Animal Equality: Spreading Kindness on a Global Scale
Throughout 2021, Kinder Beauty is partnering with three premiere charities whose work is at the forefront of change for animals and the planet. The charitable giving component here at Kinder Beauty is at the core of why we do what we do—create vegan, cruelty-free, clean beauty products so that we can mainstream ethical beauty and support those working to create change. By raising awareness of the positive impacts of a plant-based lifestyle and by preventing animal cruelty, our three premiere charities—Animal Equality, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and Woodstock Farm Sanctuary—have all made positive change for animals (and humans). We are so thrilled and proud to be working with them. Your support of Kinder Beauty helps to bolster the efforts of these three charities.
Read Kinder Beauty's exclusive interview with Animal Equality.
Around the world, Animal Equality helms campaigns, works with governments, and conducts investigations that are changing the lives of millions of farmed animals for the better. The organization began as a small group of committed activists in 2006, founded in Spain by Javier Moreno, Jose Valle, and Sharon Núñez. Their mission: to uncover animal abuse through investigations, and support groups in other countries by providing them with free resources. Despite being a small, fledgling organization, by the end of their first year, Animal Equality had staged change-making protests in Latin America, Japan, and Madrid. Today, the international nonprofit engages thousands of people, and has offices in eight countries. Animal Equality President and co-founder Sharon Núñez filled Kinder Beauty in on the many ways that the organization is helping farmed animals globally, and what we can expect from them in the future.
KB: Most organizations work in one country, but Animal Equality's approach is international. How did you come to be a global organization, and what countries is Animal Equality working in?
SN: We have offices in eight countries: Spain, Italy, the U.K., Germany, India, Mexico, Brazil, and the US. Our decision to start working in a new country is based on the number of animals farmed in the country and the degree of suffering they endure, as well as finding strong leadership in that country. We have limited resources and want them to positively affect as many farmed animals as possible.
KB: How have Animal Equality’s investigations led to positive change for animals?
SN: Investigations—entering factory farms and slaughterhouses and showing the public what happens behind closed doors—are Animal Equality’s backbone. Since our founding, we have undertaken more than 120 investigations across the globe. Our investigations have been shown in congress in Mexico, the European Parliament, as well as been the supportive documents to petitions aimed at changing laws in India. And they have led to significant change for animals. The state of Jalisco, Mexico passed sweeping legislation protecting farmed animals and making stunning at slaughterhouses mandatory after Senators watched undercover footage of pigs being brutally killed in slaughterhouses. A year later, several cities in Mexico banned the sale of animals in itinerant markets after Animal Equality’s investigations inside wet markets. India banned the sale of foie gras when Animal Equality showed the government the brutality of its production, and our undercover investigations have been crucial to getting companies to adopt meaningful animal welfare policies such as eliminating cages for hens from their supply chain.
KB: What are wet markets and why is their closure so important?
SN: Wet markets get their name in part from the blood, guts, scales, and water that soak the stalls’ floors, remnants from animals brutally killed for customers who desire to eat freshly killed meat. Some of the images [of wet markets] that we released in April of 2020 were filmed in Pune, India, where we have an office. I was there myself to support the team on the ground and saw grueling images of animals agonizing for hours in tiny cages with no food or water. We are demanding the closure of these markets around the world. First, the immense suffering that is inflicted on the poor animals at these markets is horrific. They are crammed in tiny cages, or stuffed in bags or overcrowded bins. When purchased, they are slaughtered without any prior stunning, or even sold alive to be slaughtered at home by people who have no experience with the killing of animals. Second, the stress that these animals endure leads to depreciated immune systems. Add the close proximity of multiple species that in the wild would never cohabitate, and you have the perfect breeding grounds for zoonotic diseases. These markets are a threat to public health and have been the source of documented disease outbreaks in the past, including SARS. Researchers also believe COVID-19 most likely originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China, notorious for trading in wild animals.
KB: What are Animal Equality’s greatest accomplishments, and what can we expect to see from the organization in the future?
SN: Our greatest accomplishments are the legislative, corporate, and individual changes that we have achieved with our work. We estimate that in 2020 our work impacted over 300 million animals. We will continue doing undercover investigations and working with companies, society, and legislators to achieve change for animals.
KB: What inspires you to continue your work each day?
SN: Seeing what we have accomplished thus far and what we continue to accomplish every single month is the best motivator to continue showing up. In just 15 years, we have grown into an organization with nearly 100 employees in eight countries affecting millions of farmed animals every year. Our team is made up of wonderful and bright activists that give 100% every day to create a more compassionate world. Who wouldn’t want to come to work every day?