Protest in front of factory farm in Spain 2006 Protest in front of factory farm in Spain 2006

How Your 17 Years of Support Saved 202 Million Animals

Since our humble beginnings in 2006, Animal Equality has been able to transform the lives of animals thanks to the unwavering support of our compassionate community.

As Animal Equality’s President & Co-founder, I am thrilled to bring you this message with a heart full of gratitude for your unwavering support of Animal Equality’s mission–to end cruelty to farmed animals. Thanks to you, Animal Equality has become the international animal protection organization that it is today—changing the lives of hundreds of millions of animals every year.

Our work began 17 years ago with Jose Valle, Javier Moreno, and I protesting the treatment of farmed animals in Spain. We started with a small table covered in a piece of cloth. A few photocopied flyers, handmade posters and a tin canister for donations was all we had. But this didn’t deter us from using our voices to talk about the cruelty facing animals inside factory farms.

Sharon and Jose at booth
Sharon Núñez, President of Animal Equality (left) and Jose Valle, Executive Vice President of Animal Equality (right) in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Spain, 2006

Our first public action was at a slaughterhouse in Madrid. Javier and I, along with two other activists, chained ourselves to its entrance. We held signs that read “Respect animals” and “Don’t consume their exploitation.”

Sharon Núñez, President of Animal Equality (middle left), Javier Moreno, Senior Director of Communications and Media Relations (middle right) in Madrid, Spain, 2006

We went on to use a “human meat tray” demonstration to represent the need for consumers to reject meat. We lowered banners from some of the most notable bullfighting rings, calling for their end. We held public protests denouncing circuses and the Canadian seal slaughter. And we demonstrated at the headquarters of one of the biggest meat companies in Spain, Campofrio. 

Our actions were gaining a lot of media attention. But cynics didn’t believe what we told them about the cruelty of animals used for food. 

We took a camera and set out to show them the truth.

Our first investigation was in a Spanish slaughterhouse—SEMAGI. Soon after, we completed our second investigation inside a pig farm that supplied the very meat company we demonstrated against—Campofrio. From there, we spent years investigating farms and slaughterhouses. We were exposing the industry’s attempts to grow profits by exploiting animals. And we were inspiring those watching to eliminate meat and dairy from their diets.

The animal agriculture industry was furious. They began to follow me, my friends, and other advocates. They tapped into my private phone conversations and went after my family. 

The police finally arrested me, alongside ten other advocates, as we were on the way to film a slaughterhouse. I found myself in a cold, damp cell with only a mattress, a toilet, and a sink to drink from. As I was counting how many years I could spend in jail, advocates around the world were protesting my release and the release of my friends.

Five days later, I walked out of that cell in Spain, promising the animals I would do it all again. I would fight for their lives until the end.

Sharon Núñez, President of Animal Equality (far right) and Jose Valle, Executive Vice President of Animal Equality (far left) with two other activists released from jail in Northern Spain, 2011

I have since kept my promise and have personally gone on to film inside 51 factory farms across the world. 

These investigations are at the heart of Animal Equality. They are the most powerful tool we have to protect farmed animals. Without these images, no one would believe how animals suffer for their meat. We wouldn’t have the proof needed to fight for animal legal protections or to encourage consumers to make compassionate, plant-based choices.

Rescued hen held by Animal Equality volunteer


With rich emotional lives and unbreakable family bonds, farmed animals deserve to be protected.

You can build a kinder world by replacing animal food products with plant‑based ones.

But it’s not without your support that we have these images needed to create a brighter future for farmed animals. And it’s because of you that Animal Equality grew from that small table with a few handmade posters to an international animal protection organization that has carried out over 820 investigations. 

Just this year:

  • Following nationwide efforts by animal activists and a coalition of animal protection organizations—including Animal Equality—the United States Supreme Court made a historic decision to back Prop 12. This is the United States’ strongest farmed animal protection law, protecting hens, pigs and cows from extreme confinement. 
  • Animal Equality has begun working diligently to change the Mexican Constitution to give Congress the power to legislate on animal welfare. Following dedicated efforts, including collecting over 100,000 signatures in favor of the amendment, the reform awaits final approval by the Senate. 
  • Using drone footage, Animal Equality released an innovative investigation into UK fish slaughter boats off the coast of Scotland, uncovering shocking findings of mistreatment and abuse.
  • Animal Equality’s team in Italy travelled to Brussels to address the European Parliament about a petition calling for the end to the breeding of fast-growing chickens. The committee was to decide whether to leave this important petition open or to close it. After productive conversation, it was decided to leave this petition open. This decision could positively impact billions of animals’ lives across Europe.
  • Following campaign efforts by Animal Equality and two other animal protection organizations, Conagra (the supplier of the iconic Slim Jim, Chef Boyardee, and Orville Redenbacher foods) has pledged to stop using crates for mother pigs in its supply chain. Conagra joins Compass Group, the world’s largest food service provider, and Delaware North, the fourth-largest food service provider in the US, in establishing policies to eliminate some of the cruelest forms of confinement following pressure by Animal Equality.

These progresses, and many more, are not Animal Equality’s alone, but are the collective work of advocates around the globe—like you! You have enabled us to conduct investigations and open the eyes of consumers to the realities of factory farming. You’ve joined the fight against the cruelest forms of abuse toward animals like cows, pigs, chickens. And you’ve helped expand our reach to spread a plant-based message as the strongest way to protect farmed animals. 

But that’s not all! It’s because of you that we are changing laws to protect farmed animals at the highest level of government and prosecute abusers. Your petitions signatures and participation in protests have shown politicians around the world why their support to combat animal abuse matters. With your support, over 356 million animals have been impacted by our legal work. 

And it’s because of you that we are able to convince some of the world’s largest companies to abandon the cruelty farming practices, like forcing mother pigs to live their lives inside tiny cages. 

dennys protest in Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Protest at Denny’s Flagship Store

But our work is far from over. Animal Equality will not stop until this cruelty ends once and for all.

We need your support now more than ever. Our investigations are diving deeper, our legal strategies are getting stronger, and plant-based resources are growing rapidly.

Your support has enables us to continue our work exposing animal cruelty and advocating for more compassionate treatment of animals. For all of the ways you show your support, whether you knew Animal Equality from its humble beginnings, or as the international organization it is today…thank you for your continued support

Sharon Núñez, President of Animal Equality (left), Dane Charbeneau, Campaigns Manager for Animal Equality (middle), and Jose Valle, Executive Vice President of Animal Equality (right) at the Texas VegFest, 2023
Spain Pig Farm


Help fund Animal Equality’s work to expose and end animal cruelty. Protect cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals today!