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Sharon Nunez holding a pig at an animal sanctuary

CELEBRATING YOUR IMPACT IN 2021

You changed the lives of 229 million animals!

Your commitment to protecting animals and year-round efforts to spread awareness about animal cruelty are not only inspiring, but they also made all of this year’s groundbreaking progress possible.

As you’ll read in this report, our work last year impacted an estimated 229 million animals across the globe, including nearly 44 million in the U.S. alone — a tremendous accomplishment that you made happen. Together, we’re achieving better living conditions for farmed animals and holding the animal agriculture industry accountable.

Every step we take brings us closer to a world where animals are respected and protected. With you on our side, we can expect even more victories in 2022.

In gratitude,

Sharon Núñez
Animal Equality President

2021 Year in Review


 

 

Animal Equality’s 15th anniversary was one of the biggest in our organization’s history. We released groundbreaking investigations and important animal protection policies while achieving historic legal reforms as a result of our critical work for animals. We’ve included some of of the best highlights on this page, but you can watch the video for a look back at everything you made possible this year!

Animal Equality 2021 Impact Report
Download the printable impact report (PDF)

Ronney Mara inside a factory farm

EXPOSING CRUELTY THROUGH INVESTIGATIONS


The cornerstone of our organization is our investigative work, and in 2021, we released 19 investigations — an extraordinary number that has had a ripple effect across the global factory farming industry. Thanks to your support, Animal Equality sent investigators into some of the most secretive facilities in the world, exposing the immense suffering and cruelty that is happening at slaughterhouses and on farms that raise animals for food.

Our investigations create a constant cycle of change, from new laws that protect farmed animals to forced closures and resignations in a business that hates to change.

19

INVESTIGATIONS PRESENTED

3.3+ MILLION

ANIMALS IMPACTED BY INVESTIGATIONS

map of Animal Equality's 2021 investigation locations

KEY UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATIONS


 

United States

Largest USDA Inspected Catfish Slaughterhouse Exposed

Shocking Violations Inside a “Humane” Hatchery

 

Mexico

The Alarming Consequences of Industrial Farming

Mexico’s First Fish Investigation

The Egg Industry’s Cruel Practice of Forced Molting

Cruel and Illegal Acts Exposed at a Slaughterhouse

 

Brazil

The Hidden Practice of Slaughtering Pregnant Cows

Illegal Fires Cause Cruelty and Ecological Destruction

 

United Kingdom

Welfare Chief Quits After Farm’s Abuse is Exposed

First-Ever Look Inside UK Fish Slaughterhouse

 

Spain

Pigs Suffer on “Farm of Horrors”

 

Italy

Behind the Walls of an Italian Slaughterhouse

The Plight of Lamb Transport

Cruelty and Deceptive Marketing at Renowned Pig Farm

The Transport of Lambs for Holiday Demand

Animal Cruelty Revealed to TV Audience

 

India

The Truth About Aquafarming
Dangerous “wet markets” continue to operate despite pandemic

Protesters outside Home Chef headquarters

TAKING ON THE WORLD'S BIGGEST COMPANIES


In 2021, our Corporate Outreach team worked extensively behind the scenes to help implement the most progressive animal welfare laws ever seen in the United States, impacting 23 million animals. Worldwide, Animal Equality convinced 31 companies to adopt animal protection policies to reduce the suffering of an additional 15.5 million hens used for eggs and 14.5 million chickens used for meat each year.

These successes were made possible by dedicated animal advocates just like you from across the globe.

31

COMPANIES THAT ADOPTED ANIMAL PROTECTIONS

53 MILLION

ANIMALS IMPACTED BY CORPORATE WORK

174,000

ENGAGED VOLUNTEERS

HIGHLIGHTS


Subway protesters

Subway’s Historic Commitment to Chickens

After nearly two years of campaigning by Animal Equality and other members of the Open Wing Alliance, the world’s largest restaurant franchise, Subway, has pledged to improve chicken welfare in its supply chains by adopting the European Chicken Commitment (ECC). The ECC requires companies to provide chickens with more space, natural light, perches, and pecking substrates. It also bans the use of fast-growing breeds, which are prone to painful deformities and heart attacks. The lives of approximately 50 million chickens will be impacted by this work.

hens in a sanctuary

A Monumental Policy Achievement

In what was the most impactful cage-free policy ever secured, Animal Equality and a coalition of more than 75 nonprofits persuaded Yum! Brands to adopt a global cage-free egg policy. Including popular chains KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, this public commitment will affect nearly 50,000 locations in 150 countries, which is the largest number of locations ever impacted by a single cage-free policy. Most of these locations will transition by 2026, with a global target of completion by 2030. Yum! Brands also agreed to provide annual progress reporting to ensure transparency.

