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  • Owen Gunden

What we'd like to see more of

For AVA 2022, we're handing out postcards that list some of the types of things we're excited to fund (see below). This post elaborates on our thoughts.

We're especially excited to support projects that:

  • Build movement power

  • Integrate non-activist vegans into the movement

  • Address recidivism among vegans & activists

  • Develop economic engines and other forms of financial power

  • Create lasting institutions that embody vegan values

  • Transform mainstream culture, values, and beliefs

Build Movement Power

This is partly covered in this post, but to be more concrete and specific, we feel that grassroots activism on behalf of animals has never been done in a scalable way. There is, fortunately, a small body of research about social movements, and we are excited to support Pax Fauna (US) and Animal Think Tank (UK) as they implement these theories towards scalable action for animals. Recommended reading: This is an Uprising, by Mark and Paul Engler.

Integrate non-activist vegans into the movement

Beyond activism and mass mobilization, we also feel that there's a large amount of passive support for animals among millions of vegans in the US. We are interested to hear your ideas for how best to organize that support and turn it into power for our movement. Recommended reading: Engines of Liberty, by David Cole.

Address recidivism among vegans & activists

We feel that a lot of work has gone into persuading people to make the transition towards a vegan lifestyle, but not as much work has gone into maintaining that lifestyle. We welcome projects that solidify vegan and liberationist values into communities so that they stick. Recommended reading: Change, by Damon Centola.

Develop economic engines and other forms of financial power

As funders, we are acutely aware that funds don't grow on trees. The existing funds that we have available for animal rights are precious and limited, so we are excited about opportunities to generate lasting sources of recurring revenues. We are particularly keen to hear ideas on how to combine entrepreneurship with the mission.

Create lasting institutions that embody vegan values

If we can manage to embed our values in long-lasting, sustainable institutions, then those values will radiate outwards for years. And the more resilient the institution, the more valuable it will be to our struggle. Whether it's a school, a church, a city, or something else, we'd love to find founders that are passionate about founding a new wave of vegan and liberationist institutions. Recommended reading: No Shortcuts, by Jane McAlevey.

Transform mainstream culture, values, and beliefs

Ultimately, our culture needs to evolve away from the commodification of animals and towards a greater sense of sensitivity and connectedness. Without this cultural evolution, we will never achieve our goals, and with it, we will have already won. For this reason, we like to think of cultural change as our ultimate aim. Any projects that promise to make progress towards re-wiring these deep cultural roots are very interesting to us. Recommended reading: The World Peace Diet, by Will Tuttle.

As a reminder, all of our grantees:

  • Work to liberate rather than placate -- we don't support welfare reforms except in very specific and limited strategic contexts

  • Are not afraid to take radical action -- we're looking to empower the empowered to actually achieve liberation in one generation

  • Are strategic thinkers -- we can't afford to fund projects that don't at least have a theoretical path towards animal liberation

  • Espouse vegan values -- always!

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Oct 17, 2022

And it's great for the planet too!

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