemoney to give to effective charities, and you can choose the amount you give.
In many cases, a financial donation will be more helpful than a gift of your time, if your volunteering efforts are generic / unskilled.
Reduce your animal product consumption and preferably go vegan.Time commitment is negligible. Going vegan can seem daunting in terms of its convenience, but most people get used to it quickly!

I haven’t seen studies on this explicitly but for most people, I would say veganism is a similar or lower cost than eating animal products.
For a brief summary of why we should reduce our animal produc tonsumption, read the “Current impacts of livestock-based meat” section (pp. 1-3) here, especially the “animal welfare” section:

There is plenty of advice about how to do this. One particularly helpful site is here:

Note that according to the research summarised here, people are more likely to stay vegetarian/vegan if they transition gradually:

I would recommend this to nearly EVERYONE with any interest in reducing animal suffering. Even if you would find it unusually difficult to go vegan (e.g. extensive list of allergies), you can probably still significantly reduce your animal product consumption. Note that some animals suffer more than others in their production, such as most chickens raised for meat or eggs.
Plan for your career to incorporate how to do the most good that it canPlanning itself can take significant amounts of time, but this is certainly worth it, as you have approximately 80 000 hours’ worth of work in an average career!

From costing you millions to £ through to gaining you millions of £, depending on your opportunities, decisions etc
Given how much time we devote to our career, it is worth thinking through the tough questions about how to have the greatest impact that you can through your career, like:
1) Which cause should I prioritise my efforts to help with?
2) How should I best contribute to this cause? Through donating as much money as I can? Through working directly for a charity in this area?

There is lots of excellent, evidence-based careers advice at

I would recommend this to EVERYONE with any interest in doing good in the world.
Encourage others to adopt veganism in you day to day lifeFrom a minimal time commitment (e.g. only discussing the issue when actually invited to) through to a larger time commitment in researching effective methods and actively seeking out opportunities

Usually £0
There is some advice here:

However, there is a lot of debate about how to do this most effectively.
See, for example, “confrontation vs. nonconfrontation” and “reduceatarianism vs. veganism” here:
Volunteering and activism from home
ActivityTime commitment and cost estimatesExplanation and comments on effectiveness
Join The Humane League’s Fast Action Network here:
About 5 minutes each time (once or twice a week, optional each time)

Usually £0
Over three years, THL’s corporate campaigns have led to pledges to improve animal welfare from 250 companies, including 50 in the UK (mainly focusing on pledges to make their eggs cage free, now increasingly improving the lives of broiler chickens, -raised for meat).

Fast Action Network activism essentially involves helping to apply the pressure that makes their corporate campaigns work. It usually involves emailing, posting comments on business’ social media pages, or ringing the company.

(If you sign up to FAN in the UK, you are only given UK-based tasks to complete)

I would recommend this to EVERYONE with any interest in helping to reduce animal suffering.
Join Mercy For Animals’ Hen Heroes here:
Between 2 and 10 minutes each time – there are multiple options for differing levels of engagement.
(most days, optional each time)

Usually £0, unless you make international phone calls and send letters
Very similar to THL’s Fast Action Network, operating on the same principles.
They tend to supply more tasks each time, and do so more regularly; sometimes they also emphasise personalising the wording of the communications a little more than THL do.

(At this stage, Mercy For Animals has no UK presence and all the Hen Heroes activities are directed at American companies)

I would recommend this to EVERYONE with any interest in helping to reduce animal suffering – you can quite easily pick only those activities with the lowest time commitment and expense (e.g. auto-tweets or automatically filled out emails) – although it easier to stay motivated with FAN due to its UK focus and lower frequency.
Flexible internship / volunteering for The Good Food Institute - timings, but likely a few hours each week. £0The Good Food Institute are a top-rated charity by ACE, working in a very different field to THL or Animal Equality - they support plant-based meat and clean meat startups. They have a huge variety of internships, where the opportunities on offer change quite regularly. Some of the tasks seem relatively unskilled, while others are much more specialised. It would help to free up time of their employees.
Letter writing for The Humane League.

Contact Emma Goddard (THL’s Volunteer Coordinator) at:
20 minutes each time?

£0.50? You need a stamp, an envelope, and pen and paper / to print something out
Essentially a continuation of the Fast Action Network (see above for more info), but the focus here is a little more on personalisingyour message to grab their attention a little more. It’s slightly more of an emphasis on quality rather than quantity.

I would recommend this to people who have enjoyed FAN and feel that they could give a little more time to this sort of activity
Writing - either social media or opeds - to promote discussion around important topics and to promote effective animal altruism/advocacy researchA few seconds to share posts through to 20 minutes each time you write to an editor?

