Categories: Charity

America: charitable donations to companion animals are much higher than to farm animals

I wanted to write something about charitable donations. Do you know why? It’s because the keyword “donations” is a good one if you want to increase advertising revenue. I’m trying to increase advertising revenue on PoC and in doing so I discovered something which is perhaps slightly disturbing but at the same time to be expected.

Companion animals versus farm animals

There is a very useful website called Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE). It allows people to maximise their money and time in respect of donating money to animal charities and volunteering to help those charities. In a pressured world where time and money is sometimes scarce, it is important to be as efficient as possible when making donations.

Cat in shelter. Picture in public domain.

The conclusion by ACE is that we should focus more on farm animals and how to help them if you simply want to improve animal welfare without reference to the species of animal.

The image below says it all. It relates to 2015 and what it essentially says is that the amount of money available to animal shelters is far higher than available to US farmed animal outreach organisations. There are 90 major US animal shelters with annual budgets over $3.5 million spending $1.2 billion per year. There are 10 major US farmed animal outreach organisations which control $19.9 million. This is a fraction of the former.

Donation allocation chart by Animal Charity Evaluators.

The chart tells us that about 66 percent of donations to animal charities in the US go to companion animal shelters. And 0.8 percent of donations go to farmed animal organisations and even less at 0.7 percent go to laboratory animal organisations.

It is not surprising because of the obvious reason that people treat companion animals as family members and anthropomorphism is commonplace. In short, people humanise their pets and rightly so. I’m not complaining about this. It is normal. But with this connection to companion animals there’s bound to be a greater desire to donate time and money to help them.

Please note that sometimes videos fail to work over time due to various reasons over which I have no control. If this has happpened I am sorry.


Farm animals (and animals in testing facilities) are out there somewhere, in the distance, in sheds (and labs). We never see them. We just eat them and their body parts are all sanitised and packaged. They become a product on a shelf in a supermarket. It’s not real and the suffering of farm animals is too distant for humans to connect with. That’s why they receive a tiny fraction of the donations that animal shelters and animal welfare organisations do. And there is the inevitable further reason that a lot of people simply do not care. A lot of people think that humans should be killing animals by the billions and eating them because it’s natural and the way things should be. The problem is that humankind does it in a very cruel way even if you do think it’s natural. We don’t have to do it cruelly do we?


Science is coming to the rescue of farm animals. The business of creating artificial meat which is as good as the real thing is rapidly growing. I’m referring to cultured meat which is produced in vitro cell culture of animal cells instead of from slaughtered animals. Not only is this way of creating meat dramatically useful in reducing animal cruelty it also benefits the environment. Both are very important aspects of modern life.

I have to say that Animal Charity Evaluators appear to be a highly professional organisation because they provide an extensive argument about their sources of information. It is food for thought.


I am going to take this opportunity to mention that this website has given many thousands of pounds in donations to companion animal charities. Over recent years I have stopped for various reasons but I’m proud of the fact that this website has done its bit for animal welfare and rather than giving money nowadays I give my time and I give it freely towards the furtherance of improvements in animal welfare.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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