Animal Equality is an international animal protection organisation, working with society, governments and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals.
As a global organisation, how does your work in the UK compare or differ from your work around the world? Is it a more or less challenging to bring about change here in the UK?
Animal Equality works in 8 countries around the world, with the situation for animals differing greatly between these countries.
Therefore the main focus of our work in each country might differ, but fits into our mission to work with society, governments and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals and our vision of a world where all animals are respected and protected.
Each country context presents its own set of challenges and opportunities, and the UK is no different.
You are one of the first organisations to use 360° virtual reality technology to bring your cause to life. How has this offered a fresh perspective on the issues you care about as a charity?
iAnimal is a revolutionary tool. Most people would never have the chance to visit a farm in the UK and witness first hand the way the vast majority of animals farmed here live and die. iAnimal takes people into these farms, and shows them the reality.
It’s an experience many people can’t forget which spurs them into taking action to reduce or eliminate animal products from their diet.
Never before have we been able to reach so many with such an effective outreach tool.
Your film iAnimal focuses closely on the dairy industry. Is it dangerous getting inside factory farms and similar locations to get these films made?
We currently have three iAnimal films, filmed on chicken, pig and dairy farms in the UK, Europe and South America.
We employ a team of professional investigators who use a variety of techniques to gain entry to animal facilities.
The techniques vary from country to country and even farm to farm or slaughterhouse to slaughterhouse. We always act within the law of that country and take strict biosecurity measures.
We aim to show standard industry practice rather than the worst case scenarios.
What do you want people to take away from these films? What are the typical reactions you see from people what have watched the films?
We want to inform people about the lives and deaths of farmed animals on the vast majority of UK farms so that they are motivated to change the status quo and spare these animals from suffering, by reducing the demand for animal products and moving towards a plant-based diet.
Many people have misconceptions about British farming, believing that animals in the UK are farmed with higher welfare standards than other countries and protected by certification schemes.
They are often surprised by the reality. People are usually shocked and some get upset by what they see, but they are glad that they watched the films and motivated to change their diet as a result.
How do volunteers play a part in spreading the message of Animal Equality?
Our volunteers are integral to achieving our goals. They staff our iAnimal events, join us at demos and assist us in our office.
Without our group of compassionate, talented volunteers we wouldn’t be able to take iAnimal around the country and reach the amount of people we can with their support.
Every year they save us thousands of pounds by giving us their time, tirelessly working alongside us to spare animals from suffering.