Free on social media to £0.50? You need a stamp, an envelope, and pen and paper / to print something out
Promoting research and discussion is often done very easily and yet possibly very effective. For people who are already invovled in animal rights/welfare causes, then introducing them to research and ideas about making their work more effective could have a massive impact on animal suffering. For people who are interested in the issues but are unsure how to get involved, then introducing them to research/ideas and to our events could help them find out how to do good effectively. Although targetted at the US, there is some advice on writing letters here:
Writing for But Can They Suffer to support others to engage with Effective Animal Advocacy resources and research. Contact https://butcantheysuffer.wordpress.comTime taken to read resources and research yourself, plus anything from 30 minutes to many hours to write each post. No financial costRelatively small numbers of people reading the posts at the moment, but this is likely to grow as the number of resources reviewed increases. Those that do read the posts are often those involved with effective animal advocacy research themselves. This opportunity is best as an opportunity to develop your own engagement with the resources and research - it allows you to build up a track record of material that you have engaged with
Volunteering for Faunalytics. Contact them here of different roles, presumably with differing time requirements. In my own experience, writing for Faunalytics was very flexible.Faunalytics is a "standout charity" according to Animal Charity Evaluators. They collate and summarise the researc of others in their research library, and conduct some original research. Their work therefore helps to make the animal advocacy movement more effective. They do not always focus on the most effective cause areas or specific opportunities, however, so I would recommend requesting to focus on these.
Research tasks for The Humane League.

Contact Emma Goddard (THL’s Volunteer Coordinator) at:
Assisting THL’s corporate campaigns (see Fast Action Network section above for more info),
Seeking to find out the UK revenue (GBP millions) and number of UK locations of various companies of interest to THL.
They have a similar programme for UK universities.

This helps to inform their campaigns and saves their paid employees from having to trawl through information online themselves.
Although fairly unskilled, it requires minimal supervision, so is an easy way to use your time to support THL.
Various remote volunteering tasks with ProVeg UK.

• Research
• Social media
• Blog writing
• Events

Contact Amy Odene (ProVeg UK’s campaign manager) at

Unsure of time commitment, but presumably quite flexible. Opportunities for increasing involvement and responsibilty. No financial cost.ProVeg are a "standout charity" according to Animal Charity Evaluators. They focus on corporate and institutional outreach for vegan food advocacy. This may occasionally be a less direct way to reduce animal suffering, but also has environmental benefits and affects pandemic risk. These various volunteering opportunities will assist ProVeg UK to carry out this work.
Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) offers research internships every quarter, and has a research volunteer opportunity of writing detailed but readable summaries of conversations based on audio recordings or transcriptions. summaries / edits take a few hours each to do. The number that you do yourself is completely flexible, but they only become available in waves and batches. The internships seem quite flexible, but have a minimum number of hours as a requirement, so would be hard to fit around full time work.The conversation summaries and edits are an important part of ACE's research process (especially for maintaining transparency within the process). My understanding is that the actions that the interns undertake are quite varied, but given how many interns ACE take on, they must view them to be sufficiently useful. Interns would likely gain lots of great skills and knowledge which would be useful in Effective Animal Advocacy more widely, even if they don't end up working for ACE full-time.
Sentience Institute (SI) is a non-profit think tank doing evidence-based research on movement-building and values-spreading for the purposes of anti-specieism and moral circle expansion. Join the research network at commitment could vary hugely, from a short amount of time giving feedback on a blog post to much longer collaborative work. This is likely completely flexible in most casesThe impact of the work would depend on what your involvement ends up being. Much of Sentience Institute's work has implications beyond the end of factory farming, however, so the impact could be especially high.
Animal Ethics is a non-profit organization researching and advocating on the subject of animal welfare, including wild animal suffering due to both anthropogenic and naturogenic causes. They have volunteer opportunities for street outreach work; online outreach work; research and dissemination of information; and hosting talks and events. Animal Ethics could use the help of volunteers with technical skills in the following areas of online outreach:
Web design
Graphic design
Video editing
Motion graphics
Applying new technologies to online activism
Volunteer roles for research and dissemination of information with Animal Ethics include:

