PAW6: Vegan outreach or Veganuary campaigns in LMICs
resolved Jul 27

As part of Charity Entrepreneurship's 2023 Top Ideas contest, will we select "Vegan outreach or Veganuary campaigns in LMICs" as a top Preventive Animal Welfare intervention?

Idea overview

This charity idea focuses on promoting veganism and Veganuary campaigns in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). By raising awareness of the benefits of a plant-based diet, the charity would seek to encourage more people to adopt veganism, reducing the demand for animal products and mitigating the associated environmental, health, and animal welfare issues. Through tailored outreach and localized Veganuary initiatives, the charity’s aim would be to create a lasting impact on dietary habits and drive positive change in LMICs.

Preventive animal welfare

This year our focus is on interventions and policies that prevent future harms done to animals, as opposed to solving current problems. We will be looking for interventions that, as well as having some short run evidence of impact, will prevent future problems, i.e., have the biggest impact on farmed animals in the future, say 35 years from now.

We intend to select 2-4 ideas out of the 10 presented to recommend to entrepreneurs who enter our incubation program. This market resolves YES if this idea is chosen; NO otherwise.

About the contest

In partnership with Charity Entrepreneurship, Manifold is sponsoring a $2000 forecasting tournament to inform which ideas end up selected

  • You can win part of a $1000 prize pool as a forecaster, for best predicting which interventions we choose.

  • You can win one of ten $100 prizes for posting an informative comment on Manifold that most influences our decision.

For contest details and all markets, see the group CE 2023 Top Ideas.

Get Ṁ600 play money

🏅 Top traders

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predicted NO

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bought Ṁ10 of NO

Vegan outreach is consistently broadly rated as less effective than institutional work. Also, going into a country that co-founders are not from and telling people to change their diets is a very tough sell.

Vegan diets contain no B12 naturally. The low availability and affordability of B12 supplementation and lower available dietary variation to some populations in many LMICs may make micronutrient malnutrition concerns important for deciding whether to implement this. B12 deficiency is a common cause of anaemia. Anaemia in pregnant women is very common and is a major risk factor for maternal mortality, as well as having many follow-on effects on general health and economic productivity. Data on micronutrient deficiency and its effects can be seen in overview in this Ourworldindata page. Iodine, zinc, calcium, and magnesium intake is commonly lower in vegan diets and these are also significant for development, with long term negative consequences of deficiencies in early life.

More plant-based food systems are very likely a net positive change for the animals that would have been part of animal agriculture. It is probably a net positive for humans overall due to land use change and greenhouse emissions and water use. Vegan diets are achievable and comparably healthy for most people in developed countries. But in LMICs, specifically advocating for zero animal product diets may result in harmful nutrient deficiencies that are a net negative for the humans involved. This may not outweigh the harm prevented in animals, but may be sufficiently bad publicity and sufficiently unpopular that it is seen as reflecting poorly on the EA community as a whole, or on western intervention in poorer countries, and therefore not worth the risk if there are equally good or better interventions without these risks.

If these outreach events involve actually feeding people delicious vegan food, paired with information that a vegan diet is a healthy (/healthier) diet, this can be hugely impactful. I think many people in the US and Europe don't realize how unaware most of the world is of /choosing/ to eat vegetarian food. Just creating awareness that vegan meals can be delicious and healthy and easy would have a huge impact. Note (re: "recidivism") that the largest impact is not creating vegetarians, but offsetting a percentage of meat meals for everyone else.

Vegan outreach WI be more impacful at the long-run

bought Ṁ15 of NO

GPT-4 ranked this as #7