1st Quarter Achievements 2019

Friends, Supporters, and Allies,

I’m so proud to share with you all that you have helped Animal Equality accomplish at the beginning of the year.

Animal Equality successfully convinced six international companies to adopt animal protection policies that will reduce the suffering of more than 150,000 animals a year. We also recently participated in litigation for the first time in the history of Animal Equality in the US. Additionally, thanks to Animal Equality’s undercover investigations, three farm workers in the United Kingdom were charged with multiple animal cruelty offenses.

Our work on behalf of farmed animals would not be possible without your support. Thank you for all that you do to make this change possible for animals.

Thank you!


Exposing Cruelty Through Investigations

Animal Equality released an undercover investigation exposing egregious cruelty to mother cows and calves trapped in the dairy industry. Following an Animal Equality investigation released in 2018, three farm workers were convicted of animal abuse and sentenced in court.

The Real Face of the Milk Industry

Animal Equality Italia released an investigation revealing the horrifying reality behind the milk industry, using footage captured from dairy farms in the Lombardy region of Italy. Our investigators exposed these horrifying cruelties:

  • Calves and cows living in cramped, unsanitary conditions, covered in feces and mud
  • Cows with mastitis and very serious wounds, including hooves illegally covered with scotch tape
  • Calves taken from their mothers hours after birth
  • Farmworkers performing illegal preventive care/practices without veterinary supervision

The investigation also supports Animal Equality Italia’s slaughterhouse campaign, which aims to reduce the cruelty inflicted on animals in slaughterhouses in Italy. The campaign makes various requests to the Italian government, including installing CCTV cameras in slaughterhouses, enforcing stunning laws without exemptions and exceptions, and making animal abuse in slaughterhouses a criminal offense.

The investigation received a media reach of over 80 million and was covered by top news outlets, including Fanpage, TPI, Business Insider, and Radio Popolare.

Update: Fir Tree Investigation

Three farm workers were convicted of animal abuse at Grimsby Magistrates Court in the United Kingdom as a result of Animal Equality’s undercover investigation at Fir Tree Farm in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, last year. Troy Wagstaff, the supervisor and animal welfare manager at the farm, was filmed violently kicking pigs at least 20 times in just a few days, along with workers Gavin Hardy and Artis Grogprkevs. Each was given an eight-week suspended prison sentence and a community order of 100 hours of unpaid work. They were also ordered to pay £600 (approximately $675) in court charges.

During the sentencing, District Judge Daniel Curtis expressed his disgust with the crimes, remarking “The footage is sickening to watch. I don’t draw any distinction between acts of violence against human beings and animals”…“In some ways, it is worse that they are against animals, as they are defenseless.”

News of the conviction gained considerable media coverage with pieces in BBC, ITV, Metro, The Independent, Lincolnshire Reporter, Grimsby Live, Farmers Weekly, and Grimsby Telegraph, as well as stories on local BBC and ITV television channels.

Progress For Farmed Animals

Our team is working hard to change the world for farmed animals by engaging in proactive legal initiatives, working with the world’s largest corporations to implement stronger animal protection policies, and working with companies to incorporate more plant-based offerings.

Animal Equality worked with SIX companies worldwide to adopt new policies banning cages that confine hens used for eggs.

McDonald’s Campaign

Our US McDonald’s campaign continues with impactful actions, including demonstrations throughout the United States. The campaign coalition launched a countdown prior to the company’s upcoming May shareholder meeting. In the 100 days leading up to the meeting, the coalition is engaging in creative campaign actions to inform consumers about the cruelty chickens experience in the McDonald’s meat supply chain. As one of the world’s most notable brands, McDonald’s has the power to eliminate some of the cruelest farming practices used by its producers and reduce the suffering of millions of birds. They have thus far failed to adopt meaningful reforms, while over 120 companies—including many of McDonald’s competitors, such as Burger King, Subway, and Jack in the Box—have publicly committed to making changes that will improve the lives of these smart and social animals.

Food Policy

Animal Equality in India collaborated with Akshaya Patra, a nonprofit organization, to develop a list of nutrition-rich plant-based recipes to use as a replacement for eggs in public school meals. Our work was featured in The Times of India.

Amruta Ubale, Animal Equality’s Executive Director in India, shared with The Times of India, “It is about time we look at including options which are not just nutritious but also environmentally sustainable and animal-friendly.”

Lawsuit Against Pilgrim’s Pride

Animal Equality and Richman Law Group are representing the nonprofits Food & Water Watch and Organic Consumers Association (OCA) in a lawsuit against Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. for the deceptive marketing and advertising of Pilgrim’s Pride chicken products. The suit was brought up in D.C. Superior Court, under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act.

This action has resulted in major media coverage with a potential reach of more than 60 million, including an exclusive with Bloomberg ahead of our joint press release.

End The Cage Age

Animal Equality Italia premiered an exclusive short movie, M6NTHS, about the life of a piglet from birth to death in support of the End The Cage Age campaign. The European Citizen Initiative, which aims to abolish all cages in the European Union, fueled by the campaign, has reached over 500,000 signatures and is now well on its way to the target goal of one million signatures by the end of September.

Animal Equality in the United Kingdom, along with several other animal protection organizations, launched a UK government petition calling for a ban on all cages for farmed animals. We have six months to gather 100,000 petition signatures in order for the campaign to be eligible for Parliamentary debate.

Education & Public Outreach

Love Veg

Animal Equality’s Love Veg project provides individuals with the information and motivation they need to enjoy a plant-based lifestyle. Love Veg meets people where they are on their journey and offers them insider tips, shopping guides, and delicious recipes.

Over 31,500 individuals signed up to take the Love Veg pledge to start reducing or eliminating their animal product consumption and will begin to receive tips and recipes to help them in this process.

We have secured interviews with half a dozen celebrities in the US to share on our Love Veg page over the next year, including an interview with Daniella Monet.


Animal Equality is putting technology to work for animals. Our team has filmed with 360-degree cameras to produce films on the lives of pigs, chickens, and cows. The iAnimal program utilizes virtual reality headsets to educate individuals about the cruelties of factory farming at universities and events throughout the world.

We began our 10th iAnimal Outreach Tour throughout Texas, visiting college and university campuses such as the University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Woman’s University, University of Houston, Texas State University, and the University of Texas at Austin. The iAnimal tour crew reached approximately 1,000 students, many of whom signed our Love Veg pledge to reduce or eliminate animal products from their diet.

iAnimal was featured at over 50 events worldwide, including UCLA, the Rice University Vegfest, South by Southwest (SXSW), Just V in Glasgow, London Vegan Life Live, VegFest Brighton, University of Guadalajara, Royal Holloway College, Imperial College, Glasgow University LSE, King’s College London, Bath Spa, University of Sussex, and Newcastle University. We are also continuing to provide iAnimal videos for outside groups and activists to use, including Djurens Rätt in Sweden.

By the Numbers