Marking Eight Years of Giving to End the Exploitation and Suffering of Animals

We are proud to mark the eighth year of our philanthropy program to support efforts to end the exploitation and suffering of animals used for food. We make this commitment alongside the company’s other core causes, including regenerative organic agriculture, criminal justice reform, drug policy reform, fair trade & fair pay, and community initiatives in the San Diego area. By the end of 2020, Dr. Bronner’s will have donated over $3 million since 2013 to a variety of leading organizations that are working to expose and reduce the suffering of animals, while advocating for healthier and more sustainable food systems.

“The primary objectives of our animal advocacy giving program are to address the suffering of farmed animals, promote plant-based diets, protect wild ecosystems and marine life and advance a greater understanding of animal rights in the U.S. and around the world,” said our CEO, David Bronner.

The All-One Animal Advocacy Family

During the course of the eight years of this program, our donations have helped fuel policy change, establish multiple new organizations and sustain a host of others with critical resources. The work of the diverse groups we support addresses a broad scope of issues, from advocating for plant-based diets, to passing laws against the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals, and ocean conservation and protection efforts. This year we have made donations totaling over $525,000 in 2020 to highly effective organizations and initiatives across three categories, which we determine by donation levels, funding needs, and operational scale and focus. Donation recipients by category, include:

National Changemakers:

Animal Outlook
Compassion in World Farming (US)
Encompass
Farm Forward
Good Food Institute
Humane Society of the United States
Plant Based Foods Association
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
VINE Sanctuary

International Allies:

Animal Equality (Mexico)
Animal Justice (Canada)
Compassion in World Farming (UK)
Sea Shepherd Global

Movement Builders:

Black Vegans Rock
Factory Farm Awareness Coalition
La Raza for Liberation
project FANG
Our Hen House
Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary
Reducetarian Foundation
Sanctuary @ SHO
Sistah Vegan Project
SÜPRMARKT
Vegan Outreach

Animal Advocacy for Social and Environmental Justice

Dr. Bronner’s overall philanthropic giving has actively responded to current events during this unprecedented year, including the global Covid-19 pandemic; increased social outrage at police and state violence against People of Color and the powerful growth of the Black Lives Matter Movement; and a nationwide election that clearly demonstrated American voters’ overwhelming support for drug policy reform. And while the company is providing financial support to these causes and movements, animal advocacy remains an integral cornerstone of Dr. Bronner’s advocacy focus and philanthropic priorities.

As David Bronner puts it: “Importantly, the factory farming of animals and the production of their feed is a leading cause of greenhouse gasses driving climate change. This model is also rife with human rights abuses of laborers. When we look at the big picture of how everything is connected, it’s clear that animal advocacy efforts are not only working to improve the lives of animals, but of all life on our planet as we collectively strive to mitigate climate change and adopt regenerative organic agriculture models globally.”

As the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic increasingly sheds light on systemic inequities such as access to healthcare and education, job insecurity and lack of basic income for working families, food insecurity and lack of affordable housing—the pandemic has also exposed the injustices that confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), otherwise known as factory farms, inflict on human workers as well as animals. As the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths continues to rise exponentially among CAFO workers, it’s clear that work being done by Dr. Bronner’s partners to end the horrors of factory farming is not only helping animals but is also in the interest of laborers who are exposed to dangerous and abusive working conditions in the animal slaughter industry.

“We know that the disproportionate number of Covid-19 deaths among people of color in the U.S.—especially Black and indigenous people—is significantly impacted by living in regions of ‘food apartheid’. Such regions have dietary options that are heavier in animal products, saturated fats, refined sugar, and other processed foods produced by industrialized agriculture and factory farm systems. Limited and more nutritionally vapid dietary options, such as these, are major contributors to pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and heart disease, etc.,” said Dr. Breeze Harper, founder of the Sistah Vegan Project. “This year should be a wake-up call for everyone to recognize that access to plant-based and organic foods for all is not only an animal rights or environmental issue, but a profound social justice issue we must address if we are to fight back against the economic inequities in our food system that harm people of color and those living in poverty the most.”

Furthermore, this year has also borne witness to alarming natural disasters resulting from human-caused climate change, including 2020 being among the hottest years ever on global record; devastating wildfires in U.S. Western states due to prolonged draught and unseasonably high temperatures; and environmental protection policies being dismantled at both the State and Federal levels. Given that meat production and consumption within the industrialized agriculture system is a leading contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, Dr. Bronner’s animal advocacy giving program recognizes that dismantling industrialized CAFO meat production and shifting food systems toward regenerative organic models is imperative now more than ever before, if the climate crisis is to be remediated.

“Marine wildlife is among the hardest-hit by human-caused climate change as sea creatures are disappearing at twice the rate of land-based species,” said Peter Hammarstedt of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. “It’s imperative that we take action at every level—from protecting and conserving marine wildlife and ocean habitats; to ending ocean pollution and illegal fishing—to reverse the climate crisis. We’re grateful for Dr. Bronner’s support in this work, as Sea Shepherd continues to protect and defend those whose suffering is often invisible and ignored.”

Dr. Bronner’s animal advocacy giving program anchors efforts to protect animals, the Earth, and human lives, in a diverse portfolio of philanthropic support. Our grantees and partners utilize myriad strategies to reduce the suffering and exploitation of non-human animals, increase public awareness, and create lasting change. These strategies include:

  • Engaging in advocacy and education on animal rights, veganism, and plant-based eating;
  • Expanding the markets for alternatives to factory farm products;
  • Pursuing legislative changes to ban the worst practices on factory farms;
  • Working with major corporations on policies to eliminate or reduce the use of factory farm products;
  • Conducting undercover investigations that generate mainstream media coverage to expose the public to the worst abuses occurring on factory farms;
  • Operating animal sanctuaries that provide safe haven for victims of animal abuse and educational opportunities for the public.

In addition to this giving program and other philanthropic efforts in 2020, Dr. Bronner’s announced the launch of its All-One International Initiative, an umbrella program of the company and its distributors around the world to ensure that local, mission-aligned activism is a major priority in the international markets that Dr. Bronner’s products are sold in. The initiative includes animal advocacy as a core category, and in 2020 funded a variety of animal protection efforts in Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, South Korea, and Taiwan, among other countries.

“Support for animal advocacy is at the core of our philanthropic and activist agenda, and we are fully committed to this program, both at home and abroad,” said Michael Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s. “We are proud to continuously expand our philanthropic giving to reduce the suffering and exploitation of animals used for food. We encourage other like-minded companies who are involved in combatting climate change to join us in supporting animal advocacy efforts by opposing factory farming and promoting alternative food choices, in the shared goal of protecting all life on our shared planet.”

In addition to financial donations, this year we also donated soaps and other products to virtual conferences, educational events, fundraisers, and animal sanctuaries. We also continue to serve our on-site employees free, vegan organic lunches daily, and last but not least, this year we launched our first Regenerative Organic Certified—and vegan product—Regenerative Organic Coconut Oil.

Thanks Dr. Bronner’s for continuing to stand up for animals! All-One!

 

Author Profile
Ryan Fletcher

Ryan Fletcher is Dr. Bronner’s Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations. He has worked full-time with the company since 2007. He lives in Washington, DC and is a proponent of cooperative living and a vegan lifestyle.

See all stories by Ryan Fletcher