Budget (2021): $3.9 million
Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA
CEO: Sharon Nunez Gough
Background and Goals
Animal Equality is an animal liberation organization that promotes veganism and receives funding to harass food companies.
Animal Equality was founded in Spain in 2006, but has operated a main office in the US since 2014. Animal Equality also has affiliates in the UK, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Brazil. Animal Equality was founded by Sharon Nunez and Jose Valle.
Nunez was previously an organizer for the group “Alternativa para la Liberación Animal” (“Alternative for Animal Liberation”), which later merged into Animal Equality.
Animal Equality relies on funding from a handful of sources to operate its campaigns.
The Open Philanthropy Project has given more than $11 million to Animal Equality since 2016. More than half of that money has been earmarked for corporate pressure campaigns.
In 2021, Animal Equality reported raising $7.1 million, of which $5.8 million (82%) came from just four individuals or corporations (including $3 million from the Open Philanthropy Project).
Animal Equality pressures companies to make drastic changes to their animal protein supply chains, and attacks companies that decline to do so.
Animal Equality pressures food companies to buy pork from farms that do not use maternity pens for sows–despite veterinarians supporting the use of maternity pens. Read Issue Brief: Sow Housing for more information on this subject.
Animal Equality is one of several groups given funding to pressure companies to change the kind of chicken they buy. These changes would inflict significant harm on sustainability efforts. Read Issue Brief: Better Chicken Commitment for more.
Animal Equality says that it has “carried out many open rescues.” The term “open rescue” is used as a euphemism for animal activists seizing livestock, claiming it was necessary for the animal’s health. Open rescues may involve activists breaking into a farm at night. These actions often break farm biosecurity protections and put animal health at risk. Moreover, Animal Equality is not a veterinary group.
Animal Equality is a supporter of the work of radical animal liberation group Direct Action Everywhere, which also conducts “open rescues.” Wayne Hsiung, controversial founder of DxE who was convicted of a felony, claimed Animal Equality does “good work” and even said that the group has inspired DxE.