Information searches
Writing & Editing texts
Translating texts into other languages
Photo & Video Editing
I have not spoken directly with Animal Ethics so I am unsure of their expectationsSome of Animal Ethics' work focuses on addressing wild animal suffering. This is plausaibly a significantly more important focus than hastening the end of factory farming, and so successful volunteering with the organisation could potentially have a large impact. I am not very familiar with the organisation though, so can't comment on specifics
Utility Farm is an organization doing research and advocacy for gr assroots movement-building to reduce wild animal suffering, and is currently seeking volunteer writers (in English) a basic understanding of the issues of wild animal suffering is required, no particular technical knowledge or background is required. Writers will be working on digestible and accessible blog posts and essays for Utility Farm's social change project. Utility Farm's work focuses on addressing wild animal suffering. This is plausaibly a significantly more important focus than hastening the end of factory farming, and so successful volunteering with the organisation could potentially have a large impact. I am not very familiar with the organisation though, so can't comment on specifics
Volunteering and activism outside the home
ActivityTime commitment and cost estimatesExplanation and comments on effectiveness
Leafleting effectively (using tested leaflets and advice on how to leaflet efficiently)It takes time to order leaflets, to travel to the place of leafleting. Distributing the leaflets itself goes surprisingly quickly.

Some organisations charge you to buy their leaflets, but sometimes they will give them to you for free if they see it as a useful publicity opportunity (e.g. when I collected some as President of a student animal rights group, Animal Equality gave them to me for free). ACE: "Each additional leaflet is fairly cheap; currently, Vegan Outreach asks for 11-25 cents depending on the specific booklet for at-cost distribution of their materials"
Research is very divided over how effective leafleting actually is. primarily due to the difficulties of collecting reliable evidence and assessing its impact. 1) The analysis of this study "suggests that between 0.4 and 2.2% of the population receiving leaflets went vegetarian", which would be a pretty effective way to turn people vegetarian suggests that between 0.4 and 2.2% of the population receiving leaflets went vegetarian 2) This study was far more optimistic, concluding: " After accounting for social desirability bias (people over reporting changes in their diet), the results suggest that for every 100 leaflets you distribute on a college campus, you’ll spare, by a conservative calculation, a minimum of 50 animals a year a lifetime of misery. That’s one animal spared for every two leaflets you distribute!" 3) This study focuses on how to make leaflet design/content more effective, but its results seem to suggest that leaflets do have an impact (although the evidence is pretty flawed when looking for ifnormation on this) - 4) ACE's own study was fairly conservative, saying that "There was also no difference found in the total change in consumption of animal products" between those who received leaflets and their control group . If you are interested, read more on ACE's page

In short, the results are quite mixed about how effective leafleting is, but there certainly seems to be some evidence to suggest that it could be an incredibly high-impact intervention, which can be done cheaply (although I am sceptical of the most optimistic studies, as they seem to ignore the possible importance of other factors in the period in between leafleting and surveying). There are also some personal benefits (e.g. meeting others

I would therefore recommend leafleting to anyone who thinks they might enjoy leafleting, for those with a lot of spare time, or for those who want to volunteer their time to help reduce animal suffering but are unsure how to start or unable to carry out other forms of advocacy/activism. If, however, you are time-constrained, don't enjoy leafleting much or have opportunities for other, likely higher-impact, forms of activism/advocacy, I would recommend pursuing these.

Before leafleting, make sure that you read/watch some advice on leafleting efficiently: 1) 2) 3) 4)

You can order leaflets from many different organisations. Here are a couple you might like to try: 1) Animal Equality are well established in the UK and are usually able to give out leaflets, especially to student groups 2) The Humane League are newly established in the UK. One way of leafleting for them is t take photos of you handing out a relatively small number of leaflets outside the stores of their campaign targets, and to publicise these photos to create an impression of wide damage to their public image (this is potentially a more time-efficient method of leafleting) - contact Emma Goddard (THL’s Volunteer Coordinator) at:
Volunteering with iAnimal by emailing Stalls are usually up for a whole morning/afternoon or day but you can often volunteer for just a portion of this time. There may be £ costs involved in travelling to the areaAlthough quite expensive, this equipment seems to have grabbed a lot of attention: ACE: "Their goal was to use new technology to reach influencers. They [Animal Equality] reached over 30,000 influencers, including students at high-ranking universities. They also reached journalists, capturing media attention, and started conversations with politicians... Animal Equality is working with Faunalytics on a study comparing the impact of virtual reality with the impact of flatscreen videos. Existing research already indicates that virtual reality is more effective at achieving greater behavioral change for a longer amount of time."

