This was the year of Farmageddon, written with political journalist Isabel Oakeshott, and published by Bloomsbury. It hit the shelves in January followed by whirlwind months of speaking engagements, debates and media interviews. It exposes the true cost of cheap meat; the word really is getting out!
Compassion has been busy working in all sorts of other ways too this year. Here are a few examples of our impact with the help of you, our brilliant supporters!
End the cage age
We launched our major new campaign to End the Cage Age this year, with a shocking exposé of the factory farming of rabbits. We will continue to push for farming free of cruel cages in 2015.
First step: End the barren cage for hens in Europe
In the early 90s we secured an EU-wide ban on barren battery cages. We knew then that we would have to keep up the pressure when the law finally came into force on 1 January 2012. This year we have been pushing for it to be obeyed in all EU states. As a result only Greece is now in breach of EU law. We’ll be working doubly hard to make sure 2015 is the year barren battery cages finally disappear from Europe.
Our fight against the Gadhimai festival
We made a difference for animals in Nepal. Along with local groups, we campaigned against the Gadhimai slaughter festival. Sadly, it still went ahead, but the Nepalese government stopped funding this inhumane mass slaughter of hundreds of thousands of animals and the number slaughtered was reduced by at least 75%. That is hundreds of thousands of animals saved from suffering.
Appalling Karantina slaughterhouse shut down
We exposed the horrific treatment of animals at Karantina slaughterhouse in Lebanon. More than 130,000 of our supporters took action to shut this abattoir down. In November we achieved our goal. We will continue to work with the authorities in Lebanon to secure lasting change to slaughter practices in the country and beyond.
The Food Industry
Reaching 10 million people
We didn’t allow our ban from advertising on British TV to silence us. We were determined to make a film that would shake the foundations of factory farming. More than 10 million people have now watched The Secrets of Food Marketing and learned the secret ingredient that allows the cruelty to continue.
A better life for more than 287 million animals
Our Food Business team works with leading food companies across Europe and beyond encouraging them to commit to better farm animal welfare. More than 287 million farm animals are set to benefit each year thanks to the policies of all our Good Farm Animal Welfare Award winners.
Honest food labelling on the agenda in Europe
Our Labelling Matters mascot, Rosa the chicken, undertook a 39-day, 21-country journey rallying support for clear and honest labelling of chicken meat across Europe. This incredible journey featured on national TV stations, made the pages of over 100 news websites, magazines and newspapers, and culminated in the presentation to the EU Parliament of a phenomenal petition, signed by 85,000 EU citizens.
The reality of ‘humane’ chicken in the US exposed
Brave farmer Craig Watts opened his factory farm to us to expose the reality of life for ‘humanely raised’ chickens in the US. Craig’s story has been watched by more than a million people and received widespread media coverage from the New York Times in the US to the Metro in the UK.
Making a difference in China: home to half the world’s pigs
China is home to 680 million pigs. I went to see one of its mega-piggeries when I was researching Farmageddon and what I saw was truly mind-boggling. The country is seeing a huge expansion in intensive pig farming but thankfully there are some who are rejecting the most intensive methods of farming in favour of higher welfare options. Compassion has been working with a group of such famers to help them adopt higher welfare standards, such as introducing alternatives to caged systems like the ubiquitous sow stalls, where pigs can’t even turn around.
The work done this year will improve the lives of 750,000 pigs every year, a modest but incredibly important step.
As ever, the support and dedication of Compassion’s staff and our amazing supporters leaves me looking back on the year with great pride. I can guarantee you that we will approach 2015 with the same energy and focus and with our ultimate goal of ending factory farming more firmly in our sights than ever.
Thank you so much for all your support.
Happy New Year.