Our Campaigns and
Animals Now comes to the end of a year of intensive work: A year where Challenge 22 exceeded half a million participants, where we reached 20,000 students and adults with our educational program and hosted workshops for a thousand educators, advocated in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and the courts, and our content reached millions of views on social media. We’re proud to present just a handful of our achievements this year, across our main projects.
The fights we
fought this year
We continued the struggle to end live transport
We continued to vigorously promote legislation to halt live transport. In the 23rd Knesset, six bills were submitted on the subject. We met with Knesset members and professionals in the relevant government ministries, provided information to members of the inter-ministerial team advising the Minister of Agriculture on the issue, and participated in one of his discussions alongside partners in Israel’s fight against live transport, including Let the Animals Live, and organizations from Australia and Europe.
On the ‘Stop Live Transport’ International Day of Awareness we held a protest in front of the Knesset. Our legal department has filed three complaints of abuse documented by our investigative team at ports, filed freedom of information requests regarding port inspections, and requested the revocation of an import license from the slaughter company Dabah (this was denied by the Ministry of Agriculture).
This year, the State Comptroller’s report harshly criticizing live transport was covered extensively in the media. The European Union also published a report on live transport which revealed many failures to comply with regulations.
Whilst in 2020 there was a decrease in the number of animals enduring the arduous journey to Israel in live transport, we will continue to fight until this abuse stops completely.
We fought for the chickens in the egg industry
We’re working at all levels to alleviate the appalling conditions that chickens have to endure every day in the industry. We launched a project promoting corporate responsibility for animal protection in collaboration with the Open Wing Alliance. We appealed to all 11 international corporations operating in the country which have pledged to stop using caged eggs by 2025, to ensure that they fulfill their commitment in Israel as well.
In addition, we began dialogue and negotiations with Israeli corporations and established contacts with industry insiders. We participated in education and training, and took part in an international conference and activities with other members of the coalition from over 60 countries around the world!
We brought our message to decision-makers in parliament, promoting legislation requiring the marking of eggs with the type of facility they come from, and that all new chicken facilities built will be cage-free. We submitted position papers and met with the Minister of Agriculture, Knesset members, and professionals in various government ministries. We participated in committee discussions and even managed to stop the transfer of 100 million NIS (over 31 million US dollars, or 25 million euros) for the construction of new chicken facilities in the egg industry. This prevented finance for new battery cages, and resulted in 50% of new egg quotas being allocated to cage-free farms.
Free-range isn’t the ideal solution – these are industrial facilities, after all – but they at least allow chickens to spread their wings, walk around and exercise some of their natural behaviors. The reduction of the chickens’ suffering is significant, and in parallel with our efforts to end the longer-term exploitation of chickens, we do not forget those imprisoned in the here and now.
And the public is with us! A survey conducted at our request by the Geocartography Institute proved beyond any doubt: 89% of the public believe that battery cages should be banned, and 95% agree that publicly-funded facilities in the egg industry should be cage-free. And most people believe that there should only be backyard hens! Tel Aviv University’s Legal Clinic for Environmental Justice and Animal Rights and the Hai-Meshek Association are working alongside us in this field. Together we will #EndTheCageAge.
We worked to put the Animal Protection Law into effect
We kept working to transfer the powers of the Animal Welfare Act away from the Ministry of Agriculture, to give them instead to the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
We submitted a comprehensive report to the committee examining the issue for the Prime Minister’s Office, in cooperation with Let the Animals Live. In the report, we detailed how the Ministry of Agriculture has completely failed to implement or enforce the Act.
In addition, we participated in discussions in the Interior Committee on the enforcement of the law and submitted position papers to Knesset members detailing practical steps to move forward.
We also revealed plans to misuse funds intended for the protection of animals. Shockingly, the Ministry of Agriculture had planned to fund an experiment to test whether being confined to cages harms chickens.
We protested this plan, and managed to block the allocation of these funds for the experiment.
Thanks to us, a verdict was handed down in the Adom Adom case
The criminals responsible for the abuse at the Tnuva slaughterhouse, which we uncovered in our revolutionary 2012 investigation, received a sentence that included symbolic compensation for the animals. The court recognized our important role in exposing the abuse. Since then, the perpetrators have appealed the sentence – and that trial is still ongoing.
We campaigned to prevent chicken cages in the meat industry
Unfortunately, the Ministry of Agriculture approved a huge chicken facility for the meat industry, where chickens were to be confined to cages. This method of confinement has not existed in Israel until now and would worsen the terrible conditions that chickens already live in.
So we fought back, campaigning in all arenas – in parliament, to the government, in the courts, and in the media. We petitioned the court, we filed two freedom of information requests, and we revealed information that the Ministry of Agriculture wanted to suppress.
We also revealed plans to misuse funds intended for the protection of animals. Shockingly, the Ministry of Agriculture had planned to fund an experiment to test whether being confined to cages harms chickens. As part of the fight, our investigation team revealed the abuse of the chickens as the cages are emptied, and our legal department filed a report detailing violations of the Animal Cruelty Act and demanded that this facility be prevented from operating. A survey found that 90% of the public are behind us, believing that cages shouldn’t be allowed in the meat industry. We will continue the fight for the chickens in 2021 – join us!
We pushed the ban on fur in the fashion industry
We have long promoted a bill to ban the sale of fur in Israel, together with our partners in the International Anti-Fur Coalition and Let the Animals Live, but greedy corporations tried to stand in our way.
This year, Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel published draft regulations that will finally ban the sale of fur in the fashion industry! (As in similar legislation in other countries, religious items are exempted from the ban.)