I would recommend this for people who have time to give to these events and do not have more uniquely skilled ways of volunteering. With more volunteers in varied locations, people can probably more easily volunteer in nearby locations / when it is convenient for them, which would make this form of volunteering more efficient.
Setting up film screeningsDepending on your context and resources, these can either be very quick and easy to organise or take quite a lot of time. Purchasing the documentaries and required licences for public screenings can be expensive. For private screenings, this can be free, and several of the documentaries are available on Netflix or for free online, so £ cost can vary massively. According to a study by The Humane League Labs of vegetarians and vegans, the things most commonly cited as being influential in leading them to initially reduce or eliminate their consumption of animal products were documentaries and movies. Several documentaries that encourage veganism are: Vegucated, Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, Speciesism, and Carnage. You could host a screening at a local library or college campus, or have a more casual screening with a bunch of friends and lead a discussion afterward. Providing delicious vegan food and recipes for attendees to take home may further increase motivation for dietary change.

Documentaries can have a massive ffect on some viewers. From my experience, they work best for those individuals who have already begun to consider the relevant issues and actions (usually reducing their animla product consumption) but haven't yet made the push to doing this in practice. However, often the tendency at such events is for only a small number of such people to come to these events, and for most attendees to be those who have already committed to the required actions, and are simply seeking to boost their own morale or to connect with likeminded individuals (which are still useful outcomes).

I would recommend public screenings if you have the available resources (especialy venue) to put one on and especially if you think that you will be able to attract significant numbers of individuals who have considered the ideas but not made the final push (e.g. not gone veg/vegan yet). I would recommend casual / private screenings to anyone.
Get involved in undercover investigationsQuite often very high time commitment per investigation. Can be £ costs associated?The results of these seem to be overall positive, although there are some potential limitations to this. See here:

I would recommend this for people who already have some form of access or information to farms and might be able to make a difference with their existing resources. Animal Equality, for example, ask that "If you have any knowledge of what is happening in a farm, slaughterhouse, zoo, circus, laboratory etc. or wish to blow the whistle, and you have access (due to work, studies, family etc.) please get in touch with us"

This is probably a good option for people who are keen to take higher personal input or higher risk activism activities, as (at a guess) it is likely more effective than various controversial actions which might alienate as much support as they win
Join targeted demonstrationsDemonstrations can be a few hours to a full day. There may be £ costs involved in travelling to the area and/or in making equipment for the demonstration.Demonstrations and protests are probably most effective when they are targetted and coordinated parts of focused campaigns. A very generic animal rights protest probably does very little apart from demonstrate to other people that a significant number of people do care about these issues. There are also potential dangers of alienating potential supporters, although the publicity may encourage some people to reduce their animal product consumption or get involved in animal activism. Overall, they are therefore often probably not worth the significant effort and time costs involved.

I would recommend this for anyone who has the time and enthusiasm to attend the demonstrations IF they are part of a targetted campaign, especially in support of the corporate campaigns of effective organisations like The Humane League or Animal Equality.

For some people, participation in large-scale protests and demonstrations may enthuse them and encourage them to take action, whereas others will find these events personally draining, or a significant effort. Be realistic about what sorts of effects on your own enthusiasm and morale attendance is likely to have; their are probably higher impact / more time-efficient volunteering opportunities, so do not wear yourself out by feeling that you need to travel across the country to every demonstration, but do attend if it is easy enough and/or inspiring for you!
Tabling at events and VegFestsThis can take a lot of time, although if several people group together to do it, it may only be for a couple of hours at a time. £ will probably be paid by the organistion you choose to represent, although paying the fee yourself would be equivalnt to a donation to that organisation.Representing an effective animal charity at a public event (a veg fest, neighborhood festival, health expo, etc.) allows you to educate people about the cruelties of animal agriculture and available opportunities to help (volunteering with or donating to our recommended charities, eating less meat, etc.). Contact our recommended charities directly to see if they could provide supplies (literature, sign-up sheets, tablecloth, donation box, etc.). Some of them (e.g., Animal Equality) might even provide food giveaways. ACE recommend representing a charity rather than having a generic table so that you can sign people up for e-newsletters which will provide them future opportunities to take action. If it’s not feasible to represent a recommended charity directly, you can order literature and make or buy some food samples to pass out while telling people about farmed animal suffering and ways they can help.

