80,000 Hours Podcast with Rob Wiblin

#8 - Lewis Bollard on how to end factory farming in our lifetimes

80,000 Hours Podcast with Rob Wiblin

Every year tens of billions of animals are raised in terrible conditions in factory farms before being killed for human consumption. Over the last two years Lewis Bollard – Project Officer for Farm Animal Welfare at the Open Philanthropy Project – has conducted extensive research into the best ways to eliminate animal suffering in farms as soon as possible. This has resulted in $30 million in grants to farm animal advocacy.

Full transcript, coaching application form, overview of the conversation, and extra resources to learn more:

We covered almost every approach being taken, which ones work, and how individuals can best contribute through their careers.

We also had time to venture into a wide range of issues that are less often discussed, including:

* Why Lewis thinks insect farming would be worse than the status quo, and whether we should look for ‘humane’ insecticides;
* How young people can set themselves up to contribute to scientific research into meat alternatives;
* How genetic manipulation of chickens has caused them to suffer much more than their ancestors, but could also be used to make them better off;
* Why Lewis is skeptical of vegan advocacy;
* Why he doubts that much can be done to tackle factory farming through legal advocacy or electoral politics;
* Which species of farm animals is best to focus on first;
* Whether fish and crustaceans are conscious, and if so what can be done for them;
* Many other issues listed below in the Overview of the discussion.

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Overview of the discussion

**2m40s** What originally drew you to dedicate your career to helping animals and why did Open Philanthropy end up focusing on it?
**5m40s** Do you have any concrete way of assessing the severity of animal suffering?
**7m10s** Do you think the environmental gains are large compared to those that we might hope to get from animal welfare improvement?
**7m55s** What grants have you made at Open Phil? How did you go about deciding which groups to fund and which ones not to fund?
**9m50s** Why does Open Phil focus on chickens and fish? Is this the right call?

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