 

ADVOCATING FOR STRONGER ANIMAL PROTECTION LAWS


While there are some animal protection laws that protect animals within the food system, there aren’t many, and those that exist are either insufficient or meant to aid the animal agriculture industry in hiding the suffering it inflicts. Across the world, our Legal Advocacy teams are working with local, state, and national governments to strengthen current laws and pass new ones that will impact the lives of millions of animals. Thanks to your selfless support, we were able to expand animal protections across the globe in 2021.

United States

  • In response to our lawsuit, Champion Petfoods corrected “wild caught” marketing claims on its website and agreed to provide additional transparency regarding its fish sourcing practices.
  • Utah became the eighth state to ban cages in the egg industry. The bill will go into effect starting January 1, 2025, sparing five million hens annually from life in a cage.
  • Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, along with Rep. Ro Khanna, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission in support of our parallel false-advertising lawsuit against Tyson, which is currently pending before the Commission.
  • Nevada became the ninth state to ban the use of cages in the egg industry thanks to our work mobilizing activists in Nevada to take strategic legislative actions supporting the bill. This new law will also ban the sale of eggs from caged hens, wherever they originate, impacting roughly 3.5 million hens per year starting in 2024.

Latin America

  • Animal Equality presented an initiative before the Congress of Hidalgo in Mexico to punish the operation of unregulated slaughterhouses, as well as those who refuse stunning animals prior to slaughter.
  • In Puebla, Mexico, the state congress approved a bill banning unregulated slaughterhouses and the slaughter of animals without stunning with almost unanimous support. Thanks to this resolution, which comes after a series of meetings Animal Equality had with government authorities, more than 100 million animals will be impacted.

Europe

  • In a historic move driven by the End the Cage Age campaign, the European Commission voted to phase out cages for farmed animals across the European Union, with the aim of banning them completely by 2027. Once in place, this groundbreaking commitment will affect around 300 million animals every year.
  • Following the launch of our campaign in Italy to stop the mass killing of male chicks in the egg industry, the government passed an amendment banning the practice. Our work was so influential that it’s mentioned in the amendment itself. This is a historic turning point that will impact 40 million chicks each year.
  • The Welsh Government introduced a new plan to mandate surveillance cameras in its slaughterhouses to enforce animal welfare standards. This measure comes after an Animal Equality investigation in 2019 and years of campaigning in the U.K.
  • Animal Equality launched a petition asking the European Parliament to enforce the rules on animal welfare during farmed animal transport. In addition, we launched a campaign, alongside dozens of European organizations, to create a new government position committed to animal issues: European Commissioner for Animal Welfare.
Joaquin Phoenix protests animal cruelty with Animal Equality supporters in London

CAMPAIGNING TO RAISE AWARENESS


Each petition you sign and social media post you share in support of our work makes a difference, as each of our campaigns plays an important role in creating lasting change for farmed animals. The impact these campaigns have is enhanced by your participation, and thanks to your gifts and action, our message was far-reaching in 2021.

15.4 + MILLION

INTERACTIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

620,000

EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS

533,972

PETITION SIGNERS

HIGHLIGHTS


baby chicks hatched out of shells

Stopping the Massacre of Male Chicks in the US

In an effort to draw attention to the widely unknown practice of male chick culling, Animal Equality launched a campaign in the United States to end the slaughter. Billions of birds across the globe face death on the day they are born simply because they are the “wrong” sex and not profitable to the egg industry. The U.S. is the second-largest egg-producing country in the world, killing around 300 million male chicks each year. Along with a petition, the campaign promotes the use of alternative technologies like in-ovo sexing that spare chickens unnecessary suffering.

Peter Egan and Animal Equality supporters deliver foie gras petition signatures to the UK government

A Step Close to a UK Foie Gras Ban

British TV actor and animal advocate Peter Egan and plant-based Michelin-starred French chef Alexis Gauthier joined Animal Equality to hand in over 225,000 signatures to the British government calling for a ban on the importation and sale of foie gras made by force-feeding ducks and geese.

pangolin in a cage

Award-Winning International Campaign to Ban Wet Markets

Animal Equality received the 2020 #Campaign4Animals Award for the creativity and far-reaching impact of our campaign to ban the sale of live animals at wet markets. Our campaign was cited for its carefully curated strategy, resourcefulness, and ability to engage half a million people around the world to take action for animals.

 

International Animal Rights Day protest in Madrid

NEWS OF OUR WORK REACHES ACROSS THE GLOBE


Our work reaches millions of people every year thanks to media coverage. 2021 was no exception, with features in hundreds of worldwide publications including NBC News, Yahoo News, El Pais, El Mundo, Televisa, The Guardian, and The Times.

2,171

NEWS STORIES

34+

MILLION MEDIA VIEWS

10.6+

MILLION VIDEO VIEWS

THANK YOU FOR CREATING A BETTER WORLD FOR ANIMALS


The fight continues. Join Animal Equality’s Animal Allies today to help support our work for animals throughout the year and keep pushing progress forward.

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