If it is near to an area which has an existing effective altruism group (London, Brighton, Leeds), then representing that group might be the most effective way to raise interest in effective animal altruism and advocacy. In these cases, the goal is to get as many mailing list sign-ups from interested people as possible, which is relatively quick and easy to do and may lead to significant behaviour changes. For tabling for animal groups more generally, ACE write: "There is limited evidence of the effectiveness of tabling or handing out food samples"

I would recommend this to anyone who has a decent amount of knowledge of relevant issues and has the time to commit. Whichever organisation you represent, make sure that you read and use advice about how to represent groups at events like these effectively. This advice relates to Effective Altruism groups, but can be easily adapted:
Setting up a VegFest in your local areaThis can be a very large time commitment. Depending on how you run or organise it, there can be a large £ cost, or there might be a potential to make a profit (which could potentially be donated to effective relevant charities?)Veg and vegan fests have been popping up all over the globe, and The Humane League sponsors a couple of them. Organizing a veg fest may be a good way to educate people about farmed animal suffering and veganism. Each fest is a bit different, but most include speakers, food demos, exhibitors sampling and selling products, tables for nonprofits, and food vendors selling whole vegan meals. Attendance varies from hundreds to thousands depending on location, publicity, and other factors. Some have a certain focus (e.g., health or spiritual).
Though the research is limited, we have a few recommendations for fests:
• Highlighting the animal protection argument for a veg lifestyle is important for longer-term considerations such as spreading the value of caring for animals. Keep this in mind for speaker and exhibitor selection.
• If any exhibitors claim that their activities or products have the healing effects of medicine, ensure that those claims are supported by evidence. The presence of a pseudo-scientific exhibitor can discredit the whole festival and turn attendees off to the factual information that is provided in other parts of the fest.
• If possible, make the event free to the public and as inclusive as possible, reducing any barriers for omnivores to attend.

If you’d like to get involved in a veg fest, consider volunteering for one in your area; or, if there isn’t one near you and you’d like to start one, check out Compassionate Action for Animals’ extensive guide on How to Plan a Veg Fest. We highly recommend reading this material if you are considering hosting a veg fest.

I would only recommend this if you have large amounts of time, organisational ability/skill and financial resources. It is useful organisational experience, but there is limited evidence of their effectiveness.
Volunteering for Effective Animal Altruism London
ActivityTime commitment and cost estimatesExplanation and comments on effectiveness
Promote the group and its events to your connectionsNegligble time cost (can just be letting them know in conversation, or can be intentionally sending people information), no £ costPossibly very effective. For people who are already invovled in animal rights/welfare causes, then introducing them to research and ideas about making their work more effective could have a massive impact on animal suffering. For people who are interested in the issues but are unsure how to get involved, then introducing them to research/ideas and to our events could help them find out how to do good effectively.
Use your skills / ideas!VariesWe are open to ideas about how we might be ableto use your skills. It might be, for example, that you have the experience and knowledge to help us run a particular talk, workshop or other event.
Offer resources that you have access toVariesFor example, do you have access to a good venue space for a workshop or talk (we usually have to pay for these at the moment)
Note on funding: VegFund may provide financial support for many of the above activities. VegFund provides funding for tabling and food sampling, pay-per-view, movie screenings, and merit awards for larger events like veg fests. Check out their website for guidelines and more information.

Note: Summary of advice on volunteering.
Volunteering COSTS charities, because it takes time and effort to supervise and coordinate. Often charities will only accept volunteers as a method of fundraising, because people tend to donate to the charities they have volunteered for.
So advice (from 80,000 hours and W. MacAskill, Doing Good Better):
Volunteer for cost-effective organisations
Volunteer for labour-constrained charities
Volunteer to best put YOUR skills to use (Note that this is useful in terms of developing relevant career capital as well)
Better to volunteer your talking/time! Spread awareness
Avoid replaceable, unskilled things, unless these are tasks which require minimal explanation of how to get involved and minimal supervision time.
Advice from Animal Charity Evaluators:
In general, we recommend volunteering for farmed animal charities, as this area provides an opportunity to make the biggest difference for animals.
To maximize your impact, you can volunteer for one of our Top Charities. If you are interested in finding and promoting the best ways to help animals, consider interning with ACE!
Get others to volunteer with you, to increase your own impact and to help sustain your own efforts
Do what you find fun and sustainable, and make sure that you look after yourself (and your morale) to do the most good in the long-term. If you surrender all of your free time to volunteering in animal advocacy, it is possible that you will develop compassion fatigue and become inefficient in your work. There are resources to help activists in need of support, like the Animal Activist Helpline.
"Many people gain personal pleasure from volunteering occasionally with local shelters or charities with which they have a personal connection, but which aren’t necessarily focusing on an effective intervention or farmed animals. We don’t consider it “wrong” to spend some amount of time engaged in activities that could help develop your connection with animals and encourage further contributions to areas like farmed animal advocacy. We recommend being cognizant of the fact that the benefit from those activities is primarily making you feel good and ensuring your sustainability as an advocate, rather than doing the most good for animals. However, such actions can still serve a valuable role in developing your commitment as an advocate."