This historic decision has been praised the world over, and we trust that the Minister will soon sign the bill. Animals Now was interviewed as part of the extensive media coverage.
We joined the fight against hunting
We cooperated with members of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), Let the Animals Live, and Vegan-Friendly in a new campaign to stop the “sport” of hunting in this country, and to crack down on illegal hunting.
The campaign has been widely covered in the media. Following this, a bill was submitted to ban hunting for sport and to increase the punishment for illegal hunting. In addition, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has banned the hunting of the turtle dove and the migratory quail.
We defeated Soglowek in the SLAPP lawsuit they filed against us!
After several years, the defamation lawsuit which Israeli food giant Soglowek had filed against Animals Now and our activists has ended in a landslide victory. Soglowek were ordered to pay us 40,000 NIS in legal fees (about 12,500 US dollars, or 10,000 euros).
No rich corporation will silence us – we will continue to fight and expose the animal abuse of the meat industry!
We raised awareness of cruelty to fish
This year our investigation team revealed horrific cases of abuse and mass mortality in fish farms in Israel, some of which also made headlines.
Our legal department filed 10 complaints of fish abuse and environmental crimes. In 2020, ahead of and during the Tishrei holidays, we used our new media channels to raise awareness for the silent victims of the meat industry with the project ‘Let the Fish Swim’. We shared videos and posts showing that fish are special, smart, and inquisitive animals – and how the fishing industry causes untold harm to fish, whether they are farmed or caught on the open seas.
This project reached about 1,400,000 views on social media. Our investigative footage documenting fish thrown to die outside one of the fish farms has also been publicized by several organizations around the world.
We made history with Challenge 22
In 2020, we crossed the half-a-million mark in Challenge 22 – an incredible number of people who have tried veganism with us since the Challenge first launched! This year alone, more than 200,000 people around the world joined the Challenge (about 16,000 of those in Israel alone). The Spanish Challenge recorded an amazing achievement of over 85,000 sign-ups in its very first year of operation!
Our horizons are expanding: As part of the Challenge 22 Community program, we assisted even more organizations around the world in developing their own local vegan challenges – following Challenge 22’s successful recipe. This year, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Vietnam, Chile, Brazil, and New Zealand were added to our growing family. We will continue to spread the Challenge to every corner of the globe – the sky’s the limit!
Challenge 22 is effective: The Effective Altruism organization conducted a study on the effectiveness of Challenge 22. They found that the project is effective and efficient in reducing the consumption of animals and that investment in the Challenge is worthwhile and saves lives!
We flexed our vegan muscle: Following the popularity of The Game Changers documentary, we collaborated on Challenge P3, which is aimed at professional and amateur athletes who want to enjoy the benefits of a plant-based diet. We guided hundreds of participants as they adopted plant-based nutrition, in full or in part. Participants enjoyed unique content developed for them and fascinating webinars led by nutritionists specializing in sports nutrition and vegan athletes from a variety of fitness fields.
We educated future generations
Our lecture program received a new name and website this year – Share the World! Topical content was added to the program dealing with the connection between the global trade in animals, phenomena such as the coronavirus pandemic, and the decimation of the Amazon rainforest.
During the year, our education team delivered 374 lectures and workshops, in 187 different schools and institutions, to 20,000 teenagers and adults, from all over the country, in Hebrew and in Arabic! We gave presentations at the global company Salesforce, at Tel Aviv University’s environmental studies program, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the environmental department of the Hevel Eilot Regional Council, and sustainability events at Tel Aviv Municipality – to name just a few.
We adjusted to life during a pandemic – holding lectures online via Zoom and developing new interactive approaches, including online quizzes, surveys, and discussions. The number of visitors to ‘Live Act’, our lesson plan site, reached an average peak of about 10,000 users a month! The site has dozens of lesson plans on animal rights, in Hebrew and Arabic, sorted by field of study and age. As part of the transition to learning from home, our education team developed lesson plans and online sessions for teachers. In preparation for Earth Day and Animal Rights Day in the education system, over 4,000 educators used the lesson plans we circulated on social media or joined the WhatsApp group we opened this year – ‘Teachers for Animals’.
We held 23 lectures and workshops for around 1,000 educators on animal rights education, in collaboration with the Animal Protection Division of the Ministry of Environmental Protection. In the summer, we held the fourth conference on education for animal rights and sustainable nutrition, ‘What’s the point?’, this time in an online format and in collaboration with ‘Life and Environment’ and ‘Green Course’. The conference was attended by about 70 educators, who presented a variety of exciting initiatives and activities, including a school that decided to change its cafeteria to vegan food, a teacher who taught classes on environmental issues and factory farming on the Ministry of Education’s national broadcast program, and more!
We represented animals in the media
In a challenging media year, Animals Now made headlines in over 100 publications across a variety of formats – television, radio, and digital and print media. Among other things, we promoted topical publications highlighting the close connection of the animal industries, and in particular the fur industry, to COVID-19.
Our various platforms – including the Facebook and Instagram pages of Animals Now and Challenge 22 – reached more than 30 million views.
We edited over 170 videos that were shared on social media. The videos on our YouTube channel, mainly our successful and unique series ‘What’s Up With..?’ and ‘Vegan Life’, reached 1.5 million views in 2020.
Our popular Israeli website Veg has undergone a serious upgrade this year! We revamped the design and content and have turned it into a lifestyle site with a wide variety of recipes, articles on nutrition, useful tips, and vegan products, plus information on vegan-friendly restaurants throughout Israel.
During the year, 1,367,000 users visited the site, and since the upgrade in September, over 600 people have signed up for Challenge 22 through the site!
That wraps up some of our most significant wins for animals in 2020. Will you join us in 2021?