Posts

Why we want to start a charity fortifying feed for hens (founders needed) 2021-04-19T16:47:02.900Z
Why we want to start a shrimp welfare charity (founders needed) 2021-04-16T15:57:37.329Z
Shrimp Welfare - 2020 Recommended idea 2020-11-10T11:46:24.439Z
Plant-Based Seafood: A Promising Intervention in Food Technology? - Charity Entrepreneurship Approach Report 2020-01-17T14:35:44.783Z
Should We Try to Change Animal Welfare Laws in India or Taiwan?- Charity Entrepreneurship's Approach Report 2020-01-08T18:45:06.028Z

Comments

Comment by vicky_cox on Shrimp Welfare - 2020 Recommended idea · 2020-11-17T10:15:29.709Z · EA · GW

Apologies for the belated response, I missed this! 

The pitch for shrimp welfare would be similar to the pitch of invertebrate welfare in general where even if the case for shrimp sentience is weaker than the case for mammal, bird, and fish sentience, the expected value of helping shrimp might be higher than the expected value of helping mammals, birds, and fish due to the large scale of their suffering.  For example, fishcount estimate that 51-167 billion fish were slaughtered in 2017, and 210-530 billion shrimps and prawns were slaughtered. 

I think the case for working to end the practice of eyestalk ablation is particularly strong as it is such a horrific practice that it could be seen as low hanging fruit. This could then be a good 'foot-in-the-door' for other shrimp welfare issues.

Yeah, welfare points are a per-animal metric, but they are discounted by our best guess at the likelihood of sentience of each animal so we have estimated that shrimp have a 10% likelihood of sentience and cows, to use your example, have a 75% likelihood of sentience. So an intervention that affects shrimp would have to affect sufficiently more welfare points than an intervention that affects cow to be considered cost-effective. I hope this makes sense!

Comment by vicky_cox on Plant-Based Seafood: A Promising Intervention in Food Technology? - Charity Entrepreneurship Approach Report · 2020-01-27T13:03:05.974Z · EA · GW

As mentioned in comments above, yeah I agree with this but just assumed that all costs would be funded by donations to try and keep the CEA simple (modelling the cost effectiveness of a for-profit company ended up being more difficult than I thought it would be).

Comment by vicky_cox on Plant-Based Seafood: A Promising Intervention in Food Technology? - Charity Entrepreneurship Approach Report · 2020-01-27T13:01:00.392Z · EA · GW

1. That is a good point, I did implicitly try and account for the probability of success when estimating the probability of the different potential scenarios (IF launch, we launch, both launch) in this model, but this was never done explicitly as its own factor. To account for this, we could multiply the expected impact by the expected probability of success (the average food start-up has a ~10% probability of success).

2. Yeah I agree that this would be more realistic, we just assumed that all funding would be donated to make the CEA simpler.

Comment by vicky_cox on Plant-Based Seafood: A Promising Intervention in Food Technology? - Charity Entrepreneurship Approach Report · 2020-01-27T12:44:12.693Z · EA · GW

Hi Michael, sorry for the belated response.

You make a lot of interesting points in your comments, some of which I hadn't considered. As a general point before replying to any specifics, I found it really difficult to model a CEA for a for-profit company so this is definitely by no means perfect as I had to make a lot of weird assumptions to try and make it work, such as assuming that all of the funding would be donated by EA funds rather than met by investors etc. and that we wouldn't own any shares in the company.

I think you make a good point, though, that financial returns probably should be included in this. Also, again I think you're right that we could have taken a more in-depth look at the counterfactuals of the co-founders as they definitely could earn-to-give in this position, though as you said they would likely take much lower salaries than the average start-up founder. Both of these factors would make this intervention more cost effective, though I am unsure by how much. Thinking about this, this just makes me more excited for plant-based start-ups to focus on plant-based seafood! Though I still don't think that CE would be best placed to help this start-up, I think the market would do a much better job.


Comment by vicky_cox on Should We Try to Change Animal Welfare Laws in India or Taiwan?- Charity Entrepreneurship's Approach Report · 2020-01-14T10:23:54.976Z · EA · GW

Yeah this report was split between me doing research into feed fortification in India and George doing research into DO in Taiwan.

That's a good question, I don't think it was intentional - probably just the way we both went about modelling things. But I will leave George to answer that properly as to why he used log-normal.

Comment by vicky_cox on Should We Try to Change Animal Welfare Laws in India or Taiwan?- Charity Entrepreneurship's Approach Report · 2020-01-13T18:38:56.577Z · EA · GW

I think that both feed fortification and dissolved oxygen will increase costs for farmers as they will need to pay for the nutrients to supplement feed with or for the aeration equipment, so this could decrease supply and demand.

I do agree, though, that these interventions will improve yields, which as you say could increase supply and demand.

The problem is that I am unsure of the magnitudes of both of these effects so I don't know what the overall sign for the intervention would be. I think I would still lean towards it decreasing supply and demand overall, though, as I'm unsure of how much yields would improve but I am quite confident that costs of production will increase.

Comment by vicky_cox on Should We Try to Change Animal Welfare Laws in India or Taiwan?- Charity Entrepreneurship's Approach Report · 2020-01-13T18:26:06.521Z · EA · GW

I'm unsure what FIAPO do for enforcement, but HSI/India try to improve enforcement by doing workshops with police departments in various states and districts to help them to understand and learn animal welfare laws and how they can implement them as they think that one of the big barriers to poor enforcement is that it is common for enforcement officers to not be aware of new policies.


I'm unsure about the impact of lobbying the government to spend more on enforcement, but I would be more excited about a charity which focuses on enforcement or giving money to existing orgs so that they can do more work on enforcement as you suggested, but again because of the poor enforcement and how difficult it could be to improve this, I would still probably lean towards this not being the best thing we could do.

Comment by vicky_cox on Should We Try to Change Animal Welfare Laws in India or Taiwan?- Charity Entrepreneurship's Approach Report · 2020-01-10T15:15:12.265Z · EA · GW

Hi Michael,

You're right that the Faunalytics report didn't include Taiwan, but we used the results from Eastern China as a proxy to the attitudes in Taiwan as this was the best option available to us.

Comment by vicky_cox on Should We Try to Change Animal Welfare Laws in India or Taiwan?- Charity Entrepreneurship's Approach Report · 2020-01-10T15:13:31.137Z · EA · GW

Hi Michael, thanks for your comment!

These are interesting ideas that could be worth considering, but you're definitely right that any interventions that work on a state-wide/nation-wide scale will be very difficult to enforce and this poor enforcement will likely be the limiting factor to the success of any intervention like this. I will make a note of these ideas, though, to have a look into when I next have the chance, thanks!